School board's Kay Simmons won't seek re-election

Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 4:46pm

School board member Kay Simmons, whose District 9 includes parts of West Nashville, told The City Paper Thursday she won’t run for re-election in August.

The Metro Council appointed Simmons to the board in 2009 after former school board member Alan Coverstone took a job with Metro schools’ central office. She was elected to the seat in 2010.

Simmons, who called her exit a “tough decision,” said she would run for re-election “in a heartbeat” if it were a two-year term but four years is too much of a commitment.

“I’m at the part of my life, I just can’t commit to that,” Simmons said.

“It’s got nothing to do with the school board,” she said. “I think the school board was a terrific experience, and I’m so glad I did it. It was very challenging, informative and rewarding. As I look forward to the next couple of years, I know it would be a hardship to remain on the board.”

Simmons creates an open seat on the nine-member school with her departure.

Candidates must qualify to run for school board seats by April 5.

So far only Amy Frogge, an attorney who works as a grant writer for the nonprofit Room in the Inn, has confirmed she plans to run for the seat. Frogge, who lives in Bellevue, has children at Gower Elementary School.

“I’m interested in doing this primarily because I have two young children in public school here,” Frogge said. “I’ve been heavily involved in their school for the last three years. I have worked hard to rally parents and the community to support the school. I feel like I have a good grassroots understanding of public school needs.”

According to the Davidson County Election Commission, Frogge is the only person to pick up papers to run for the seat as of Thursday.

9 Comments on this post:

By: global_citizen on 3/15/12 at 3:22

Good luck to anyone who wants to be on the MNPS board. It's not only a thankless job with little pay, but it's also a huge time commitment.

Then you have to deal with a never-ending stream of irrational parents, demanding PTA/PTO activists, complacent teachers, and administrators who feel they're entitled to big pay with no real responsibility or accountability.

By: hummingbirdhill on 3/15/12 at 4:31


@ global citizen
Kay Simmons has been a fantastic representative who has done a fantastic job at this position and will be missed significantly because she has fought daily to keep academics at the forefront of every decision.

I know this because I am one of those "complacent" teachers who she has taken phone calls from when academics seemed to be the last priority MNPS had in mind. What Ms. Simmons brings to the table, and I hope that who ever takes her place brings with him or her also, is the presumption that everyone she speaks with has children at the center of his or her phone call or email. To presume each of us has our child or students as our priority is to assume we care about what happens to each of them - not a terrible presumption.

Never have I as a teacher or as a parent been made to feel that my opinion was less worthy because I am just a "teacher" or just a "parent". I work hard at being the best at both and Ms. Simmons has has always made me feel as if she understands that I am.

How far could we get if all of the members with a vested interest in education presumed that those with an opinion about an issue with education had only children truly first. Try being positive for a change. It has served Ms. Simmons well and I will continue to look to her in our community for leadership.

By: global_citizen on 3/16/12 at 7:32

My post was not neither positive nor negative. It was simply truthful. Anyone who has served on the school board or very closely with the school board will recognize exactly what spoke of.

By: tomba1 on 3/16/12 at 10:10

to global:

May God please help us all if you are in any way involved in our Nashville public school system.

"Good luck to anyone who wants to be on the MNPS board. It's not only a thankless job with little pay, but it's also a huge time commitment."

Is this a shocking "wake-up call" or, as to me, old news?? That is where the problem lies and is also where the solution lies as well. If one is not able or willing to make the sacrifices required to serve on the board, then don't; but you can do an even better service by going home and raising your child and not being dependent and critical of others for doing that for you because you are not willing to do it yourself.

"Then you have to deal with a never-ending stream of irrational parents, demanding PTA/PTO activists, complacent teachers, and administrators who feel they're entitled to big pay with no real responsibility or accountability."

Again, that's no secret so why bother running for the Board position ?? If you are an "irrational parent" or "PTA/PTO activist", do yourself and everyone else a favor and quit bitching and babysitting your kids and start parenting them. Regarding the "complacent teachers" and "administrators who feel they're entitled to big pay with no real responsibility or accountability", just go and spend a couple of days in their shoes and attitudes will change.

And since you are telling your truth, then my truth is that we should tear down that building on Bransford Ave and rebuild it at half the size it is today. It would pay for itself in less than a year.

To hummingbird....

Please do the community a favor and have lunch or whatever with " global....". as that person is in need of a reality check and some serious therapy, regardless of their "professional" position. .

By: global_citizen on 3/16/12 at 11:47

You can stick your head in the sand if you like. Does it hurt your feelings that someone actually speaks the truth?

Although from your tone you seem to be determined to be at odds with me, you're actually agreeing with my sentiment. Too many overpaid administrators at Bransford Ave? Yes, exactly.

If you think I'm in need of a reality check, I have news for you. You're the one who's misinformed and underinformed about the situation. I have worked with the schools. I know the MNPS system very well. I know the school board and the administrators. I speak from first hand knowledge, where I believe you speak from nothing but conjecture and righteous indignation. So who among us is dealing with reality?

By: govskeptic on 3/16/12 at 1:33

I wonder if this news of her not seeking re-election is news to all as it
is to the press. Was the Mayor given a heads-up to pick a candidate
to get an early start for this position. April 5th deadline for filing sure is
short notice to make a decision and get things filed!

By: tomba1 on 3/17/12 at 3:23

Sorry Global,

You're overdue for your medication so, if you are unable to take it, please call 911 for your sake, not our's.

By: global_citizen on 3/19/12 at 6:57

tomba, if all you can contribute is ad hominem attacks, why bother posting? You're contributed nothing except to the coarsening of the dialog.

By: Eye Nose & Now ... on 3/20/12 at 12:25

How much does a "grant writer" for Father Strobel's Folly (Campus for Human
Development) get paid? Is the public aware Strobel requires homeless people
to attend classes on things such as yoga (believe it or not!), pottery, songwriting,
etc. to amass points just so they can store their bag of clothes, personal effects
etc.? Room In The Inn is a success because of the 150 or so CHURCHES,
Strobel wastes most of the TAX money on childish games, as just described.
In essence, he plays childish games with the churches AND TAX dollars.

He is also a pro-choice priest, pro-same sex marriage priest and is opposed to
capital punishment, even for the man who murdered his mother in 1986. No stronger proof of that than his attendance at Obama's inauguration and came back gushing about what a good time he had. Obama, being the MOST pro-abortion man who EVER ran for President. The
people of Nashville AND the homeless people have been BRAINWASHED about
what goes on down there.