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Werlock v. Board of Education of Township of Woodbridge

Decided: October 3, 1949.

STEPHEN K. WERLOCK, APPELLANT BELOW AND APPELLANT HERE,
v.
BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE TOWNSHIP OF WOODBRIDGE IN THE COUNTY OF MIDDLESEX, RESPONDENT BELOW AND RESPONDENT HERE, AND STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, RESPONDENT



Donges, William A. Smith and Brown. The opinion of the court was delivered by William A. Smith, J.s.c.

Smith

The appellant appeals from a decision of the respondent Board of Education of the State of New Jersey affirming a decision of the Commissioner of Education of the State of New Jersey dismissing the petition of appeal of Stephen K. Werlock, the appellant, from the action of the respondent Board of Education of the Township of Woodbridge abolishing his position as Supervisor of Elementary Education in the Woodbridge Township school system.

The facts involved in this case are presented by stipulation; no testimony was taken, and so we will refer to the facts which are pertinent.

The Board of Education of the Township at a meeting held April 15, 1946, created the position of Supervisor of Elementary

Education by a resolution passed on that day, and by said resolution the appellant, who was and had been a high school teacher for twenty-two years in the Township of Woodbridge school system, was appointed to the position thus created, his then salary to continue until July 1, 1946, when it was to change to $4,500 per annum.

On May 19, 1948, the Board, by a resolution offered by the Teachers Committee, abolished said position of Supervisor of Elementary Education effective July 1, 1948.

A further and subsequent resolution was passed after being offered by the Teachers Committee at that meeting, restoring the appellant as of July 1, 1948, to his former position of high school teacher and raising the salary of that position to $3,800 per annum from the rate of $3,250 per annum which he had been receiving.

No notice of the proposed resolution to abolish the position referred to was given to the appellant by the Board, nor were charges ever preferred against him. An opportunity is given at any Board meeting for any interested citizen to be heard on any school subject, and no person applied to be heard at its May 19, 1948, meeting.

At the time of the adoption of the resolution abolishing the said position of supervisor there was a vacancy in the position of principal of the Iselin School, and on May 19, 1948, a further resolution was adopted by the School Board directing that notice be given through the principal that the position of principal of the Iselin School was vacant, and that any employees who can be certificated may forward a written application to the supervising principal. Notice was sent to the appellant on May 20, 1948, and he did not forward any application for that position. The notice stated that the starting salary for the position was $4,200. The position was not filled until June 20, 1948.

A chart or list of the Woodbridge Township school employees for the school year 1947-48, was prepared by the supervising principal for the use of the Teachers Committee of the Board of Education several days before the meeting of May 19, 1948; and on May 18, 1948, at the direction of a general

meeting of the Teachers Committee and the Finance Committee, the listing on said chart relating to the appellant, was changed, and new mimeographed copies of the changed chart were made. Neither the original nor the revised chart as such was ever approved or adopted by the Board of Education. There is no other stipulation giving effect to this list, and motion has been made by the respondent that it be stricken from the record, it not having received any recognition ...


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