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KAREN WISTER KEARNS v. LOWER MERION SCHOOL DISTRICT (10/31/75)

decided: October 31, 1975.

KAREN WISTER KEARNS, APPELLANT
v.
LOWER MERION SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in case of Karen Wister Kearns v. Lower Merion School District, No. 74-8753.

COUNSEL

Richard W. Rogers, with him Rogers, King & Daniels, for appellant.

Charles Potash, with him, of counsel, Wisler, Pearlstine, Talone, Craig & Garrity, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer and Wilkinson, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 477]

Karen Wister Kearns (Appellant) appeals from an opinion and order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County affirming an adjudication of the

[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 478]

Lower Merion School District Board of Directors which terminated her as a temporary professional employee in view of her failure to report for work at the commencement of the 1973-74 school year. We have carefully scrutinized the record before us and conclude, as did the lower court, that the adjudication should be affirmed. Judge Tredinnick has most ably presented both the facts and the law in his opinion below and for that reason we adopt that opinion which follows.

"On October 15, 1973, the Lower Merion (Montgomery County) School Board terminated appellant's employment with the School District as a 'temporary professional employe.' One month thereafter appellant brought an action in this court seeking reinstatement, asserting that the dismissal occurred without affording her a hearing before the Board. The action was voluntarily discontinued when appellant was granted such a hearing, held on January 30, 1974. On May 20, 1974, the Board issued an adjudication which confirmed the termination of employment. Pursuant to the Local Agency Law of December 2, 1968, P.L. 1133, § 1 et seq. (53 P.S. 11301 et seq.), appellant appealed to this court. After consideration of briefs, the record and argument, we dismissed the appeal and affirmed the Board's adjudication per an order dated September 25, 1974. Appellant's appeal to the Commonwealth Court necessitates this opinion.

"The record of the hearing before the Board fairly establishes the following facts: On October 21, 1971, Ms. Kearns submitted an employment application seeking a teaching position with the School District. The application required the applicant to state whether or not she was suffering from 'any chronic disease or ailment' and whether she had 'ever been under treatment for any mental, nervous or physical disability during the past two years.' These questions were answered in the negative. In fact, since 1970 she had undergone treatment to correct a malady in her right lung. Ms. Kearns was

[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 479]

    hired in January, 1972, as a permanent substitute. In September, 1972, she became a 'temporary professional employe' as defined in § 1101(3) of the Public School Code of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, as amended (24 P.S. 11-1101(3)).*fn1

"While still a substitute teacher, appellant developed an infirmity in her left lung, causing her absence during a portion of the school year. Her lung disorders persisted the following school year, resulting in further missed time. The condition was aggravated by an in-school ...


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