Released for Publication June 10, 2015.
Appeal fro Houston Circuit Court. (CV-13-900525). J. Kevin Moulton, Trial Judge.
For Appellant: Thomas K. Brantley, Dothan.
For Appellees: Kevin Walding of Hardwick, Hause, Segrest & Walding, Dothan.
MOORE, Judge. Thompson, P.J., and Pittman, Thomas, and Donaldson, JJ., concur.
Greg Yance appeals from a judgment of the Houston Circuit Court (" the trial court" ) dismissing his complaint. We affirm.
On September 25, 2009, Yance entered into a written employment contract to act as a principal for one of the educational institutions operated by the Dothan City Board of Education (" the Board" ) until June 30, 2012. That contract provided for Tim Wilder, the Board's superintendent, to evaluate Yance's job performance annually according to the standards prescribed by the State Board of Education, as required by Ala. Code 1975, § 16-24B-3(i)(1), a part of the Teacher Accountability Act (" the Act" ), § 16-24B-1 et seq., Ala. Code 1975. Furthermore, the contract provided, in accordance with Ala. Code 1975, § 16-24B-3(m), that, if Wilder did not evaluate Yance's job performance as required, the contract would be extended for at least one year.
At some point before April 5, 2012, the Board, based on a recommendation by Wilder, voted not to renew Yance's contract. On that date, Yance filed a civil action in the trial court against the Board, Wilder, and the various members of the Board (hereinafter referred to collectively as " the Board defendants" ), bearing civil-action no. CV-12-121 (" Yance I" ). In that action, Yance requested an expedited hearing, pursuant to Ala. Code 1975, § 16-24B-3(e)(2)a., for a determination as to whether the recommendation by Wilder to the Board not to renew his contract and the Board's decision not to renew his contract had been impermissibly based on personal or political reasons. Because the judge assigned to preside over the expedited hearing could not do so within the statutorily required 45-day period, the judge designated a mediator to conduct the hearing. See Ala. Code 1975, § 16-24B-3(e)(3).
On May 7, 2012, Yance filed a document entitled " Motion to Extend Contract for Additional Year for Every Year Plaintiff Was Not Evaluated Properly," in which Yance alleged that he had not been evaluated by Wilder as required by his employment contract and that, as a consequence, his contract should be renewed for an additional three years. The mediator denied the " motion" without explanation in his mediation order dated May 16, 2012, in which he also determined that Yance had failed to prove that the Board defendants had acted impermissibly for political or personal reasons when deciding not to renew Yance's employment contract. On May 24, 2012, Yance filed a motion to clarify, which the mediator granted by an order dated June 4, 2012, stating:
" The [mediator] denied [Yance's] motion for extension of contract because the issue raised in the motion was not within the [mediator's] purview under Section 16-24B-3, Alabama Code 1975. The sole issues allowed under Section 16-24B-3 are whether the Superintendent's recommendation to non-renew was based on political or personal reasons and whether the Board's approval of that recommendation was based on political or personal reasons. ...