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Bishop Troy Carr replaces Breanna Funke on RCAS board

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Bishop Troy Carr

Bishop Troy Carr will represent Area 2 for the Rapid City Area Schools Board of Education after being voted in at a special meeting on Tuesday.

Bishop Troy Carr will represent Area 2 for the Rapid City Area Schools Board of Education.

Board members elected him 4-2 on Tuesday in a special meeting at the Rapid City Education Center to fill the position of Breanna Funke, who announced her intention to leave the board on Nov. 2.

Board President Kate Thomas, Gabe Doney, Jim Hansen and Deb Baker voted for Carr. Board members Amy Policky and Clay Colombe supported candidate Mike Wolff, and consequently voted no. Funke abstained.

Wolff, Thomas said after the meeting, “was a really good candidate, too” – and she added that all of the candidates were strong. But she underlined Carr’s passion, his multiple layers of experience, and his familiarity with the district.

“Something that he’s said publicly is that he doesn’t like to preach what he doesn’t do,” Thomas added.

Lee Gerry, Lindsey Hays, Tony Mitchell and Curt Pochardt were among the candidates under consideration along with Carr and Wolff. The board interviewed candidates during an executive session on Monday for the appointment, which runs until an election is held in June.

Tuesday’s meeting was over in minutes, but Carr stayed afterward to reflect on his background and to express his thoughts about the position.

The pastor of Faith Temple Church in Rapid City, Carr has had four sons who attended school in the district and graduated from Central High School. He also has a grandson who’s a freshman at Central High School.

“I asked some questions of family and friends about what I should do,” Carr said in reference to the open board slot. He noted that he felt led to apply for the position and beckoned God “to open the door.”

Carr’s own education includes a master’s degree in business administration from the University of South Dakota and a bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

After graduating from Loyola Marymount in 1985, Carr explained, he joined the U.S. Air Force and served as a missile launch officer with the 66th Strategic Missile Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base. He served in the U.S. Air Force for seven years and earned his master’s degree during that time.

As he enters his position as a board member, Carr said, he’s keeping an open mind.

“I don’t have a platform right now,” he said. “In the coming weeks, I’ll put that together. I’ve got a lot of learning to do about the job, about the district. I’m going to visit each school – that’s my goal – and talk to principals, talk to teachers, maybe talk to students at the high schools.”

Then he paused, thinking about the people that he’d mentioned, and said, “I work for them. I also need to talk to parents, obviously, and then I’ll put all of that together and see where we need to go.”

Carr mentioned one area of academic concern he said ranges far beyond the school district.

“I have always been concerned about – and this is America – our position in the world in math and science,” he said. “I think we’re in the middle of the pack if not in the back of the pack. I think that is something we should actively try to improve on.”

Carr’s appointment was met with applause, and a spirit of calm seemed to permeate the short meeting. Carr is slated to be sworn in at the Board of Education’s next scheduled regular meeting on Dec. 7.

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