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School board election far from acclamation

Delta R.E.A.L. Team adds quartet to trustee race

After a non-election in 2008, the race for seats on the Delta school board is heating up this time around.

Three incumbents and three newcomers added their names to the list this week in advance of the Nov. 19 election.

The Delta R.E.A.L. Team (Responsible Education and Academic Leadership) announced Wednesday it's running a unique coalition in the upcoming Delta school board election.

Led by current board chair Dale Saip, R.E.A.L. includes incumbents Brenda Bennett-Schneider and Simon Truelove. Added to the team is retired teacher Nick Kanakos.

"Nick would be a valuable addition to the school board because of his extensive knowledge. He is a team-player who seeks excellence, as we do in our district," said Saip.

Bennett-Schneider, a lifelong Delta resident who is married with two children in elementary school, is seeking a second term on the board.

Truelove, a teacher, father and grandfather, has served on the board for six years. He is currently the vice chair and Delta's representative to the provincial council of the B.C. School Trustees Association.

Kanakos, whose teacher responsibilities, over 30 years in Delta, included school computer co-ordinator, department head and head football coach, has experience dealing with students, teachers, parents and the administration in the district.

First elected to the board in1987, Saip is the vice president of business development for the Vancouver Giants.

Well known local runner and coach Malcolm Smillie has also announced his candidacy for the school board. The Ladner resident was the Delta Masters Athlete of the Year in 2010.

"Alongside the main issue of managing the school board resources in the face of declining enrollment, I am eager to see what I can do help with raising the quality of daily physical education for all students in the Delta school district," said Smillie.

Longtime Tsawwassen resident Brad Sherwin announced Wednesday he will seek election as a Delta school trustee. Sherwin, 46, a business and communication strategy consultant, has many years of experience developing and executing strategic plans, building and managing budgets and listening to people.

Laura Dixon and Janet Shauntz have also filed, bringing the number of incumbents in the race to five. Fabian Milat is expected to file, and run for Delta council as well, while Gordon Masi has yet to declare.

Newcomers Carroll Allan, Andy Basi and Val Windsor have all filed, while Donna Burke is also expected to run.