Meeting Minutes – February 20, 2010

MSC-IRA Executive Board Meeting Minutes

February 20, 2010


Members Present:  Linda McGlothlin Nicole Costello, Mary Jo Barker, Carol Perry Davis, 

Donna Bonebrake, Marie Puett, Jeanie Cozens, Winnie McKinley, Barbara Hiles, Jennifer Day, Sarah Logan


Linda McGlothlin called the meeting to order.


Secretary’s Report:  Minutes from the October 10, 2009 meeting were sent via e-mail by Laurie Edmondson.


Minutes from October 10, 2009 meeting were approved.  


Treasurer’s Report:  A question was raised about how many international memberships were to be given for Honor Council.  Marie stated that traditionally, councils are given one for Honor Council and one for Show-Me Award.  Journals are included in both.  Additionally, if a council invites a state officer to one of its meetings, the officer may give the council an international membership (limit one per year).  


Several councils have asked about membership cards.  State officers may carry them to council meetings and are encouraged to “stock up” just before the start of the school year.


Nicole has a revised copy of the budget available upon request.


Membership revenue is down by $6000 this year.  


Our account has several checks that have yet to be cashed—totaling approximately $2500.  Most of these are reimbursements for councils’ travel expenses.  Stopping payment on these checks would result in fees to the bank.  Marie suggested that we first check with the councils who have the checks and then ask the bank how they could help.  Another suggestion was made to have future checks printed with a “void after _____ days” notation to prevent this problem.


Other concerns are addressed in the notations of Nicole’s report.


Nicole received notification that many councils are at risk of losing their non-profit tax exempt status if they do not complete a 990 tax form.  She is planning to contact those councils personally to support them in this.


The possibility of paying for an outside party to audit our books was discussed.  The cost could be $500, but the investment could be worthwhile to make sure our tax forms are in order.  It may also be acceptable to simply file ourselves because we make less than $25,000.


President-Elect’s Report:  The Write to Learn Conference may generate revenue for us, depending on the number of IRA members in attendance and the total number of conference registrants.  Mary Jo expressed some concern that this agreement is verbal only at this time, but she has confidence that the agreement with Willy Wood is trustworthy.   MSC-IRA will set up a table at the conference to promote membership at the international level.  Possibly in the future, a sign promoting state membership will also be displayed.  Registrant packets at the conference will include a form that promotes MSC-IRA.


Jennifer is working on the possibility of reactivating the NORCO area council(s).  She is excited at the prospect of a rejuvenation of IRA in her area of the state, and she will provide updates as developments are made.


Historian:  With the resignation of Lisa Sweet, MSC-IRA is currently without a historian.   A replacement is needed as soon as possible, though we may need to wait on an election.  In the meantime, volunteers can be recruited to take pictures at the Write to Learn conference.


Past-President’s Report:  Marie stated that the Award of Excellence program is nearing completion.  The executive board will be notified when it is ready.  Barbara Ryczek has accepted the nomination to become Corresponding Secretary.  Officer vacancies still include Vice-President, Historian, and Assistant Treasurer.  


Membership Report:  Barbara reported that numbers are down across the state.  Several councils have not yet sent memberships to her and/or have additional memberships to submit.


Newsletter:  Jeanie reported that reminders will be sent in March and that the posting goal is sometime in April.  She hopes to relate this to MO Reading Week, which is scheduled for the first week in May.


MO Reader:  Kathy reported that this has been suspended due to budget constraints.  Hopefully it can be put online for members to access.


State Coordinator’s Report:  Mary Jo shared that she is investing much of her time in supporting local councils in their areas of need. Survey results indicate that membership is the largest area of interest; ideas from the Plains Conference meeting have been shared with council presidents.  


A mentoring relationship with a leader in the Iowa council has been a help for Mary Jo.  She has gained several ideas for leadership development.


Mary Jo is very excited to be involved in the process of St. Louis City in getting a new charter and in activating a council.  They are successfully partnering with charter schools in the area and may also link with parochial schools.


A question was asked about whether or not IRA has a formal building rep program.  Lee’s Summit was suggested as a model of excellence in this area.  Their system could be a resource for other councils seeking to do the same.


Zone Coordinators’ Reports:  Winnie shared a personal touch is to send e-postcards to council members in her zone to help create a connection between them and MSC/IRA.  She shares information about meetings, activities, and events that might be of interest to them in the postcards.


Carol shared that changing venues for meetings has proven to be successful in her zone. Councils are collecting money at each meeting that is put into a scholarship fund.  A service project in her area is to purchase books to be kept at local Laundromats.


Donna shared that she and Jim are looking forward to an upcoming meeting in a computer lab.  Teachers will have the opportunity to explore and be introduced to new educational websites.


Committee Reports:  March 1 is the Poster Contest deadline.  So far, no entries have been received, but people are aware of some councils that are planning to submit entries.  Donna will be the judge.  Discussion centered on ideas for what to do with winning posters.  They could be posted online and/or displayed in conference booths next year.


Unfinished Business:  Saturday, April 17, 2010 was chosen as the tentative date for a spring leadership meeting; the executive board would meet beforehand on April 16.  Marie Puett made the motion that we spend no more than $3000 for the meetings.  Jeannie Cozens seconded, and the motion was passed.


Budget and Finance issues centered on what expenses we anticipate and how remaining funds could be used.


The main issue related to the membership database is that we are in need of a web coordinator to manage our website information.  Barbara shared options given to her by Hotdog (our current provider).  We agreed to actively search for a person who could serve in this capacity.  Local councils may be helpful in soliciting for interested and qualified individuals.  Further discussions and decisions will be made in April.  


Marie volunteered to chair a PD ad-hoc committee; Winnie and Barbara will serve as committee members.  This committee will primarily work towards using funds from the Walliser Memorial to support PD efforts.


New Business:  Marie made a motion that MSC allocate $500 apiece to the State Coordinator and President-Elect to attend the April IRA Conference in Chicago.  Winnie seconded.  Jeanie made a motion to amend this motion to include a commitment to serving in their elected/appointed positions for the 2010-2011 school year.  Marie seconded.  Both motions were passed.


Mary Jo asked people to be thinking about committee work that would encourage involvement from local council officers.  Potentially this could result in their involvement with other MSC-IRA leadership positions.


Carol made the motion to adjourn, and Winnie seconded.




Minutes respectfully submitted by Sarah Logan, Recording Secretary

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