This has been a stressful year for families, and it may take some extra time to identify and elect a new board of directors. One question to ask is whether the current board can continue to take responsibility for the PTA until an election can take place? WSPTA Uniform Bylaws (Article 5, Section 6 B) state, “The local PTA and council officers shall be elected by ballot prior to the end of the fiscal year for a term of one year and until their successors are elected.”
An outgoing board of directors may continue to support the PTA until the new board can be elected. This does not mean that the outgoing board must continue to plan or implement programs or events, although they may choose to do so. It is possible to temporarily suspend PTA business while legally sustaining the PTA if that is necessary. Your region director or the WSPTA office can help you.
Here are some suggestions for finding and recruiting new officers:
- Don’t panic.
Even if your PTA does not get officers this spring, it is highly likely that people will step up in the fall when they are feeling less stress.
- Ask people in person. Sweeping asks on Facebook or via email or other mass communication methods are almost never effective.
- Tell people why they would be a good fit. People like to feel valued and sought out.
- Ask the principal, teachers, or staff for suggestions.
The principal and staff likely know people you don’t know or haven’t thought of.
- Be clear about what you are asking. People fear committing to more than they bargained for. Provide a job description, and if it is allowed by the PTA’s standing rules, let people know they can share a position with someone else. Make sure they know it is just a one-year commitment.
- Contact active PTA volunteers and officers at “feeder” schools that will transition to a middle or high school.
- People like to volunteer with friends. If you can find one person to consider a position, they may have a friend that will do it with them.
- People may not want to be the first to step forward, but if you can find even one person willing to be nominated, others may be more willing to follow.
- Be patient. We are here to help. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your region director for support.