Arbitrator backs Chambersburg schools against former basketball coach
CHAMBERSBURG — An arbitrator has ruled in favor of Chambersburg Area School District in a grievance case of a former assistant basketball coach not being reappointed for the 2012-13 school year.
In the May 6 ruling, Arbitrator Joan Parker said Brian Zoeller failed to express interest in a timely manner in returning to the position, which led to someone else being assigned.
Zoeller's case is connected to that of Shawn Shreffler, who was reinstated as Chambersburg Area Senior High School's head boys basketball coach in February 2014 after an arbitrator ruled that CASD did not follow due process according to the collective bargaining agreement between the district and Chambersburg Area Education Association when he was fired about two years earlier.
Zoeller previously told Public Opinion in an email that he was the only member of Shreffler's coaching staff to not be asked back when Shreffler was reinstated as head coach. Zoeller said he and Shreffler each made multiple requests that CASHS Principal Buddy Chapel approve him for the coaching staff.
Chambersburg Area Education Association filed the grievance on behalf of Zoeller.
Franklin Gantz, the head basketball coach at CASHS from 2012-2013, testified on behalf of the district. Parker wrote in the opinion that she found Gantz' testimony to be "credible and persuasive." Zoeller was to contact Gantz if he was interested in being part of the coaching staff for the upcoming school year by June 8, 2012, but failed to do so, according to the opinion.
"Gantz is no longer employed by the district and he has little motive fabricate his testimony about what happened in June 2012," Parker's opinion stated.
In contrast, Parker found Zoeller's statements less credible.
Parker concluded that "Zoeller admitted that he never spoke to Chambersburg Area Senior High School Principal Buddy Chapel or Athletic Director Donald Folmar about the position nor did he seek to address the school board about his interest in coaching."
Parker further stated: "In these circumstances (I) find that rather than the district having failed to appoint Zoeller to a coaching position, Zoeller declined to pursue such a position. Therefore, the grievance must be denied on its merits."