The 110th California State PTA Convention was held in San Jose, April 30-May 3, 2009. The Convention was attended by 3,242 total participants, 1,346 of which were voting delegates. This post provides a summary of the highlights at Convention and the actions taken by the delegate body; much more detailed information, photos, and videos will be posted over the upcoming days and weeks at the State PTA website.
Business of the State PTA Organization
Election of State PTA Board of Directors, 2009-11
The following were elected to the State PTA Board of Directors for the 2009-11 term at the First General Meeting on Thursday, April 30 and installed at the Sixth General Meeting on Sunday, May 3. An asterisk (*) indicates an appointment or automatic succession to the position, not an election.
President: Jo Loss* (outgoing President-Elect)
President-Elect: Carol Kocivar (outgoing Vice President for Communications)
Vice President for Leadership Services: Barbara Ledterman (outgoing Vice President for Education)
Vice President for Member Services: Mary Galuska (outgoing Secretary)
Vice President for Communications: Linda Mayo (outgoing Federal Advocate for State PTA Legislation Team)
Vice President for Convention: Kathy Stevenson (outgoing Convention Exhibits Chairman)
Vice President for Community Concerns: Brian Bonner (outgoing Education Advocate for State PTA Legislation Team)
Vice President for Education: Suzan Solomon (outgoing Legislative Advocate for Education)
Vice President for Health: Colleen You (outgoing Vice President for Parent Involvement AND past 17th District President!)
Vice President for Parent Involvement: Becky Reece (outgoing Finance Commission Vice Chair, Student Involvement Chairman)
Vice President for Membership: Carol-Ann Koch-Weser (outgoing Leadership Services Advisor, past Membership Chairman)(outgoing Convention Workshops Chairman)
Treasurer: Diane Foote (outgoing Leadership Services Advisor)
Director of Legislation: Debbie Look* (outgoing Community Concerns Advocate for State PTA Legislation Team)
Parliamentarian: Sue King* (outgoing Leadership Services Advisor)
All proposed legislation policy amendments were adopted at the Second General Meeting on Friday, May 1 as presented on page 5 of the Convention Chronicle.
All proposed bylaws amendments were adopted at the Second General Meeting on Friday, May 1 (with the exception of proposed amendment #1, adopted at the First General Meeting on Thursday, April 30), as presented on pages 10-13 of the Convention Chronicle. Here is a summary of the implications of these amendments:
- State PTA now has nine (9) vice presidents instead of the previous eight (8); the ninth will be designated as a Vice President for Membership.
- Although unit, council, and district bylaws should still be reviewed annually, they may now be updated (and resubmitted) every three years instead of biennially.
- To be eligible to the office of president-elect, a person now must have served at least one term on the Board of Directors, though not limited to the term immediately preceding the election. This goes along with existing requirements for any person wishing to serve on the Board of Directors.
- Other minor amendments that primarily clarify sections of the state PTA bylaws.
Proposed resolutions were published in the Convention Chronicle on pages 6-9.
- The May 1988 Convention resolution, “AIDS Prevention Education in the Curriculum,” was rescinded at the Third General Meeting on Friday, May 1 due to its outdated and inaccurate information, and the fact that it has been substantially replaced by the May 2008 Convention resolution, “HIV/AIDS Prevention Education in Our Schools.”
- Resolution A: Teen Driving Safety was amended in Resolved 3 by striking the words “standards for quality” and inserting “consistent, high quality standards for” in their place. Resolved 3 then reads: “That the California State PTA encourage the development of consistent, high quality standards for driver education and training programs, and support policy and/or legislation to make such programs accessible to all students; and be it further”.
Resolution A was adopted as amended at the Third General Meeting on Friday, May 1.
- Resolution B: Achievement: Eliminating the Gap was amended by adding a new Resolved 4 that reads: “That among their advocacy efforts, the California State PTA and its units, councils, and districts urge legislators and local school districts to address all issues that contribute to the existence of the achievement gap, and avoid focusing exclusively on a standardized testing-based approach in their efforts.”
Resolution B was adopted as amended at the Fourth General Meeting on Saturday, May 2.
- Resolution C: Lowering the Vote Requirement in the California State Budget Process had no amendments. In a count of the house, it was adopted as presented with 441 votes in favor and 375 votes against at the Fourth General Meeting on Saturday, May 2.
