By Tom Blankenship
Our association, like most other entities, undergoes changes from time to time. Some may be obvious, others may not. This year, our association has seen what I believe to be significant and positive changes.
One of those was the addition to the lineup of awards KSBA presents at its Annual Conference. This was the first year for the KSBA First Degree College Scholarship to two deserving members of the Class of 2012. All Kentucky high schools were encouraged to participate and we received responses from 126 districts. It is strongly felt that these scholarships should greatly assist these students as they seek a college education.
KSBA is greatly appreciative of the support from this year’s co-sponsors – the Kentucky School Plant Management Association, the Recovery and Towing Association of Kentucky and Codell Construction. The warm reception our recipients received from those in attendance at our conference also was greatly appreciated. Doubtless, this was a memorable moment for these students.
Another set of changes occurred as your KSBA Board of Directors recently completed a thorough review and update of association bylaws. As was detailed to each local board member in a letter, some of the changes reflect simple housekeeping to correct obvious inconsistencies. I want to specifically address the bylaws changes related to the election process for the board and its officers.
Vacancies, nominations, elections
The old bylaws allowed someone, under certain circumstances, to serve nearly 20 years on the Board of Directors, including terms as regional chairperson, director-at-large and in the three officer posts (president, president elect and past president).
I believe that was somewhat excessive. The recently ratified revisions will allow for greater representation by more local school board members and districts.
Now, directors-at-large may serve a maximum of two full, three-year terms. Previously, a local board member appointed to fill an unexpired director-at-large term was eligible to be elected to two three-year terms on top of that. With the change ratified by the board, a director-at-large completing a portion of an unexpired term would be eligible to be elected to only one more three-year term.
We have changed the nominating process for president elect and director-at-large. Previously, there was an initial nomination period, and then a nominating committee recommended its selections to be voted upon at the Annual Conference business session. There also was a second period during which any board could put a member’s name up for consideration at the annual business session.
That second step, which was confusing to some, is eliminated. Now, an eligible local board member may place her or his name in nomination for director-at-large no later than Nov. 30 preceding the election. Their local boards no longer have to nominate them.
The nominating committee named by the president then will select a slate of candidates to be voted upon by membership at the business meeting. Functioning as a selection committee, the panel will take into account a proportional geographic, size and county/independent makeup of the board. Nominations for KSBA president elect will be handled in the same manner.
Other changes mean that no member of the Board of Directors may simultaneously be a candidate for more than one office, and only one member from a local board may serve on the association board at one time.
All these changes were ratified after some spirited discussions among the board of directors. Not everyone supported the eventual outcome, but the rule of the majority was accepted.
Encouraging more to serve
At our March meeting, the board recommended one more bylaws amendment that has been sent to our members for consideration and comment. It is slated for action at the board’s June meeting.
This revision would eliminate regional chairperson nominating committees starting in 2013 (there are no regional elections this year). Under the new process, any eligible local board member may self-nominate for a regional chairperson’s seat prior to, or from the floor the night of, each KSBA Fall Regional Meeting with an election. Candidates would be given time to address attendees before the vote.
I believe this will further open up the process for interested board members to seek election to the association’s leadership panel.
I welcome any inquiries on these changes. By the way, you can view updated bylaws online.
— Blankenship is vice chairman of the Lincoln County Board of Education