White v. Cleary, 020613 FED3, 12-1953

Docket Nº:12-1953
Opinion Judge:SMITH, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:TAMARA WHITE, Appellant v. JAMES CLEARY, individually and as an employee of Monmouth Regional High School District; ANTHONY D'ORIO, individually and as an employee of Monmouth Regional High School District; MONMOUTH REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT; and ANDREW TEEPLE, individually and as an employee of Monmouth Regional High School District
Judge Panel:Before: SMITH, CHAGARES, and BARRY, Circuit Judges
Case Date:February 06, 2013
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

TAMARA WHITE, Appellant

v.

JAMES CLEARY, individually and as an employee of Monmouth Regional High School District; ANTHONY D'ORIO, individually and as an employee of Monmouth Regional High School District; MONMOUTH REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT; and ANDREW TEEPLE, individually and as an employee of Monmouth Regional High School District

No. 12-1953

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

February 6, 2013

NOT PRECEDENTIAL

Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) January 14, 2013

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey District Court No. 3-09-cv-04324 District Judge: The Honorable Peter G. Sheridan

Before: SMITH, CHAGARES, and BARRY, Circuit Judges

OPINION

SMITH, Circuit Judge.

Tamara White appeals the District Court's grant of summary judgment on her discrimination and retaliation claims. Because no reasonable jury could find for White, we will affirm.

I

White taught social studies for nearly two decades at Monmouth Regional High School in New Jersey. She became the Falcons' varsity cheerleading coach in 1995. Although the school's athletic director viewed the untenured position as "a babysitter's job, "1 White wanted to build a competitive cheer leading program. Over the years, these opposing visions led to recurring clashes between White and the cheerleaders, their parents, and the administrators.

In 2005, the athletic director wrote a letter informing White that he would not recommend her for the coaching job in the upcoming school year. The letter listed a number of grievances—for example, White had missed an annual coaches meeting, she did not travel with the team to away games, and she prevented the cheerleaders from participating in outside activities. After receiving this letter, White agreed to resign in exchange for a positive job reference.

White was not content to remain on the sidelines. Over the next three years—in 2006, 2007, and 2008—she reapplied for the varsity coaching job. Each year, the school selected a different candidate. After her interview in 2007, the school's principal, Andrew Teeple, told White that she would get the job, but he soon withdrew the promise in an email. In the same year, White applied to be the school's affirmative-action officer. The school instead hired an untenured teacher.

White began making complaints outside the school. In the summer of 2008, White spoke at a Board of Education meeting. According to White, she complained that the cheerleading coaches received unequal pay and that the cheerleading squad received unequal funding. But according to other accounts, she merely complained about her own employment plight. In any event, she also filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Finally, in 2009, White turned to the federal district court. She sued Monmouth Regional High School District, Teeple, James Cleary (the superintendent), and Anthony DeOrio (the current athletic director) in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. She alleged four claims: (1) hostile work environment under Title VII and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination; (2) retaliation under the First Amendment; (3) unequal pay under 29 U.S.C. § 206; and (4) retaliation under Title VII and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

After filing her complaint, White applied for the junior-varsity coaching position. As before, the school selected another candidate. White maintained her suit, and at the close of discovery, the District Court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment. White filed a timely notice of appeal.2

II

We exercise plenary review over the District Court's decision to grant summary judgment. Orvosh v. Program of Grp. Ins. for Salaried Emps. of Volkswagen of Am., 222 F.3d 123, 129 (3d Cir. 2000). We will affirm "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A "genuine dispute" exists if a reasonable jury could find for the non moving party. Fakete v. Aetna, Inc., 308 F.3d 335, 337 (3d Cir. 2002).

III

White's central argument is that material factual disputes are unresolved. These supposed disputes include the subject of her Board testimony, the reason she was not hired as the affirmative-action officer or the varsity coach in 2007, and the reason she was not hired as the assistant coach in 2009. In her view, the disputes should have prevented summary judgment.

We begin by reminding the parties that district courts generally do not make "factual findings" at the summary-judgment stage....

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP