After two decades with his district, this area superintendent is retiring. Here’s his story.

Eric Herman, retiring superintendent of the Troy City Schools, said students’ needs haven’t change over the years.
Eric Herman, retiring superintendent of the Troy City Schools, said students’ needs haven’t change over the years.

Eric Herman has seen a lot of changes in his nearly 38 years in education, but he said one thing hasn’t changed: the kids.

Herman, who graduated from high school in West Carrollton, will retire this summer after 20 years with the Troy City Schools. He has been superintendent since spring 2011.

Herman attended college, played football and coached football in Kansas before returning home in the early 1980s to operate a print shop in West Carrollton.

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He had that business about eight years and was coaching when he was lured back into education by a former coach and educator Dean Pond, who asked him to teach driver’s education at West Carrollton.

That led to a football coach and physical education teaching job in Kettering, a year at Urbana schools and then a return to Kettering for an administration job as a unit principal.

Another former West Carrollton coach, David Dolph, introduced Herman to Troy schools as assistant junior high principal in 1998.

“I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Dolph and said, ‘Why not?’” he recalled.

Herman served as principal at Hook Elementary, junior high principal, high school principal, director of secondary curriculum, director of technology, director of K-12 curriculum and assistant superintendent under Superintendent Tom Dunn on his path to becoming superintendent.

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“This was the last place I thought I would have ended my career,” Herman said from the superintendent’s office at the Board of Education next to Troy High School.

He said the elementary school job was “a blast” and he liked being high school principal because he was around the students a lot.

“I got back into education to be around the kids,” he said. “I still believe kids are the same as when we were kids. They still want structure and discipline and want someone to care about them.”

Mark Barhorst, district business manager/director of human resources, praised Herman’s efforts during the Board of Education’s recognition of retirees at its May meeting.

“He’s worn a lot of hats and done a lot of things for the school district,” Barhorst said. “When I began the thought process of interviewing for a job here, I talked to Marion Stout. She told me Troy was the best school district in the state of Ohio. I would have to say a big part of that has been Eric Herman.”

The Board of Education hired Chris Piper, from Triad Local Schools, as the new superintendent this spring. Herman had the following advice for his successor: “Take time to learn the job. Don’t be quick to change a lot until you see how it operates. Every school is different.”