Haywood County School Board member Rhonda Cole Schandevel, 51, of Canton announced her 2016 candidacy for the North Carolina House of Representatives. Schandevel has served on the Haywood County School Board since 2012.
“When I talk to people throughout our community I am struck by just how much we all have in common,” Schandevel said. “We all want the same things: access to good paying jobs here in Western North Carolina and a quality public education for our children. Unfortunately, the Raleigh politicians are selling us short on both of these goals. I am running for State House because I believe we should work for a bright and prosperous future for all of us, - not just the wealthy and well-connected.
I believe our schools are full of amazing teachers that continue to fight for our kids. Now is the time to start paying them like the professionals they are and give them the resources they need to properly educate our students. We can’t keep constantly asking them to do more with less, their job is too important. To accomplish these goals, we have to end the partisan political battles that lead to gridlock and focus on our shared values – creating jobs here at home and improving public education.”
Schandevel will challenge incumbent Rep. Michele Presnell in House District 118, which includes Haywood, Madison and Yancey counties. House District 118 is widely considered one of the most competitive State House seats in North Carolina.
“House Democrats are focused on recruiting quality candidates across the state who have the right priorities for our state,” said Democratic Leader Larry D. Hall. “Rhonda Cole Schandevel has seen firsthand the damage that years of education cuts have done to our classrooms. Rhonda is a champion of everyday North Carolinians and she will be a constant advocate for job creation and better schools.”
Schandevel is married to Jeff Schandevel and she has a 28 year-old son Canie Michael Glance. She is the daughter of Wanda Cole and the late Dee Cole. Rhonda is a registered Dental Hygienist and is employed by Smoky Mountain Dentistry in Haywood County. Rhonda has served on The Arc of Haywood County Board since 1992 and currently serves as Vice-President of the organization. In 2010, she began serving on The Arc of North Carolina Board and currently serves as Secretary as well as Chair of the Public Policy Committee.