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HELEN K. MCCRACKEN v. CENTRAL SUSQUEHANNA INTERMEDIATE UNIT (03/07/78)

decided: March 7, 1978.

HELEN K. MCCRACKEN, PETITIONER
v.
CENTRAL SUSQUEHANNA INTERMEDIATE UNIT, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Secretary of Education in case of Helen K. McCracken v. Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, No. 280, dated December 27, 1976.

COUNSEL

Robert B. Elion, with him Elion-Wayne, for appellant.

Raymond C. Schlegel, with him Balmer, Mogel, Speidel & Roland, for appellee.

Judges Rogers, Blatt and DiSalle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 149]

Helen K. McCracken, a former employee of the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, has appealed from an order of the Secretary of Education dismissing her appeal to the Secretary from the Intermediate Unit's action terminating her employment. The Secretary held that he had no jurisdiction because the appellant was not a professional employee of the Intermediate Unit, a prerequisite to appeal to the Secretary by Section 1131 of the Public School Code of 1949, Act of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, 24 P.S. § 11-1131. We agree with the Secretary.

Section 1131 of the Public School Code of 1949 permits a professional employee who believes himself aggrieved by the action of a board of school directors to appeal to the Secretary.*fn1 Section 1101(1) of the Public School Code of 1949, 24 P.S. § 11-1101(1), defines a professional employee as follows:

The term 'professional employe' shall include those who are certificated as teachers, supervisors, supervising principals, principals, assistant principals, vice-principals, directors of vocational education, dental hygienists, visiting teachers, home and school visitors, school counselors,

[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 150]

    child nutrition program specialists, school librarians, school secretaries, the selection of whom is on the basis of merit as determined by eligibility lists and school nurses.

To qualify as a professional employee, a school district employee must prove that he or she fits within one of the categories expressly enumerated by the legislature. Brentwood Borough School District Appeal, 439 Pa. 256, 267 A.2d 848 (1970). The appellant contends that she was a teacher. Section 1141 of the School Code of 1949, 24 P.S. § 11-1141, provides a definition of teacher as follows:

'Teacher' shall include all professional employes and temporary professional employes, who devote fifty per centum (50%) of their time, or more, to teaching or other direct educational activities, such as class room teachers, demonstration teachers, museum teachers, counselors, librarians, school nurses, dental hygienists, home and school visitors, and other similar professional employes and temporary professional employes, certified in accordance with the qualifications established by the State Board of Education.

The Supreme Court has held that "an individual is a teacher for purposes of § 1141 if he holds the necessary certificate and devotes at least half his time to teaching or direct educational activities, and he is a professional employee under § 1101 if he is a teacher under § 1141." ...


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