- Resolution D: Social Host Accountability and Underage Drinking was amended in Resolved 1 by adding “defined as adults who furnish alcohol to minors under the age of 21 who are not their own, and/or knowingly allow underage drinking parties in private settings” after “social hosting”. Resolved 1 then reads: “That the California State PTA, its units, councils, and districts provide factual information to students, parents, and community members regarding the detrimental effects and significant dangers of underage drinking and social hosting defined as adults who furnish alcohol to minors under the age of 21 who are not their own, and/or knowingly allow underage drinking parties in private settings; and be it further”.
Resolution D was adopted as amended at the Fifth General Meeting on Saturday, May 2.
- The Borel Middle School Jazz Band from San Mateo performed at the opening of the First General Meeting on Thursday, April 30, the only school group to perform live at Convention this year. They were spectacular!
- Scott Bell, 7th grader from Borel Middle School in San Mateo, was recognized and awarded for his Reflections Award of Excellence-winning Musical Composition piece, “Fanfare for Three.” He performed the piece along with father Stephen Bell and friend Ben Villa during the Third General Meeting on Friday, May 1.
- 17th District Board Member and State PTA Student Board Member Douglas Bell was recognized on stage along with the other student board members for their participation and involvement with State PTA during the Fourth General Meeting on Saturday, May 2. The five student board members ran all but the business portion of the Fourth General Meeting.
- 17th District was one of the host districts at this year’s Convention, and we had a number of district PTA members volunteering! Other host districts were 6th, 33rd, and Peralta Districts.
- 4/30 First General Meeting: Jack O’Connell, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, delivered a keynote address discussing the state of education and the achievement gap in California.
- 4/30 First General Meeting: Dr. Charles Weis, Superintendent of the Santa Clara County Office of Education welcomed delegates to San Jose and was presented with an Honorary Service Award.
- 4/30 First General Meeting: Betsy Landers, PTA National Secretary-Treasurer, offered greetings from National PTA.
- 4/30 First General Meeting: Other awards were presented to Marry Perry, Deputy Director of EdSource, who received a Golden Oak Award; State Senator Joe Simitian, who received an Honorary Service Award; Dr. Herbert Fischer, who received an Honorary Service Award; and Dale Carlsen, President of Sleep Train, who received an Honorary Service Award.
- 5/1 Second General Meeting: Dr. Glen Thomas, California State Secretary of Education, addressed the convention and discussed the state of education and funding in California and the need for PTA’s voice.
- 5/1 Second General Meeting: In her President’s Report, Pam Brady, California State PTA President, delivered an inspiring speech on how the need for PTA has never been greater. (It is anticipated that text and video of the speech will be available soon.)
- 5/1 Third General Meeting: Jake Steinfeld, Chairman of the Governor’s Fitness Council, delivered a keynote address on the importance of fitness and encouraging children to keep fit. He also shared his interesting life story and experience as a “macho-man,” and coerced State PTA’s Executive Director, Paul Richman, into doing ten “perfect push-ups” on stage.
- 5/2 Fourth General Meeting: Alex Kajitani, California’s Teacher of the Year (better known as the “Rappin’ Mathematician”), shared how he used rap to make math skills interesting and improve performance at his low-achieving school. He was presented with an Honorary Service Award.
- 5/2 Fourth General Meeting: Ray Culberson, Director of Youth Services in the San Bernardino Unified School District, shared experiences he learned from his chaotic youth and shared how he helps out “kids in chaos” to better themselves and lead successful lives.
- 5/2 Fifth General Meeting: Carol Channing, along with her husband Harry Kullijian, presented on the importance of the arts in education and previewed two public service announcements that they and other celebrities have produced through their Foundation for the Arts on the importance of supporting the arts. Carol Channing also participated in helping present that day’s portion of Reflections awards.
- 5/3 Sixth General Meeting: Byron Garrett, Chief Executive Officer of the National PTA, discussed how PTA needs to keep up and evolve with our rapidly changing world, with an eye towards the future, and shared quotes from his book, “ABC’s of Life.”
- 5/3 Sixth General Meeting: Jo Loss, State PTA President-Elect, inaugurated her new term by sharing what State PTA’s goals will be during the next term.
17th District In the Spotlight
Convention Speakers and Presentations
17th District was very excited to have nearly 20 delegates this year! Thanks to all those who took time out of their schedules to attend Convention, even if only part-time. Start planning now for next year’s Convention in Sacramento! April 29-May 2, 2010…