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ABINGTON SCHOOL BOARD v. PITTENGER AND ALBRECHT (05/22/73)

decided: May 22, 1973.

ABINGTON SCHOOL BOARD
v.
PITTENGER AND ALBRECHT, JR., INTERVENING APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Secretary of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, dated September 13, 1972, in the case of Appeal of Erwin F. Albrecht, Jr., a Professional Employe, from a decision of the Board of School Directors of the Abington School District, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, No. 206.

COUNSEL

Thomas F. Heilman, with him H. Thomas Felix, II, John F. E. Hippel, and Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel, for appellant.

Edward A. Miller, Assistant Attorney General, with him Robert F. Seaker, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

Richard W. Rogers, with him Rogers, Smith & King, for intervening appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Kramer.

Author: Kramer

[ 9 Pa. Commw. Page 63]

This is an appeal taken by the Board of School Directors of the Abington School District (Board) from an order of the Secretary of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Secretary), dated September 13, 1972, wherein the appeal of Erwin F. Albrecht, Jr. (Albrecht), was sustained. Albrecht, a professional employe of the Board, had taken an appeal to the Secretary

[ 9 Pa. Commw. Page 64]

    from an adjudication of the Board demoting Albrecht from his position as Assistant Principal of one of the Board's high schools. The order of the Secretary directed the Board to reinstate Albrecht to his position as Assistant High School Principal.

The record establishes*fn1 that in September of 1967 Albrecht entered into a professional employe's contract as a teacher of Social Studies with the Board. On January 9, 1970, Albrecht entered into another contract with the Board for a ten-month term (and year to year thereafter) and was assigned duties as an Assistant Principal at the North Campus of the Abington High School. Albrecht remained in that position until July 9, 1971.

In August of 1970, Albrecht had received a satisfactory rating from his superior, the Principal; but in February and June of 1971, he received unsatisfactory ratings. After his unsatisfactory ratings, Albrecht had discussions with the Superintendent of the School District and the Principal. He was advised in June, 1971, by the Superintendent, that "whatever your future in the Abington School District, it is not at North Campus." There apparently were a number of conferences following the June unsatisfactory rating report culminating in a meeting on July 2, 1971, wherein Albrecht was advised that his assignment at the North Campus School would terminate on July 9, 1971, and that he would be granted 20 days summer work at his same salary as Assistant Principal, and that commencing with the 1971-72 school year, he would be reassigned as a teacher of Social Studies at the South Campus School. In view of the fact that in the adjudications of both

[ 9 Pa. Commw. Page 65]

    the Board and the Secretary, there are findings that (1) Albrecht did not consent to his new assignment and (2) that the new assignment was in fact a demotion (which the record fully supports), we need not delve into these matters for the purposes of this case. In any event, on July 7, 1971, a hand-delivered letter was given to Albrecht setting forth the understanding (as discussed on July 2, 1971) of the school administrators on Albrecht's status subsequent to July 9, 1971. The record clearly shows that Albrecht entered upon his newly assigned duties following July 9, 1971, under his understanding of his obligations to carry out the directions of his superiors in the school administration, and not for any purpose of agreeing to or consenting to his new assignment. On July ...


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