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Gray Academy grad Skye Kneller returns to alma mater in new leadership role

By MYRON LOVE Skye Kneller is going back to school in a sense. The Gray Academy grad – class of 2009 – has walked away from a career in broadcasting to take on the role of Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations at her alma mater.
“It is taking some getting-used-to to be welcomed in the staff room and calling some of my former teachers who are still there by their first names,” the daughter of Leah and the late Marshall Kneller observes.
The lifelong Garden City resident spent her entire grade and high school years at Gray Academy, beginning in 1997, when the school opened. After earning undergraduate degrees in both Arts and Science, Kneller enrolled in a one-year radio and television broadcasting course at Herzing College.
“My internship was at CJOB and I was fortunate to have been hired by the station after graduation,” she says. “As a producer, I worked on the news side with Julie Buckingham and Richard Cloutier. They became my mentors.”
She was also responsible for producing all the Blue Bombers and Jet games as well as some Manitoba Moose games.
(It was also at CJOB that she met her husband, fellow CJOB producer Cameron Poitras – who also co-hosts the lunchtime sports show with Jim Toth.)
Kneller notes that she was attracted to broadcasting by the creative opportunity. “I love storytelling,” she says. “I also enjoyed the technical aspects of it. I am very detail-oriented.”
The drawback, she points out – and that which attracted her to the new position at Gray Academy – was the primacy of work over being able to regularly attend synagogue services. “I would often have to leave minyans early to go to work,” says the vice president of Garden City’s Chevra Mishnayes Synagogue – of which she is a third generation member. (Her father was the congregation’s president at the time of his sudden passing in early 2021.)
(Cameron Poitras, who was profiled in the JP&N a few month back, is also a member of the board of the synagogue and regularly attends services.)
“At Gray Academy, I am able to observe all the Jewish holidays within a religious infrastructure,” she continues.
She adds that she also appreciates the more regular work hours.
Kneller reports that the position of Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations is a new position at Gray Academy. “A lot of universities and private schools have people in this position,” she notes. “I am responsible for maintaining regular contact with recent and long term grads encouraging their ongoing engagement with our school as volunteers and donors.”
She reports that she is scheduled to attend an upcoming gathering of Jewish day school leaders. “I am looking forward to seeing what programs some of my peers have put in place and determining which ones we might be able to apply to Gray Academy,” she says. A little farther down the road, she is also looking forward to helping plan Gray Academy’s 25th anniversary which takes place in September.

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