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Snell Named to Santa Monica College Board

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

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By Jorge Casuso

February 6, 2014 -- Former School Board member Barry Snell was appointed Tuesday to fill the seat on the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees vacated by Judge David Finkel last month.

Snell, who is a certified public accountant and business leader, was selected from among five applicants to serve out the remainder of Finkel’s four-year term, which expires in November. Finkel resigned effective January 14 due to ill health.

A resident of the Pico Neighborhood, Snell, brings extensive experience working with the community and taking part in the public process, having served on the School Board from 2006 to 2010 and as its president in 2009.

“Santa Monica College cares about educating our young people,” Snell said in a statement Wednesday. “As a Trustee, I can be part of a board that helps every individual afford the opportunity to have a quality post-secondary education.

“I’m especially proud that my three children currently attend SMC,” Snell said. “I look forward to continuing a strong transparent and working relationship with staff, students, and SMC’s many community partners.”

Since failing to win reelection to the School Board in 2010, Snell remained active in local politics and civic affairs. He sat on the Pier Board for five months before it was reconstituted in March 2012 and is currently a member of the board of Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM).

Snell also sits on the steering committee of Santa Monicans for Renters Rights (SMRR), the city’s most powerful political organization.

Snell also was involved in SMC, serving on its Citizens Bond Oversight Committee, which oversees the college’s implementation of bond measures approved by Santa Monica-Malibu voters.

He resigned immediately and was sworn into office after the trustees voted on the selection.

Snell has long been a staunch champion of education, having been involved as a parent in the Santa Monica High School PTA and several School District funding and bond measure campaigns before joining the School Board. He also served as President of the African-American Parent Group at the high school, where he started a Dad’s club.

During his 2010 campaign for School Board, Snell laid out his recipe for closing the achievement gap.

“There are no easy solutions,” he wrote in a The Lookout questionnaire. “It takes parents to impress upon our children that the only way to achieve high standards is hard work.

“It takes teachers to believe that all students are capable of learning at a high level and will work to insure that each of their students will do that,” he wrote. “It takes a community to insure that the school district has the necessary financial resources to provide a high quality education. NO EXCUSES!!!

Snell’s current involvement in the School District includes serving on the financial advisory board for the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation and the treasury of the Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS).

He also sits on the board of the Century Community Charter School, a middle school in Inglewood.

Snell, who has a master’s of science in taxation and more than 25 years of accounting experience, runs his own firm in Culver City.

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