Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, in case of Anthony L. Ginocchi v. Burrell School District, No. 6403 of 1983.
Daniel A. Sullivan, Jr., for appellant.
Joseph K. Bonidy, for appellee.
Judges MacPhail, Colins and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.
[ 104 Pa. Commw. Page 618]
Anthony L. Ginocchi (Appellant) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County (trial court) which affirmed the decision of the Board of Directors of the Burrell School District (Board) denying Appellant's request that he be appointed Junior High School Principal. We affirm.
Appellant was hired by the school district in 1958. From 1972 thru 1980 he held several administrative positions in the district, including Upper Burrell Elementary School principal. Appellant was demoted on September 4, 1980 to the position of elementary teacher due to a substantial decrease in pupil enrollment.*fn1
[ 104 Pa. Commw. Page 619]
At the time of his demotion, Appellant did not have a secondary school principal certificate. He obtained the certificate in 1981.
During the 1978-79 school year, the principal of the Junior High School, Mr. Cochran, announced he would retire in the 1981-82 school year. Dr. Anthony Burger was hired in 1978 for the position of Junior High School assistant principal.*fn2 On June 6, 1982, the school district superintendent, Charles A. Huston, issued a bulletin asking for applications for the Junior High School principal position from all qualified professional employees in the district. The position required a secondary school principal certificate. Four individuals, including Appellant and Dr. Burger, submitted application letters to Mr. Huston. Appellant's letter contained an assertion that he was entitled to the position because of his seniority. The Board, based on a recommendation from Mr. Huston, appointed Dr. Burger to the Junior High School principalship on June 29, 1982.
Appellant filed suit in the trial court on July 28, 1982, claiming that since he had not been given a hearing on his request for the position, the appointment of Dr. Burger was invalid. The trial court directed the Board to afford Appellant a local agency hearing on his claim that the Board had realigned its professional staff in contradiction of Section 1125.1(c) of the School Code of 1949 (Code)*fn3 when it promoted Dr. Burger, an employee
[ 104 Pa. Commw. Page 620]
less senior than Appellant, to the ...