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KAREN KUDASIK v. BOARD DIRECTORS (01/28/83)

decided: January 28, 1983.

KAREN KUDASIK, APPELLANT
v.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS, PORT ALLEGANY SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of McKean County in the case of Karen Kudasik v. Board of Directors, Port Allegany School District, No. 967 Civil Division, 1980.

COUNSEL

William A. Hebe, Spencer, Gleason & Hebe, for appellant.

Edward N. Stoner, II, with him John B. Bechtol, Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, for appellee.

Judges Blatt, Williams, Jr. and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.

Author: Williams

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 444]

Karen Kudasik, a school teacher, has appealed from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of McKean County affirming her dismissal from employment by the Board of Directors of the Port Allegany School District (School Board). The Court of Common Pleas heard the matter pursuant to Section 752 of the Local Agency Law.*fn1 The instant appeal is the third time this same matter has come before our Court.

Karen Kudasik graduated from college in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in education. Shortly thereafter, she was certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as a teacher in the area of elementary education. In January 1974, the School Board hired Miss Kudasik as a temporary professional employee to replace a teacher who had been transferred. Kudasik was assigned to teach a third level class at the Arnold Elementary School.

During the Spring of 1974, the principal of the elementary school and the Superintendent of the Port Allegany School District made a series of observations of Kudasik's classroom performance. Based on those observations, Karen Kudasik was given an unsatisfactory rating for the period from January to June, 1974. The rating was set forth on a "Professional and Temporary Employe's Rating Sheet," which was dated July 8, 1974 and signed by the Superintendent of the School District. As a result of the unsatisfactory rating, the School Board decided to terminate Miss Kudasik's services; and so advised her in a letter dated July 10, 1974. Upon receiving

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 445]

    the letter of termination Kudasik requested a hearing before the School Board.

On September 11, 1974, Miss Kudasik was given a hearing before a special meeting of the School Board. At that time Kudasik was questioned by her attorney, as was a witness called in her behalf. However, neither Karen Kudasik nor her witness was put under oath; and no transcript or record was made of their testimony. The School District presented no evidence. As a result of the hearing, or meeting, the School Board voted to affirm Kudasik's dismissal. Following an unsuccessful appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of McKean County, Kudasik appealed to our Court. We reversed the lower court and remanded the matter for a new hearing before the School Board. The reason for our remand order was that the School Board's hearing of September 11, 1974 did not comply with the requirements of the Local Agency Law.*fn2 Kudasik v. Port Allegany School District, 23 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 208, 350 A.2d 887 (1976).

Pursuant to our mandate, the School Board conducted a new hearing on June 4, 1976. At that hearing, which was attended by seven of the nine Board members, the School District presented testimony and other evidence concerning the unsatisfactory rating that had been given to Karen Kudasik. Miss Kudasik also appeared, with counsel, and presented evidence in her own behalf.

At the new hearing, the main evidence in support of Kudasik's unsatisfactory rating consisted of the testimony of Mr. Ronald Ungerer, the principal of the school ...


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