Education

Hundreds sign petition to keep Triad P.E. teacher

Former students, parents and members of the community really want Tammy Frey to stay where she is, but the teacher’s move to an elementary school is “routine business,” the district’s superintendent says.

More than 1,000 people have signed an online petition in two days to keep a teacher at Triad Middle School in St. Jacob, but Superintendent Leigh Lewis says enrollment is forcing the change.

Part of the petition’s summary is a request to allow Frey to retire in two years from the school she has been at for 27 years.

Now seeking 1,500 signatures, a petition on change.org initially sought 1,000 signatures to “change the Triad Administrative Board’s mind” about moving Frey from the middle school to Silver Creek Elementary in Troy. Having reached the goal within two days, the private petitioner increased it to 1,500 signatures.

Triad Community Schools Unit District 2’s Lewis said in an email that the “possible move” could be necessary for enrollment needs.

Frey is one of five physical education teachers at the middle school; Lewis said “only four physical education teachers are needed ... due to a combination of scheduling changes and enrollment.”

“Teacher movement is typical every year based on a number of factors,” she said.

This is the first time Lewis has seen a petition to keep a teacher in place, but assignment changes, she said, are “routine business.”

Hundreds of those who have signed the petition were former students or parents of former students. While most seemed to be posted from the Highland and Troy areas, several were from other parts of the country.

Lewis said the district had asked for a volunteer but none came forward. The physical education department is not the only one affected.

“We have other specialist teachers (art, music and physical education) who move to different buildings depending on scheduling and enrollment,” she said.

Contact reporter Mary Cooley at mcooley@bnd.com or 618-239-2535. Follow her on Twitter: @MaryCooleyBND.

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