Frey says he's happy with job

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The new supervisor of transportation for the Marshall County school system is happy with his job in the bus garage, and has no comment on the grievance he brought to the school board in regard to his pay.

"I really enjoy my job," said Michael Frey. "Everything seems to be going well. I've had a lot of support from the drivers and staff."

He went on to say, about the grievance, "Honestly, I have no comment; the board said what it had to say."

Frey has a master's degree in administration and supervision from Middle Tennessee State University, and has applied for other administrative jobs in the past, including the human resources job that eventually went to Mitchell Byrd.

In January 2009, Frey signed a document, preserved in his personnel file, that states, "I agree to discontinue behavior that encourages rumors concerning an inappropriate relationship with (name blacked out). I understand that these rumors are detrimental to the school environment/climate of Westhills."

When asked if his transfer to supervisor of transportation was a punishment for this "behavior," Frey stated, "Absolutely not!"

Frey's long-term goal is to "stay in administration," so, seen in that light, the transfer is a promotion.

Frey was represented at the school board's special called meeting by Miley Durham of the Tennessee Education Association. When asked what the next step in Frey's grievance would be, Durham said Monday, "We're still deciding on that. We have not received the official letter yet. Once we have it we will be conferring with our staff attorneys."

Frey says he wants to be paid "whatever any other certified supervisor is being paid." According to figures for the 2008-2009 school year (before longevity and career ladder), the supervisor of human resources, who, like Frey, was promoted into that job from a teaching position, makes over $65,000 per year.

School board member Craig Michael's motion to pay Frey $61,000 per year "in line with surrounding counties," failed for lack of a second at the school board's special called meeting last week that considered the grievances.

The school board's attorney, Sam Jackson, gave the opinion that since Frey, although he is a certified teacher, was in a job that did not require a teaching license, the contract - and the pay scales in it - negotiated between the Marshall County Education Association and the Board of Education did not apply to him.

According to Frey's personnel file, he has been teaching since he graduated from Auburn University in 1992. After a year at a high school in Georgia, he came back to Marshall County, where he was raised, and got a job at Connelly Middle School. Frey has taught in the Marshall County school system ever since, holding positions at Westhills, Oak Grove, and Lewisburg Middle Schools. He has also applied for administrative jobs, and his personnel file contains glowing recommendations from other professionals.

"Michael has an excellent rapport with the public. He works beautifully with parents and students. He displays a genuine concern and care for the students and communicates this concern to the parents. I found Mr. Frey to be dependable, trustworthy, and responsible. I believe Michael Frey has gifts that will allow him to be an outstanding administrator," wrote Westhills principal Sherry Park.