It was an admittedly tough decision for Troy School Board members Tuesday. But in the end, they chose former school board member and State Farm Insurance agent Deb Harer of Sylvania Borough to replace John Morgan, whose term was set to expire at the end of this year.
“I appreciate that the board trusts me to do a good job,” said Harer, who had previously served on the school board but had to step down due to a change in her professional obligations.
Harer was one of three candidates interviewed by the board Tuesday, facing questions that ranged from why they wanted to serve the school district to how they would approach having to make a tough financial decision. The other two candidates were recently retired Athens Area School District elementary teacher Susan Saxton of Columbia Township and Donald Young of Wells Township, a former culinary arts and food service teacher, long-time school board member and school board president out of Delaware County who moved to the area more than two years ago.
“All three of you were very qualified and bring a lot to the table,” said Superintendent Dr. Amy Martell to the applicants.
During her interview, Harer said she believes education is one of the most important parts of a community, and stressed the importance of the district being student centered and fiscally responsible.
“I have board experience, committee experience. I’m a business person by nature,” Harer added. “I am collaborative. I can be a team player. Most of you know that I can be stubborn sometimes, but in a good way.”
Given an opportunity to make a closing statement, Harer said she feels like she owes the district with how it has served her family and her friends’ families over the years.
“I would have dropped out if it hadn’t been for an administrator in my high school years,” she explained. “ … I care about the community. I care about the kids. My girls went to school here, my grandchildren go to school here, my friends’ kids go to school here, and I think it’s very important to provide the best opportunity that we can.”
Before an executive session to discuss the interviews, school board members talked about the tough decision ahead. Sheryl Angove said they should just put the names in a hat and draw one while Susan May added that she wished they could take qualities from each and combine them.
Others, such as board member Heather Bohner, encouraged each applicant to run a write-in campaign in November.
“I would just like to say that you all did very well and bring great things to the table,” said school board President Dan Martin. “Come November, it’s anyone’s game.”