Election will alter Troy school board; contenders weigh levy, communication, politics

TROY — Four people are seeking two seats on the Troy City Schools Board of Education during the Nov. 7 election. Incumbents Michael Ham and Doug Trostle are not seeking re-election. The board terms are for four years.

Sarah Davis

Sarah J. Davis, 43 and a design coach, is making her first bid for an elected office. As a mother of three children ages 15 to 21, she said the “world is changing drastically and quickly” and there is a need for “a voice on the board that represents parents that want to take these changes seriously.”

Challenges facing the district, Davis said, include the schools construction question on the November ballot.

“If this levy passes or fails, we are going to have issues going forward (nothing is easy) and, if elected, I feel I am prepared to be on a board that continues to work through it by problem solving,” she said.

Another challenge is communication, Davis said. While she believes communication has improved, she said if the ballot issue is approved, constant communication will be needed about what’s happening. Davis also pointed to curriculum, saying she has had other parents commenting about homework assigned and books in the library.

“Parents are starting to take notice and I am prepared to listen and answer those questions collaboratively,” she said.

Davis supports the ballot issue and thinks her experience as a parent during ongoing change is valuable.

“We are now living in a time of education evolving from traditional education to political agendas and it’s not fair to our children or staff. We … have to take notice to what could potentially be happening to our kids in public education and stay educated,” she said.

More information: Sarah J. Davis for Troy School Board on Facebook.

Timothy Horgan

Timothy Horgan, 40, is a physician recruiter seeking his first elected office. His children — a first grader and a 2½ year old — are the primary reason he is running, Horgan said, adding he has a vested interest in the schools for years to come.

Among top challenges facing the district is new school buildings, for which a construction bond issue is on the November ballot, he said.

Should it fail, “this will have to be a top priority for the next board to address yet again,” Horgan said. “Second is safeguarding our children from age-inappropriate material in the classroom. I’ve read disturbing news reports of school boards across the country allowing very explicit material to be taught to young children. I won’t stand for it,” he said.

He also is concerned about board transparency, Horgan said, adding several parents and PTO members say they hear little from the current board and know little about them. “We can change this. I want to make sure parents’ voices are heard and the board’s decisions are communicated to the public,” he said.

Horgan said 21 years in the Air Force taught him to work with diverse groups in critical situations, skills he thinks can be used in ensuring board, parents, teachers and administrators create the best learning environment for students. He supports the district’s proposed construction bond issue for new elementary schools and updates to the high school.

More information: Tim Horgan for Troy School Board on Facebook.

Brian Honeycutt

Brian Honeycutt, 47, thinks his more than 20 years in education would allow him to bring “invaluable experience to our school board, the students, staff and community.” He also wants to give back to the district where he received his education and where his three children have been or are being educated.

Among the challenges facing the district is replacing aging infrastructure with new buildings, he said.

“New buildings will help the district improve security, upgrade electrical/technology systems and improve overall learning environments for the students,” he said. Honeycutt said he has been providing information on the building proposal on the November ballot to people to emphasize the importance of this request.

Student safety also is a key issue, he said, adding that new buildings and working with law enforcement and other professional organizations can help address the ongoing challenge.

Teacher retention efforts need to help ensure a quality staff remains in the district, he said. “We need to ensure teacher pay is staying competitive with other districts but also making sure we do not put the district is a position of fiscal distress,” Honeycutt said.

As an educator, he said he is up to date on federal and state laws impacting education as well as current trends in education. “I also believe my knowledge of school funding can be an asset,” Honeycutt said, adding he is willing to listen to opinions of staff, community and fellow board members.

More information: Brian Honeycutt for Troy City School Board on Facebook page; or email honeycuttfortroycs@gmail.com.



Ben Redick

Ben Redick, 43, is a graduate of Troy High School, a parent and a real estate broker. He said his experience with a number of community organizations has helped him develop executive leadership skills that would help make decisions in the best interest of students, staff and community members.

Among challenges facing the district is implementing the new facilities plan if the district’s tax issue passes, or examining how to proceed with existing facilities and budget accordingly if it fails, Redick said.

The board would need to assign a project committee and specific scope along with cost oversight — “a task that I have a lot of experience with, to ensure the amount of dollars required to successfully implement these plans are well accounted for,” he said.

Another issue for public school districts is funding, Redick said. “Our funding comes directly from the taxpayer, and earning and keeping the respect of taxpayers is critical if our district is going to succeed. We must ensure that our residents are getting the best value they can as we invest in the next generation in our community,” he said.

A third challenge is creating an environment where students and staff are safe, parents are collaborative partners and taxpayers are respected, Redick said. This is done by ensuring public communication with the board and staff, with the board and students seen and recognized for their contributions in the classroom, he said.

Redick supports the facilities tax proposal. He said he believes in open communication as best as possible and always welcomes feedback and input.

More information: Facebook, Ben Redick for Board of Education.

Coming Tuesday

Troy voters will also decide Nov. 7 whether to pass a bond issue and tax levy to pay for new school buildings. Read about the details of the plan in Tuesday’s Dayton Daily News.

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