The School Board has appointed Andrew Hoyler, the late Leslee King’s opponent in her previous election, to fill her Broad Run District seat.
Hoyler in a 2014 graduate of Briar Woods High School, and spent 12 years as a student in the district.
“I think I bring a fresh voice. This board has been through a lot these last couple months and I think [I’m] someone who comes in with a fresh mind, fresh ideas, someone who’s a voice of compromise,” Hoyler said after taking the oath of office Tuesday night. “Hopefully bring some of the different opinions together and get more compromise in some of the policies that have been frustrating to community members over the past couple months.”
The motion to appoint Hoyler passed unanimously at the Oct. 12 School Board meeting. Ian Serotkin (Blue Ridge) moved to appoint Hoyler, which was seconded by Beth Barts (Leesburg). Atoosa Reaser (Algonkian) then moved to appoint Katrece Nolen, the candidate formally endorsed by the Loudoun County Democratic Committee. That motion failed 3-5. The board went on to give Hoyler unanimous support. He took his seat on the dais after being sworn in by Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary Clemens.
In 2019, King received 61% (7,522) of the vote, defeating Hoyler who received 37% (4,559).
This School Board is facing criticism for its handling of school closures during the pandemic, its racial equity work, often inaccurately as Critical Race Theory, and the implementation of Policy 8040, which provides protections for transgender and gender fluid students. Hoyler said he thinks his presence on the dais will bring down the temperature.
“When I ran for the seat back in 2019, I wanted to stay far away from politics. That’s just who I am as a person, I don’t believe that party politics belong in the schools,” Hoyler said. “My hope is that this board appointing me will help show a desire to fix some of the partisan issues that have been plaguing the schools the past couple of months.
Hoyler will serve as an appointee until a special election is held for the seat in November 2022. The winner of that election will serve until the end of King’s term in November 2023.
Hoyler was selected from among applicants Nolen, Paul Chen, Daniel Eistert, Cliff Keirce, Marjo Mitsutomi, and Samuel Yan.