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NICOLELLA v. TRINITY AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD (10/12/71)

decided: October 12, 1971.

NICOLELLA, APPELLANT,
v.
TRINITY AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Sept. T., 1967, No. 161, in case of Joseph Nicolella, Jr. v. School Board of the Trinity Area School District.

COUNSEL

Marjorie Hanson Matson, for appellant.

John Solomon, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy and Barbieri, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts. Mr. Justice Jones took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Roberts

[ 444 Pa. Page 545]

In this appeal a school teacher hired pursuant to a temporary professional employee contract seeks to mandamus the School Board to reinstate him although he had received a good faith rating of unsatisfactory by the Board. We believe mandamus will not lie in this situation.

On August 17, 1966, appellant Joseph Nicolella, Jr., contracted with the Trinity Area School Board in Washington County to serve for two years as a temporary

[ 444 Pa. Page 546]

    professional employee, after which time he would be tendered a professional employee's contract (tenure) provided he received a rating of satisfactory during the last four months of the second year. The contract was to continue in effect ". . . until the expiration of two years of satisfactory service rendered to the School District above named by the said Temporary Professional Employe, unless terminated by the Temporary Professional Employe by written resignation presented (60) days before the resignation becomes effective, or by the above mentioned Board in accordance with the provisions of Article 1201 of the School Code [presently Act of March 10, 1949, P. L. 30, Art. XI, § 1108, as amended, 24 P.S. § 11-1108] for the dismissal of unsatisfactory temporary professional employees." Appellant also entered into a supplemental contract to serve as an assistant wrestling coach.

Appellant received a satisfactory rating at the end of the first semester. However, on May 9, 1967, the Assistant Superintendent informed appellant he had been rated as unsatisfactory, the areas of deficiency being "Professional Relationships, Professional Attitudes, Judgment, and Punctuality." This rating was based upon the anecdotal records of the Principal of the Junior High School. An official rating card approved by the District Superintendent was included with the letter.

On June 14, 1967, the District Superintendent notified appellant by mail that in view of his earlier unsatisfactory rating, appellant's overall rating for the 1966-67 school year was unsatisfactory. Then, on June 23, 1967, the superintendent informed appellant the School Board had voted to terminate his temporary contract due to his unsatisfactory rating but that appellant would be heard if he so requested within ten days. At appellant's request, hearings were held on August 2, 21, and 25, 1967, after which the Board voted

[ 444 Pa. Page 547]

    eight to one to reaffirm its termination of ...


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