Interpretation's Date: January 24, 1991
by superintendent Henry Marockie
Section: V. Personnel
SubSection: A. Professional Personnel
January 24, 1991
Mr. Nick P. Zervos
Dear Mr. Zervos:
You have asked with respect to the last paragraph of W.Va. Code 18A-4-7a:
1. Does the term "classroom teacher" in this section always refer to a grade level teacher; i.e., K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6?
No. This paragraph, unlike the one which immediately precedes it, does not limit itself to certain grades. Expressio_unius_est_exclusio_alterius.1 Cf. Morgan_v._ Pizzino, 163 W.Va. 454, 256 S.E.2d 592 (1979).2
2. If the term "classroom_teacher" refers to other teachers - i.e. those employed to teach art, P.E., music, L.D., M.I., etc. - consider the scenario:
a. We need to reduce the number of teachers in grade 2. The least senior teacher in grade 2 holds a certificate endorsing him/her to teach Elementary Education 1-6 or Early Education N-K.
b. The least senior teacher in the building is employed to teach art and is endorsed to teach Art K-12.
1 "Mention of one thing implies exclusion of another. When certain
persons or things are specified in a law, contract, or will, an
intention to exclude all others from its operation may be inferred."
Black's_Law_Dictionary (5th Ed.)
2 School personnel laws must be strictly construed in favor of school
Mr. Nick Zervos
c. The sixth grade teacher, endorsed in Elementary Education 1-8 and Social Studies 1-9, has a seniority that is less than that of the grade 2 teacher, but greater than the seniority of the art teacher.
Assuming that we wish, if possible, to effect transfer in this elementary school without posting and that agreement to reassignment presents no problem,
1) which teacher can appropriately be notified of transfer within the building, and
2) which teacher is RIF'd from this building (but perhaps placed on a transfer list for subsequent assignment elsewhere within the school system)?
According to the /18A-4-7a, the sixth grade teacher would be transferred from the school because she (he) is the least senior grade level classroom teacher, and the second grade teacher could be transferred and reassigned without job posting to the sixth grade classroom.
Hoping that I have been of service, I am,