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BOARD SCHOOL DIRECTORS CENTENNIAL SCHOOL DISTRICT v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (08/09/77)

decided: August 9, 1977.

THE BOARD OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS OF THE CENTENNIAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, RESPONDENT; RUTH F. GRANT, INTERVENOR



Appeal from the Order of the Secretary of Education in case of Ruth F. Grant v. The Board of School Directors of the Centennial School District, Teacher Tenure Appeal No. 274.

COUNSEL

John P. Diefenderfer, with him Stuckert, Yates and Krewson, and, as co-counsel, Theodore J. Martineau and Ballard, Spahr, Andrews and Ingersoll, for petitioner.

Donna Weldon, with her Patricia A. Donovan, Deputy Attorney, for respondent.

Richard W. Rogers, with him Charles J. King, Jr., for Rogers, King & Cole, for intervenor.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 31 Pa. Commw. Page 308]

The Board of School Directors of the Centennial School District (School Board) has appealed an order

[ 31 Pa. Commw. Page 309]

    of the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education (Secretary) reversing its discharge of Ruth F. Grant, a tenured professional employee, and ordering her reinstatement as its employee.

The School Board hired Grant as a school psychologist on March 1, 1972 to work in its Office of Pupil Personnel Services. Her duties included those of counseling, testing and evaluating normal as well as mentally or emotionally handicapped children, and in the case of the latter placing them in classroom settings compatible with their abilities. Grant's work during the 1974-1975 school year was determined to be unsatisfactory by Dr. Ann Marie Andrews, the director of Pupil Personnel Services and herself a psychologist. She duly gave Grant an unsatisfactory rating on Pennsylvania's Department of Education form DEBE-333, and this rating was approved by the District. Grant was given a copy of the DEBE-333 and of an anecdotal record as required by the form. Grant was then formally charged with immorality, incompetency, persistent negligence, intemperance, and persistent and wilful violation of the school laws. After hearings, the School Board voted to sustain the charge of incompetency and terminated Grant's employment on this ground. On Grant's appeal, the Secretary of Education, after taking additional evidence as to Dr. Andrews' qualifications to rate Grant's performance, made the following pertinent finding of fact and conclusion of law:

Findings of Fact

6. The unsatisfactory rating Mrs. Grant received on July 11, 1975 was the only rating she had received during the course of her ...


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