Troy board recognizes student achievements


TROY — The Troy Board of Education met Monday, March 14 at the Junior High for their regular, monthly meeting.

In celebration of Music in Schools Month, Troy High School’s saxophone sextet started the meeting with a portion of their performance that won a Superior rating at a contest in late January. The group is composed of three seniors, two juniors, and a sophomore.

The board then recognized outstanding achievements made by Troy students. Morgan Kaiser was named a National Merit Finalist. “A rare achievement for Troy students,” said Superintendent Chris Piper.

Additionally, Caroline Rohifs, Julia Rose, and Julia Dilbone won first, second, and third respectively in the Optimist Oratorical Contest. They delivered four-minute speeches to an audience and panel of judges on the topic, “staying optimistic in challenging times.”

Also on Monday, the board approved a resolution to support the Field Turf Project — outlined in their February meeting — unanimously. This resolution allows the athletic department to begin the process to pursue private funding. The approval came after figures, estimating the savings and revenue having a turf field would generate, were submitted to the Board during last weeks Special Session.

“Down the road (10-15 years), we will need around $1 million to replace both of those fields. Over that period of time, through the cost avoidance and the revenues we expect, we look at collecting about that much money,” said Piper.

Approvals for the tax rate for the 2022 year and participation in the Ohio High School Athletic Association were both unanimous. Both resolutions are needed on a yearly basis and are largely a formality. Additionally, a new employee severance plan was approved by a vote of 5-0.

The superintendent’s report noted many generous donations made to Troy Schools and their scholarship funds. Approximately $21,775 was donated in March 2022, and the fiscal year to date total is $86,068.45. The board, by a vote of 5-0, gratefully accepted these gifts.

After concluding the agenda items, the board opened the meeting up to its second public comment section.

Local organizers for LifeWise Academy, a non-profit organization that seeks to take students out of school once per week for religious education, made comments. They cited Ohio Revised Code that allows for privately funded, religious education during school hours provided it is off school property and opt-in for parents. The board had previously considered their proposal during a special session.

Board Member Doug Trostle outlined the board’s concerns. “The two concerns that we have when this first came up to the board are: a, that it was only available to a couple buildings and b, probably the bigger concern, is that it is during the school time frame … that is almost perceived as being a disruption to student’s education,” said Trostle. It was noted during special session that students opted-in would have to miss one session of library, art, music, or gym per week if this program was permitted. Trostle also stated, “It was almost unanimous that if this were a before or after school program, we would be all about it.”

It was also noted that the program would set precedent. All other religious groups who wanted to do the same would have to be allowed. Groups opposed to these programs, notably the Church of Satan, have a history of setting up their own programs in response, such as in Lebanon, Ohio.

Other public comments were made by parents concerning the internet filters used on school-issued laptops. Parents alleged that they intentionally accessed inappropriate material on school laptops to test the filters. The superintendent made a note to investigate these issues.

The board then adjourned to executive session and no further action was taken. The next school board meeting will take place on April 11.

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