Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, in the case of Frank C. Gennaccaro and Richard A. Bertini, Tenured Professional Employees v. Clairton School District, No. S.A. 627 of 1984.
Daniel R. Delaney, Daniel R. Delaney & Associates, for appellant.
Judge Doyle and Colins, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
[ 125 Pa. Commw. Page 380]
Before us is an appeal by Frank C. Gennaccaro (Appellant) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which affirmed an order of the
[ 125 Pa. Commw. Page 381]
Clairton School District (District) demoting Appellant.*fn1 The demotion resulted from an administrative reorganization and the attendant staff realignment.
Before setting forth the substantive facts, a preliminary matter requires explanation. Because Appellant's demotion occurred in the context of a reorganization and realignment, it was uncertain whether his case fell under the ambit of Section 1151 of the Public School Code of 1949 (Code), Act of March 10, 1949, P.L. 30, as amended, 24 P.S. § 11-1151 (pertaining to demotions) or Section 1125.1(c) of the Code,*fn2 24 P.S. § 11-1125.1(c) (mandating that "[a] school entity shall realign its professional staff so as to insure that more senior employes are provided with the opportunity to fill positions for which they are certificated and which are being filled by less senior employes"). In order to be certain that he went before the proper tribunal when he sought review of the District's adjudication, Appellant filed an appeal both with the Secretary of Education and the common pleas court. The matter before the common pleas court was held in abeyance while the Secretary considered the appeal. The Secretary issued a decision in which he denied, on the merits, Appellant's appeal from his demotion under Section 1151 of the Code and declined to decide, on the basis of lack of jurisdiction, whether there had been a violation of Section 1125.1. The common pleas court then proceeded on the basis of the record made before the District together with stipulations which augmented the
[ 125 Pa. Commw. Page 382]
record to review the District's order insofar as Appellant alleged that the order violated Section 1125.1 of the Code. The lower court upheld the District's determination and this appeal ensued. The Secretary's order has also been appealed to this Court and that case has been held in abeyance pending our determination in the instant case. Procedurally, this matter has been presented in an exemplary manner.
The facts which follow form the basis for this appeal. In December 1980, the Clairton Board of School Directors passed a resolution reorganizing the secondary school administration by abolishing, effective June 30, 1981, three of the four administrative positions then in existence. The following chart depicts what occurred:
Pre-June 30, 1981 Person Occupying Post June 30, 1981
Position Position Status of Position
Career Education DeSue Abolished
Director of Secondary Gennaccaro Abolished