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THALL APPEAL. (03/19/63)

March 19, 1963

THALL APPEAL.


Appeal, No. 417, Jan. T., 1962, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Sullivan County, Jan. T., 1962, No. 58, in re appeal of Sullivan County Joint School Board from decision of Superintendent of Public Instruction in matter of Charles J. Thall. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

Neville B. Shea, for appellant.

Charles M. Kschinka, for appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen and O'brien, JJ.

Author: Cohen

[ 410 Pa. Page 223]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN

Charles J. Thall, appellant, was employed as a teacher in the Sullivan County school system for 31 years. In 1958, the county superintendent had discussions with appellant and his supervising principal in regard to complaints about appellant's teaching ability. In the fall of 1958, two announced visits were made to appellant's classroom and further discussions took place concerning observations made during these visits. Nothing further developed until 1961 when the county superintendent made three unannounced visits to appellant's classroom. After the third visit, the county superintendent rated appellant's performance as unsatisfactory on the rating card provided by the Department

[ 410 Pa. Page 224]

    of Public Instruction.*fn1 This was the first rating made of appellant's competency during his teaching career. Although made on April 25, 1961, the rating was not sent to appellant until June 2, 1961.

The county superintendent thereupon brought a charge of incompetency*fn2 against appellant before the Executive Committee of the Sullivan County Joint School Board (Board). After a hearing held in conformance with the Public School Code of 1949, the charge of incompetency was sustained and appellant dismissed. Appellant appealed the Board's decision to the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

After reviewing the record before the Board and taking additional testimony, the Superintendent reinstated appellant holding that the evidence of incompetency was "vague, contradictory, and insufficient." The Superintendent also reprimanded the Board for failure to comply with the procedure established by the Public School Code for rating "professional employes."*fn3

The Board subsequently appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Sullivan County where argument took place based on ...


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