Appeal from the Order of the Secretary of Education in case of Appeal of C. Michael Noble, a professional employee, from a decision of the Lincoln Intermediate Unit, No. 4-79.
Richard C. Snelbaker, Snelbaker, McCaleb & Elicker, for appellant.
Thomas W. Scott, Killian & Gephart, for appellee.
Judges Mencer, Craig and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 198]
The Lincoln Intermediate Unit (LIU) appeals from an order of the Secretary of Education (Secretary) which reversed a decision of the LIU Board of Directors (Board) to terminate the employment of C. Michael Noble (Noble). The Secretary found that Noble was a professional employee of LIU under Section 1101 of the Public School Code of 1949 (School Code), Act of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, as amended, 24 P.S. § 11-1101, and that his dismissal without a hearing was therefore improper. We affirm.
The Secretary found that Noble was hired by LIU during the final days of summer vacation prior to the 1977-78 school year, after four professional employees had resigned from the LIU staff. Noble was assigned by LIU to teach a class of brain-injured students at the Wrightsville Elementary School. This class had previously been taught by Karen Hale, who had been transferred to another classroom to replace one of the
[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 199]
four employees who had resigned. Ms. Hale had been and continued to be a professional employee of LIU.*fn1
After Noble had been hired, a question arose as to his credentials. This question was eventually resolved and, on November 1, 1977, some ten weeks after Noble had been placed on the payroll, the Board finally approved his employment. The minutes of the board meeting, however, indicated that Noble was hired as a substitute for Karen Shettle, who had been granted maternity leave in the spring of 1977. Noble was tendered a written contract as a "temporary professional employee" but did not execute it. No other written contract was tendered by the Board.
At the end of the 1977-78 school year, without prior notice or hearing, Noble was informed that his services were no longer required by LIU. He instituted an action to challenge the procedure by which he was dismissed, and this appeal ultimately ensued.
Section 1101 of the School Code classifies public school employees as either "professional employees," "substitutes," or "temporary professional employees."*fn2 The significant difference between a ...