Local schools honor legacy of former high school student during ‘Chloe Schneider Day’
Students at the Odyssey Family of Schools honored a former high school student last week by wearing an animal or animal print shirt and donating $1 to the Chloe Schneider Scholarship Fund.
Chole died Nov. 2, 2016, in a tragic accident in Buckeye. The 16-year-old was riding her bike, which she dearly loved to do, when a distracted driver hit her. Since then, her family advocated for a ban on cell phone use while driving. On April 26, Gov. Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2318, which outlaws texting and driving or operating any hand-held mobile devices.
Despite a life cut short, Chole’s impact lives on in the hearts of many family and friends, the community and the school.
Chloe’s mom, Cynthia Schneider, said that her daughter loved being an Odyssey Minotaur.
“Most kids think of school as work,” she said. “Chloe thought of Odyssey as her second home. She looked at the teachers, volunteers and fellow students as part of an amazing family.
“I love that they honor her, and it also shows the students that they are all an important part of a bigger picture. What they do has an impact on their community.”
According to Stephanie Crawford, communications manager at Odyssey Preparatory Academy, Chole was a joy to be around.
“She was a special little girl. She wanted everybody to be happy. She was a ray of sunshine,” Crawford said.
Chole was on the mountain biking team with the Verrado riders and was one of the only girls. But, as many already knew, that wouldn’t stop her. Later, she was instrumental in bringing a mountain biking team to Odyssey.
Crawford added that Chole coined the term “Beast Mode” that is now on the high school gym wall and has been adopted by the school. That term embodied her personality and approach to life, and it’s fitting that the school adopted it in memory of her.
“She’d be really proud,” Crawford said.
Since she loved animals so much, when school officials discussed ways to remember Chole, wearing animal or animal print shirts seemed a natural fit. It’s a visual reminder of Chole as students walk the halls, and it’s also a way to raise money for the scholarship fund.
Every year, the Chloe Schneider Scholarship Fund offers $1,000 increments to students who exemplify the same characteristics found in Chole—her love of family and community.
When applying to the scholarship, students must write about how they have contributed to the Odyssey family and the community through service. In addition, they are to write about how they plan to contribute to the world around them when they leave Odyssey.
“We’ve had a lot of new students come to Odyssey who didn’t know Chole personally,” Crawford explained, “but with Chloe Schneider Day they learn about who she was.”
On Chloe Schneider Day, students are also reminded of bicycle safety and the importance of remaining off cell phones and being aware of their surroundings when driving.