GREENBLATT, PIERCE, FUNT, & FLORES, LLC A. SILIGRINI · PDF file Tacony Academy Charter...

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Transcript of GREENBLATT, PIERCE, FUNT, & FLORES, LLC A. SILIGRINI · PDF file Tacony Academy Charter...

  • 1

    Patricia V. Pierce, Esquire (PA ID 23129)

    Ronald L. Greenblatt, Esquire (PA ID 50673)

    Noah S. Cohen, Esquire (PA ID 313849)

    GREENBLATT, PIERCE, FUNT, & FLORES, LLC

    123 South Broad Street, 25th Floor

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19109

    t. 215-735-1600 f. 215-753-1660 Attorneys for Plaintiff

    Jean Wallace

    112 Haws Lane

    Flourtown, PA 19031

    Plaintiff,

    vs.

    Tacony Academy Charter School

    1300 Rhawn Street

    Philadelphia, PA 19111

    Todd Smith

    c/o Tacony Academy Charter School

    1300 Rhawn Street

    Philadelphia, PA 19111

    Thomas Scheid

    c/o Tacony Academy Charter School

    1300 Rhawn Street

    Philadelphia, PA 19111

    American Paradigm Schools

    8101 Castor Avenue

    Philadelphia, PA 19152

    Gerald Santilli

    c/o American Paradigm Schools

    8101 Castor Avenue

    Philadelphia, PA 19152

    Defendants.

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    PHILADELPHIA COUNTY

    COURT OF COMMON PLEAS

    TRIAL DIVISION

    Term, 2020

    Civil Action No. ___________

    JURY DEMAND

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    Case ID: 200500268

    Filed and Attested by the Office of Judicial Records

    05 MAY 2020 04:10 pm A. SILIGRINI

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    AVISO/NOTICE TO DEFENDNOTICE

    You have been sued in court. If you wish to

    defend against the claims set forth in the

    following pages, you must take action

    within twenty (20) days after the complaint

    and notice are served, by entering a written

    appearance personally or by attorney and

    filing in writing with the court your

    defenses or objections to the claims set forth

    against you. You are warned that if you fail

    to do so the case may proceed without you

    and a judgment may be entered against you

    by the court without further notice for any

    money claimed in the complaint or for any

    other claim or relief requested by the

    plaintiff. You may lose money or property

    or other rights important to you.

    YOU SHOULD TAKE THIS

    PAPER TO YOUR LAWYER AT ONCE.

    IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A LAWYER OR

    CANNOT AFFORD ONE, GO TO OR

    TELEPHONE THE OFFICE SET FORTH

    BELOW TO FIND OUT WHERE YOU

    CAN GET LEGAL HELP.

    PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION

    Lawyer Referral and Information Service

    1101 Market Street, 11th Floor

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107

    (215) 238-1701

    AVISO

    Le han demandado a usted en la

    corte. Si usted quiere defenderse de estas

    demandas expuestas en las páginas

    siguientes, usted tiene veinte (20) dias de

    plazo al partir de la fecha de la demanda y

    la notificación. Hace falta asentar una

    comparencia escrita o en persona o con un

    abogado y entregar a la corte en forma

    escrita sus defensas o sus objeciones a las

    demandas en contra de su persona. Sea

    avisado que si usted no se defiende, la

    corte tomará medidas y puede continuar la

    demanda en contra suya sin previo aviso o

    notificación. Además, la corte puede

    decidir a favor del demandante y requiere

    que usted cumpla con todas las provisiones

    de esta demanda. Usted puede perder

    dinero o sus propiedades u otros derechos

    importantes para usted.

    LLEVE ESTA DEMANDA A UN

    ABOGADO INMEDIATAMENTE. SI

    NO TIENE ABOGADO O SI NO TIENE

    EL DINERO SUFICIENTE DE PAGAR

    TAL SERVICIO, VAYA EN PERSONA

    O LLAME POR TELEFONO A LA

    OFICINA CUYA DIRECCION SE

    ENCUENTRA ESCRITA ABAJO PARA

    AVERIGUAR DONDE SE PUEDE

    CONSEGUIR ASISTENCIA LEGAL.

    ASOCIACIÓN DE LICENCIADOS DE

    FILADELFIA

    Servicio De Referencia E Información

    Legal

    1101 Market Street, 11th Floor

    Filadelfia, Pennsylvania 19107

    (215) 238-1701

    Case ID: 200500268

  • 3

    Patricia V. Pierce, Esquire (PA ID 23129)

    Ronald L. Greenblatt, Esquire (PA ID 50673)

    Noah S. Cohen, Esquire (PA ID 313849)

    GREENBLATT, PIERCE, FUNT, & FLORES, LLC

    123 South Broad Street, 25th Floor

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19109

    t. 215-735-1600 f. 215-753-1660 Attorneys for Plaintiff

    Jean Wallace

    112 Haws Lane

    Flourtown, PA 19031

    Plaintiff,

    vs.

