Four Troy BOE candidates vie for 2 seats


By Amantha Garpiel

For Miami Valley Today

TROY – Four candidates are running for the two open seats on the Troy City Schools Board of Education. Community members will head to the polls on Nov. 7 to elect two individuals to serve the next four years on the school board.

Miami Valley Today sent questionnaires to each of the four candidates and their responses are compiled here to allow community members to get to know the individual they might be voting for on Nov. 7.

Sarah Davis, of Troy, graduated from Versailles High School in 1998 and holds an associate’s degree in marketing design and business. She currently works as a design coach.

Davis has been married to Rob Davis for 23 years and together they have three children, Tyler Davis, 21, Anna Davis, 19, and Brooke Davis, 15.

Brian Honeycutt, of Troy, graduated from Troy High School and holds a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University, a master’s degree from the University of Dayton; he is currently writing his dissertation to earn his PhD from the University of Dayton while working as an educator.

Honeycutt has been married for 24 years to his wife Krissy and together they have three children; Hailey, 20, Emma, 18, and Sophia, 13.

Ben Redick, of Troy, holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Bluffton University and currently works as a principal broker at Bruns Realty Group.

He and his wife Kati have two daughters, Emma, 14, and Addy, 11.

Tim Horgan, of Troy, holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from Strayer University. He and his wife have three daughters, Haley, 18, (graduate of Troy High School and currently is attending Ohio University); Kayla, 7, attending Concord Elementary; Isabella, 2 and a half, she’ll attend Troy Schools soon.

Horgan has never held an elected office before, but he has served in the United States Air Force for 21 years, retiring in November 2022. He is a currently a physician recruiter.

Why are you running for Troy City Schools Board of Education?

Davis: “A. I am a mother of 3 children ages 21, 19 & 15 and this world is changing drastically and quickly; right before our eyes. The elementary world our 21 year old experienced was even different from the one our 15 year old did. I feel there needs to be a voice on the Board that represents parents that want to take this into consideration. The last few years have not been easy as a parent and it’s not showing signs of slowing down.

B. I am a listener, a problem solver and a strategizer. I enjoy working with all kinds of people that aren’t necessarily like me, but at the same time, keeping the main focus on the kids and what’s best for them. I feel students & staff are under a tremendous amount of responsibility that just doesn’t involve education anymore.

C. I feel politics should not be brought into school. We need to stick to the core values of education – reading, writing and arithmetic and we are losing this by allowing politics to dictate. We are losing sight of what’s important; and that is educating our kids.

D. I want to work on solutions vs. complaining about what is frustrating to me. It’s easy to be frustrated and complain or hide behind the computer and do it, or we can take up our responsibility as parents and community members and do our part. The people who show up and do the work are the ones truly invested.”

Honeycutt: “I am seeking office for a variety reasons. I am a 1994 graduate of Troy High School and returned to Troy after college. My daughter, Hailey, is a 2021 graduate of Troy High School, my daughter Emma will graduate this school year, and Sophia is an 8th grader at Troy Junior High School and for these reasons, I want to give back to the district that has provided my family with so much. The second reason is I believe my over 20 years of experience in education can bring invaluable experience to our school board, the students, staff, and community.”

Redick: “In my heart I am a Trojan. I was born and raised here. I graduated high school here, and returned after college to plant roots. My wife and I have two children currently in the school system. I have been deeply involved in any number of community organizations. I want to be able to bring my executive leadership skills to the board and help make decisions that are in the best interest of the students, support our staff, keep parents informed and engaged, and provide value to the community.”

Horgan: “The primary reason is we have two small children that will attend Troy Schools for a long time. We have a first grader and a 2 ½ year old that will attend Troy schools in a few years. I have a vested interest in the success of our schools for years to come. 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. We need to let our kids be kids and focus on a traditional education.”

Why do you feel you are the best candidate to serve on the board?

Davis: “By being a resident for 22 years and networking with many people, I have an overall feel for the town and Troy is definitely a place where people are active and involved. They want to be heard and have opinions along with action. There is always something happening whether it be downtown, construction, activities, new business or schools. We are a highly active community and with that being the case, I feel passionate about bringing this to the schools and staying on top of the game for the kids that will eventually keep this community strong. I want to protect kids from politics and focus on education. Sometimes, moving into a community from the outside allows you to see things more clear; it allows you to see things that maybe life-long members cannot. We moved here from Versailles so our perspective on the community is strictly based on what we observed over the last 22 years.”

Honeycutt: “My background in education provides me with the ability to bring experience to our school board. As an educator, I am fully 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 to the district. I am an individual who believes in open and honest communication and will listen to the opinions of all staff, community, and fellow board members.”

Redick: “I have many years of experience working at a board level. I come from the private sector and have helped create opportunities for small business owners and individuals by helping them invest in our community. It is a collective experience that requires an analytical mind as well as good communication. It has also taught me the importance of working within budget, and for setting goals and deliverables to be able to track progress. I’m encouraged by the recent progress reports of this district and want to build off of that.”

Horgan: “My 21 years in the Air Force taught me to work with diverse groups in critical situations to get the mission done. I hope to work in collaboration with other board members, teachers, parents and administrators to ensure we put the best policies and procedures in place to create the best learning environment for Troy students.”

Funding for the district is always a concern since state funding changes from year to year. How will you bring new money/funding to the district?

Davis: “I feel that is managed more by the administration and that’s a day to day task; year to year as stated in the question. We cannot predict the future. As a board member, I want to focus primarily on policies and have people in place to focus on funding.”

