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GORSKI v. DICKSON CITY BOROUGH SCHOOL DISTRICT ET AL. (04/19/55)

April 19, 1955

GORSKI
v.
DICKSON CITY BOROUGH SCHOOL DISTRICT ET AL., APPELLANTS.



Appeal, No. 12, Feb. T., 1955, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County, March T., 1953, No. 207, in case of Millicent Mikulski Gorski v. School District of Borough of Dickson City et al. Decree reversed.

COUNSEL

Edward A. Reilly, with him James G. Colleran, for appellants.

John J. Sirotnak, with him S. U. Colbassani, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Ross, Wright, Woodside and Ervin, JJ. (gunther, J., absent).

Author: Ervin

[ 178 Pa. Super. Page 160]

OPINION BY ERVIN, J.

This is an appeal by defendants from a decree of the lower court dismissing exceptions to the court's judgment in a mandamus action. At an appellant board meeting on August 28, 1929, appellee, Millicent Mikulski Gorski, together with three other teachers, Mary Reed Reis, Rachel Rosenstein and Margaret McHale, were hired as teachers. On March 1, 1930 appellants hired one Lottie Safinowski as a substitute

[ 178 Pa. Super. Page 161]

    teacher and thereafter appointed her as a regular teacher to commence in September 1930.

Except for the dates of hiring, all five teachers held the same type contracts, had the same qualifications and taught continuously until the end of the 1951-52 school term on June 6, 1952.

At a regular meeting of appellant board on July 23, 1952, said five teachers were among six teachers suspended until further notice by appellant board for reasons of economy and because of a decrease in pupil enrollment. There was no difference in the efficiency rating of the said five teachers.

At a meeting of appellant board on August 21, 1952, the school district superintendent, George Turock, was authorized to compile a list of suspended teachers who should indicate their willingness to do substitute teaching and to assign substitute teachers from this list during the ensuing year. Only two suspended teachers, Rachel Rosenstein and Lottie Safinowski, requested substitute work. The appellee did not do so.

Shortly after the beginning of the 1952-53 school term in September 1952, a sixth grade teacher, one Alice Stead, complained to both Superintendent George Turock and to her school principal, John Tylenda, that she was unable, because of ill health, to handle 45 pupils as a class. She requested that she be given some relief from such a group. The average pupil load for other elementary grade school teachers was 25 to 30 pupils. Pursuant to Miss Stead's request, Superintendent Turock, at a meeting of appellant board on September 19, 1952, requested and received from the "teachers committee" of the appellant board, authorization to split Miss Stead's class temporarily, pending her physical condition, and assign a substitute teacher to part of it. No particular teacher was designated.

[ 178 Pa. Super. Page 162]

On October 3, 1952, 20 pupils were taken from Miss Stead's class and were put in a separate room by Superintendent Turock, who at the same time selected Lottie Safinowski from his list of available substitutes and assigned her to teach this group. She was assigned rather than the other teacher on the substitute list because she had more experience in the sixth grade work. From October 3, 1952 to January 27, 1953, the latter date being the end of the first semester, both Alice Stead and Lottie Safinowski taught their respective sections of sixth grade pupils on a full day schedule, each performing all of the duties of a regular teacher toward her group. On or about January 27, 1953 the two sections of the sixth grade were consolidated with the pupils of the fifth grade and departmental teaching was instituted. Under this system, there were 105 pupils rotated among four teachers every ...


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