    Tacony Academy Charter School

    1330 Rhawn Street

    Philadelphia, PA 19111

    Todd Smith

    c/o Tacony Academy Charter School

    1330 Rhawn Street

    Philadelphia, PA 19111

    Thomas Scheid

    c/o Tacony Academy Charter School

    1330 Rhawn Street

    Philadelphia, PA 19111

    American Paradigm Schools

    8101 Castor Avenue

    Philadelphia, PA 19152

    Gerald Santilli

    c/o American Paradigm Schools

    8101 Castor Avenue

    Philadelphia, PA 19152

    Defendants.

    :

    :

    :

    :

    :

    PHILADELPHIA COUNTY

    COURT OF COMMON PLEAS

    TRIAL DIVISION

    Term, 2020

    Civil Action No. ___________

    JURY DEMAND

    Case ID: 200500268

  • 4

    COMPLAINT – CIVIL ACTION

    Introduction

    1. This case is brought to redress Defendants’ retaliatory discrimination, and

    constructive discharge of Jean Wallace, a dedicated and inspiring educator and administrator. Ms.

    Wallace took a job as a Science Curriculum Advisor at American Paradigm Schools (“APS”) in

    September 2019 to employ her more than twenty-years of experience in building and

    implementing science curricula in Philadelphia schools to help the students in APS’s Charter

    Management Organization (“CMO”). When she discovered that the elementary and middle-school

    students at Tacony Academy Charter School (“TACS”) were not provided with a standards-

    aligned curriculum, as required by Pennsylvania law in Title 22 Chapter 4 of the Pennsylvania

    Administrative Code, regulations propounded thereunder,1 federal law as set forth in legislation

    known colloquially as the “No Child Left Behind” Act,2 and on information and belief, the TACS

    charter. She reported these regulatory deficiencies numerous times, over more than three months,

    to the President and CEO of American Paradigm, Gerald Santilli, and its Chief Academic Officer,

    Kristine Magargee.

    2. Ms. Wallace also reported these violations in an article in the November 2019

    online publication STEM Magazine as part of a series of articles about her work at TACS, which

    article was specifically vetted and approved by Defendant Santilli prior to its publication.

    3. Following publication of the STEM article and in retaliation therefore, TACS,

    through Assistant Principal, Todd Smith, assailed Ms. Wallace’s reputation through an

    “anonymous” letter to STEM Magazine publisher Wayne Carley calling her an unprofessional liar,

    1 22 Pa. Code § 4.21. 2 20 U.S.C. § 6301 et. seq.

    Case ID: 200500268

  • 5

    and then refusing to continue their work with her. APS did nothing to ensure that TACS adhered

    to the law by providing students with a standards-aligned curriculum after it removed Ms. Wallace

    from working with TACS; and did nothing to correct the outlandish and continuing attacks on Ms.

    Wallace that were launched by Smith, Scheid and others both within TACS and throughout its

    CMO including, but not limited to Lindley Academy Charter School where Ms. Wallace attempted

    to continue her role, and despite Ms. Wallace’ repeated demand that Santilli defend her reputation

    and findings, thus resulting in Ms. Wallace’s constructive discharge.

    Parties

    4. Plaintiff Jean Wallace (“Ms. Wallace”) was, formerly, the Science Curriculum

    Advisor for APS.

    5. From 2004 until 2016 Ms. Wallace dramatically improved Green Woods Charter

    School (“GWCS”) of Philadelphia, first as its Academic Officer then shortly thereafter and for the

    duration thereof, as its CEO.

    6. During Ms. Wallace’s tenure, GWCS’ academic reputation improved dramatically,

    and its student population grew from two-hundred and twenty-five to six-hundred and seventy-

    five students and as of her separation had a waiting list of over 1,000 students. By any measure,

    Ms. Wallace performed her duties to the school superbly. Ms. Wallace introduced an integrated

    curriculum at GWCS which is based on the “EIC Model”. The EIC curriculum is highly content

    driven and was continually revised by the GWCS professional staff.

    7. During her time at Green Woods, Ms. Wallace came to know and worked closely

    with Defendant Santilli, who was, at that time, Green Woods’ controller.

    8. American Paradigm Schools (“APS”) is a nonprofit corporation organized and

    doing business under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. APS is a