Honeycutt: “When people hear bring new money/funding to the district, most think of the district putting a levy on the district for additional funds. However, one way to bring additional money/funding is to increase our open enrollment numbers. When students from other districts open enroll to Troy, we would receive their funding. But we must remember that we do have to cap those numbers to ensure we are not overcrowding our classrooms.”

Redick: “Fortunately for our district we have had some talented people in the administration able to keep an eye on budgets and operate responsibly, particularly in recent years. I think it’s critical to always look at operational budgets and be able to identify missed opportunities for efficiencies to be able to make funding stretch further. We can also look at separating items that may be “special projects” to be able to pursue grant funding in certain circumstances. Most importantly, a board must be able to work with staff to effectively forecast short-, mid-, and long-term funding and plan accordingly.”

Horgan: “I’m hoping the levy passes in this election. It is the best way to provide funding for new schools.”

What are the strengths of the district?

Davis: “A strength of the district is the administration and teaching staff. Most of the staff is committed to education and top notch care of our students. We saw this come through during the false alarm shooting. I heard stories from students who talked about everything the staff did to ensure the safety of our kids. We must acknowledge them and commend them on this. Our teachers genuinely care for our kids”

Honeycutt: “Troy School Districts strengths is the quality education students are receiving from our outstanding staff which is evident in our state assessment scores. I also believe Troy does a terrific job of communicating with parents and the community through various methods such as Facebook, Twitter, newsletters, and the superintendent coffee chats. In addition, our students have a great number of sports, co-curriculars, and clubs to participate in.”

Redick: “Our district has some great momentum right now. We have some great educators and staff in place and it shows with recent progress reports. There is great focus on education with very minimal distraction. The district also benefits from a community that is very supportive relative to other districts. There is just a very good collective desire to do what’s in to the best interest of the students and staff, so that we can continue to see improvements in education in our district.”

Horgan: “Our state test scores are great which is a strength.”

What are the weaknesses of the district? How do you improve the weaknesses?

Davis: “Communication. See below.”

Honeycutt: “One area in which Troy City Schools could improve (not necessarily a weakness) is our current facilities. It is vital to pass the building bond issue on November 7th so our students and staff can have 21st century classrooms to meet the 21st century demands. We also need to ensure we are addressing the overall well-being of our student population.”

Redick: “Modern facilities. While our current facilities are attractive, they are in desperate need for modernization. The age of the structures, in most cases, is such that retro-fitting them to bring them up to speed is no feasible. Troy is in a good spot to receive a tremendous amount of funding from the State and the community should this year’s levy pass. I’m hoping that it does so that we can take advantage of the opportunity and not be forced into new facilities without State support in the future. This will improve the learning environment, increase student safety, stabilize community property values, and help recruit/retain staff.”

Horgan: “Transparency from the board is a weakness.” (elaborated upon below)

How can you improve communication with the school district residents?

Davis: “I feel this has been a hot topic for years now and I do feel it is finally being addressed to some degree. I have been to meetings where this has been brought up (so they are aware of it and the frustration). With that being said, they have been working on trying to communicate more effectively whether it’s through adding emails, text, phone calls, coffee chats, updating the webpage or keeping up with Facebook. I can tell you with the ages of my kids, it’s better now than ever. I truly wish more parents came to meetings and see what all happens, but unfortunately, life keeps us all busy and parents are all helping in other areas. Again, I’m impressed that there is an entire committee devoted to the schools and passing the levy and maybe that needs to happen with school board meetings as well. They are taped, but maybe that could be linked to pages that are easier to access or reminders could go out to parents letting them know they are coming up and then maybe recapping what was discussed. It’s all public knowledge; but I feel it’s probably just making it more accessible. This would be a great topic to devote to a sub-committee as well…how to communicate and maintain communication. Again, it is improving and I see a lot more postings recently, but keeping up with on how to efficiently communicate is more of the issue. They have heard from the citizens, and that is they want better communication so they can feel like they can trust the Board and the Administration at all times with every topic. This issue will only grow as new schools are put in place and we need constant communication throughout this process.”

Honeycutt: “Just like superintendent coffee chats, I would like to see school board members also have either monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly coffee chats with parents, students, and community members. The school board should take every opportunity to hear from everyone in our great school district.”

Redick: “I’d strive to provide as much transparency, and regular messages to the community regarding issues currently being analyzed, as I could. I also think it’s important for board members to get out and see facilities, talk to students, talk to teachers, talk to staff, and engage parents and community members. Board members should strive to have a collective understanding of all stakeholders.”

Horgan: “Transparency from the board is a weakness. I’ve spoken to several parents and PTO members and was told they hear very little from the current board and know very little about any of the current board members. We can change this. I want to make sure parents’ voices are heard and the boards decisions are communicated to the public.

Any additional comments:

Davis: “I have parented through transgender bathroom issues, COVID shutdowns/lockdowns, vaccinations, bullying issues, transitioning schools, and bringing up hard topics to the administration and School Board all during this time. 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, as parents and community members, have to take notice to what could potentially be happening to our kids in public education and stay educated. We not only have to take responsibility for our own kids, but the kids around us.”

Honeycutt: “I would like to thank the community for its support in my campaign to be elected to the school board. It has been an honor and privilege to be considered for such an important election. Lastly, I would like to add that parents, students, and community members can contact me at any time if they have any questions or concerns.”

Redick: “​​I’m excited for the opportunity to continue to improve the learning environment for our students, empower our staff with the resources they need, ensure parents and guardians are informed, and provide the community with the value they deserve from their support.”

The writer is a regular contributor to Miami Valley Today.

No posts to display