Meeting of the Executive Committee February 22, 2018
The Executive Committee of the School Law Section of the State Bar of Texas convened on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 12:35 p.m. during its annual Executive Committee meeting at the UT School Law Conference in order to receive a status update from the Section Treasurer and to plan the agenda for the annual School Law Section Retreat in July. This was the 33rd annual UT School Law Conference, and 2018 will mark the 32nd annual School Law Section Retreat.
The following section officers were present at the meeting:
Chair Julie Leahy (TCTA), Immediate Past Chair Fred Stormer (Underwood), Chair-Elect Mark Tilley (TASB), Vice-Chair Marney Collins Sims (Cypress-Fairbanks ISD), and Treasurer Mari McGowan (Abernathy, Roeder, Boyd & Hullett, P.C).
The following executive committee members were present:
3rd of 3-year term: Chris Gilbert (Thompson & Horton) and Tom Myers (Brackett & Ellis)
2nd of 3-year term: Norma Cantu (Brim, Robinett, Cantu & Brim) and Miles Bradshaw in place of Kelli Karczewski (Karczewski Bradshaw)
1st of 3-year term: Giana Ortiz (Ortiz Law Firm) and Andrea Slater-Gulley (Amarillo ISD)
One year term: Jim Byron (Thompson & Horton)
One year term: Jamie Turner (Walsh Gallegos Trevino Russo & Kyle)
The following individuals appointed by the Chair were present to assist with planning the retreat: Retreat planners: Amanda Moore (TSTA) and Meredith Walker (Walsh Gallegos Trevino Russo & Kyle) Newsletter Editors: Leticia McGowan (Dallas ISD)
A/V Coordinator: Cory Rush (Rogers Morris & Grover)
Hotel Coordinator: Michael Currie (TCTA)
The Chair began the meeting with a welcome and introductions.
The Treasurer presented a budget report with included current fund balance as well as an overview of the revenue and expenditures since the annual section meeting. The Treasurer shared the final reconciliation of Retreat costs and also reviewed the additional costs of moving to online registration for the Retreat. A discussion was held on the positive results and reduction of administrative burden from online registration, and the Treasurer recommended online registration continue in the future. This suggestion was unanimously adopted by the Executive Committee. The Treasurer then facilitated a discussion on the costs of the Retreat, including the previous decision of the Executive Committee in 2017 to keep the Retreat registration cost the same as 2016 despite moving to a more expensive hotel (moving from Moody Gardens hotel in 2015 and 2016, to the Hill Country Hyatt in 2017 and 2018), and to use fund balance to pay any costs for the Retreat that were not covered by registration revenue. Michael Currie provided a historical summary of hotel/venue costs from 2009 to 2017, including the
projected additional costs for the Hill Country Hyatt in 2018 as well as increased costs for the next venue at Hyatt Lost Pines in 2019 and 2020. The Treasurer recommended slowing increasing registration costs over the next few years to offset additional Retreat costs. The Treasurer recommended an increase of $10 for 2018. This suggestion was unanimously adopted by the Executive Committee. The Treasurer then facilitated a discussion on charging a graduated cancellation fee for members who cancel after the registration deadline. This would help off-set the additional costs to the Section when members cancel hotel rooms and the Section does not meet its room quotas. It was confirmed with the State Bar that this is a common practice by other sections. This suggestion was unanimously adopted by the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee then held a discussion on the format for recognition of the Kelly Frels Lifetime Achievement Award (KFLA) winner in order to address concerns with the amount of time allotted for the recognition event when held during the Section business meeting. After discussion of the pros/cons of different options, the Chair recommended that the Executive Committee present the KFLA committee with the following options:
1. Move family/friend presentations and slideshow to Friday night during the Section family dinner and utilize the Section business meeting for the plaque presentation only (no increase in time for the Section business meeting or the Saturday schedule).
2. Place the recognition on the agenda of the Section business meeting and allot at least 30 minutes for the presentation, but end at the traditional time of 12:30 pm (increase Saturday schedule by starting the Retreat presentations at 7:30 am instead of 8 am).
3. Place the recognition on the Retreat agenda as the last item on the agenda for Saturday for 30 minutes (increase Saturday schedule by starting the Retreat presentations 15 minutes earlier at 7:45 am and ending the program 15 minutes later at 12:45 pm).
The Chair facilitated a discussion of the duties and responsibilities for the summer retreat and the Task Assignment for the 2018 Summer Retreat was finalized. There was a specific discussion on the best way to make the online retreat materials available to participants both prior to and during the Retreat. The A/V Coordinator agreed to review using Drop Box or Google Drive during the Retreat in place of, in addition to, having participants access the materials through the School Law Section website. The Chair- Elect would make the final decision after more research was completed.
The Chair facilitated a discussion on the topics and speakers for the Retreat presentations. A final list of topics and suggested speakers was finalized and recruitment duties for each speaker was assigned by the Chair. The Chair-Elect took note of the assigned times in order to facilitate securing continuing legal education credit with the State Bar for the presentations. A final list of topics and allotted times for presentation will be created by the Chair-Elect and distributed to the Executive Committee.
The Chair facilitated a discussion by Leticia McGowan regarding the Newsletter status and ideas to re- invigorate the Newsletter and/or create a new format for this information. The Executive Committee deferred further discussion on this topic.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:15 p.m.