How do we know which officers our unit should have?  What are their responsibilities?

Check your bylaws.  Certain elected officers are essential:  president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer.  Your bylaws specify their responsibilities.  You can refer to the Missouri PTA Tool Kit and National PTA Quick Reference Guides for more guidance on what each officer is expected to do.

What is the officer’s term of office?

Check your bylaws for the length of the term and during which month that you need to conduct elections.  A term is usually one or two years.  Officers usually assume their office at the end of the school year.  In other words, they begin their term at the end of the last day of school in the spring.

No one has contacted me yet.  What do I do? 
The president for the upcoming school year should call the new officers to welcome them to the team and set a time to get together.  If you have not heard from the president shortly after the election, call her/him and offer to help.

What is the difference between the executive committee and executive board?

Please refer to your bylaws for these descriptions, but typically:

  • The executive board, or simply board, is composed of the elected officers, principal, chairpersons of the unit’s standing committees, and sometimes teacher or student representatives.
  • The executive committee is composed of the elected officers of the PTA, the principal or another administrator identified to represent the principal, and a member appointed to serve as parliamentarian.

When should the transition of (current to the upcoming school year) officers begin?

Ideally, immediately after the new officers are elected.  It may be necessary to schedule one or more meetings between the outgoing and incoming officers to turn over procedure handbooks, manuals and records, and discuss what worked and did not work.  The outgoing team should share ideas for the future.  Committee chairs should do the same.  Check your bylaws to determine exactly when each officer assumes their duties.

What should we do if the outgoing officers are not cooperating or turning over the books?

It is unfortunate that occasionally outgoing officers may not be completely cooperative in the transfer of leadership.  Request a meeting with the outgoing leaders.  Work with the principal to see if he or she can assist, and contact your council president or regional director for support.  Be resourceful and quickly try to locate copies of as many of the records as you can.  The important thing is to start – set your goals, make plans and prepare for the new school year!