Schnook's influence remembered
Published: Thursday, February 5, 2009
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 17:11
by Brandon Clark
Times Managing EditorErnie Schnook, former MATC instructor and AFT Local 212 President, died December 31, 2008, at the age of 68.
Schnook graduated from MATC's Foundry Science program and went on to earn his bachelor's and master's degrees from UW-Milwaukee. He would later return to MATC to teach in the Foundry Science and Liberal Arts programs.
Schnook "was an unstinting champion of technical education, and fought ferociously any attempts to downplay technical instruction or transform MATC into merely a junior college," said current Local 212 President Michael Rosen.
According to Rosen, Schnook's leadership of the union won and protected many rights for students, faculty and staff at MATC. "Ernie believed passionately in empowering MATC employees who worked directly with students because they, and only they, knew what was best for our students and the institution," said Rosen.
Schnook will be remembered by those close to him for his booming voice, his big heart and his unwavering tenacity.
Whether he was encouraging his students, battling administration or protesting the Vietnam and Iraq wars, Schnook was persistent and persuasive.
"When he gets on an issue, he's like a bulldog with his teeth in your calf - he just doesn't let go," said former MATC President John Birkholz.
Schnook is survived by his wife, Josiane, their four children Josie, Charlotte, Fred and Ernst, three siblings and grandchildren.