During November’s special election, Andrew Hoyler (Broad Run) will seek election to the School Board seat to which he was appointed last fall.
Former Broad Run District representative Leslee King died Aug. 31 from to complications from a heart procedure she underwent earlier in the summer, vacating the seat. The board appointed the 25-year-old Hoyler, King’s former opponent, on Oct. 12.
Hoyler stepped into the role amid the turmoil that has put the School Board in the national headlines, as activist groups sought the ouster of several members, citing concerns about progressive social agendas and the board’s handling of a student sexual assault scandal.
During his tenure, Hoyler has sought to ameliorate the divide many families are experiencing in the community.
“People recognize that the School Board is supposed to be a nonpartisan position and people recognize that I do my best to be a nonpartisan public servant. Not only as a representative, but in our schools as well,” Hoyler said, adding that he has never sought a political endorsement.
Hoyler has been volunteer substitute teaching in Broad Run schools that are short-staffed because of the pandemic.
Parents have heaped praise on the representative during the characteristically hostile public comment portions of board meetings for hosting three town hall meetings since taking office.
“Holding town halls gives parents an opportunity to have a dialogue. There are a lot of people who are coming and want to vent,” he said.
He added that the town halls have demonstrated that people who are cultural war adversaries might have more in common than they think.
He made a splash less than a month into his appointment when he voted against a proclamation for School Psychologists’ Week during the Nov. 9 meeting. He later shared on Facebook that he felt there are shortcomings in support of school psychologists, and that such a proclamation was largely a performative gesture that wouldn’t affect change.
As an appointee, Hoyler is set to serve in the position until the special election. The winner of the special election will serve until the end of King’s term, Dec. 31, 2023.
But Hoyler hopes to sit on the board far beyond the end of the term, stating he aspires to holding a long tenure similar that of 10-year School Board members Jeff Morse (Dulles) and Brenda Sheridan (Sterling).
The areas Hoyler would like to focus on range from finding storage space for the fine arts program at Broad Run High School, to bringing more mental health resources to students across the district.
Hoyler said that it’s taken some time to get acclimated in the new position. As such, the power of incumbency might be supercharged in the race for his seat; a new Broad Run District representative winning next fall would mean the three different representatives for the district in one term.
“They deserve a little more continuity,” Hoyler said of his constituents. “It does take time to get up to speed.”
Hoyler’s campaign is votehoyler.com.
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