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MILTON TYLER v. JEFFERSON COUNTY-DUBOIS AREA VOCATIONAL TECHNICAL SCHOOL (07/03/75)

decided: July 3, 1975.

MILTON TYLER, APPELLANT,
v.
JEFFERSON COUNTY-DUBOIS AREA VOCATIONAL TECHNICAL SCHOOL, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Jefferson County seeking reinstatement to teaching position and damages.

COUNSEL

William K. Eckel, with him Abood, Rodkey & Eckel, for appellant.

David E. Blakley, with him Blakley, Ammerman & Jones, for appellee.

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

Author: Crumlish

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 133]

Presently before us is the appeal of Milton Tyler (Appellant) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Jefferson County in which judgment was entered for Jefferson County-DuBois Area Vocational Technical School, Appellee, upon Appellant's cause in mandamus which sought, inter alia, to: 1) reinstate Appellant to his former teaching position; 2) to issue Appellant a proper professional employee's contract; 3) to award damages for loss of earnings; and 4) to grant a hearing on the dismissal.

President Judge Snyder's well reasoned opinion sets forth the issues and their resolution and for that reason we affirm on the opinion of the court below which follows:

"Plaintiff, Milton Tyler, brings this action to compel the defendant school to reinstate the plaintiff to his former teaching position with the school. The plaintiff was dismissed on May 28, 1974.

"The general issue raised in this case is whether Tyler was a tenured employee at the time he was dismissed. If he was tenured then he is entitled to be reinstated inasmuch as the school did not follow the procedure prescribed in Section 1127 of the School Code (24 P.S. 11-1127) for the dismissal of a tenured employe.

"The question of whether Tyler was a tenured employee at the time of his dismissal depends basically upon whether he was a 'temporary professional employee' at the time he was hired by the defendant school in September of 1971. If he was a 'temporary professional employee' within the meaning of that term, as defined in Section 1101(3) of the School Code (24 P.S. 11-1101), then he became tenured at the conclusion of two years of teaching service, which in this case would have been May of 1973. On the other hand, if he is not to be considered

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 134]

    a 'temporary professional employee' when hired, then he was not a tenured employee as of the date of his dismissal, and the defendant school had the privilege of dismissing the plaintiff without a hearing.

"The facts in the case are these: The plaintiff was graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the Spring of 1968 with a Bachelor's Degree in Education. In September of 1968 he was issued a Provisional Teacher's Certificate which authorized him to teach five courses of instruction, viz: Business Education, Business English, Typing, Bookkeeping and Business Mathematics. His first employment was with the Ridgeway High School in the Fall of 1968 where he taught courses that he was certified to teach. Then in 1969-1970 he taught at the defendant School District for three months as a night school instructor, and in the final six weeks of the school year 1970-1971 he taught at the Punxsutawney Area School District as a substitute teacher. Then in September of 1971 he was hired by the defendant to teach a course entitled 'Distributive Education.' Since the plaintiff was not certified to teach 'Distributive Education,' special arrangements had to be made to permit Tyler to teach that particular course. Such special ...


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