TROY — Troy City Schools Superintendent Eric Herman painted a positive picture of the district as he highlighted student and staff achievement during the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of the Schools address.
“I’m very proud of our kids and our schools,” Herman said.
Herman invited five high school students to attend the chamber event. The group of students are part of the district’s facility planning committee and they shared their post-graduation plans.
“They are all very, very good and smart and they given their time to hang out with a bunch of adults to talk about what we are going to go do in the future. The neat part about what I saw is they wanted to be involved,” Herman said.
Herman said one of the biggest challenges the district has is the aging buildings within the district. Ages of buildings range from the 104 year-old Van Cleve and 98-year-old Concord Elementary to the 45-year-old junior high building.
“The neat part about this process is that we consciously went through the process with no preconceived notion from anything,” said Herman, noting the high school still has its 1958 original boilers operating as an example of its aging facilities.
Herman also noted the lack of air conditioning at all of its buildings except for the junior high.
Herman also said the aging facilities are a competitive issue, as surrounding districts are building new, “and we’re not.”
Herman said the district will continue to move in a positive direction with the community’s support.
“It’s Troy City Schools, the community’s schools. People in the community need to decide what they want and what they want to pay for or not pay for,” he said.
The last community meeting is set at 6:30 p.m. May 9 at the Troy High School cafeteria.
Herman later touted the success the district has with its staff, including Susan Dankworth’s national recognition. Dankworth was selected as a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The award is given to outstanding K-12 mathematics and science teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators following an initial selection process at the state level.
“The building doesn’t educate the students, but if we have good staff that’s involved it will all work out. We have excellent staff and it’s neat when we post a job and have a lot of people who apply,” he said.
Herman also pointed out the high school’s College Credit Plus program, which has 200 students currently enrolled. The classes are free for students who maintain a passing grade.
“All in all, it’s a great program. If you have a student that is mature enough to do it they can get a lot of credit involved,” he said.
Herman highlighted the community’s efforts and partnerships with the district. The Troy Noon Optimists, Kiwanis Club and Troy Rotary all have contributed a variety of goods, funding and services to the students and staff throughout the district.
“I think if you look at our students, our staff and our community support you are going to see a positive attitude,” Herman said. “We are blessed here in Troy. I say it many times, but we are blessed.”
Herman noted the challenges in the Troy City Schools district, which has 4,600 students. Fifty students are designated as homeless and 40 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced fees for lunch. Herman said the number has dropped 2-3 percent from last year. The district also has 82 students who are enrolled in English as a Second Language courses throughout the district and has had as many as seven languages being served at one time.
Herman also noted the increase in safety at the school district with all schools outfitted with cameras and door security.
Herman ended his State of the Schools with a story of how a junior high school team visited a local ice cream shop. The group noticed two ladies in line behind them and allowed them to go ahead so they wouldn’t have to wait behind the large team. The employee at the ice cream store commented on the students’ courtesy and respect to Herman.
“We truly, truly have great kids,” he said.
For more information, visit www.troy.k12.oh.us.
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