February 2019 Texas School Law Section

February 2019 Minutes

Meeting Minutes

School Law Section
State Bar of Texas
Meeting of the Executive Committee February 28, 2019

The Executive Committee of the School Law Section of the State Bar of Texas convened on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 12:35 p.m. during its annual Executive Committee meeting at the 2019 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 2019. This was the 34th annual UT School Law Conference, and 2019 will mark the 33rd annual School Law Section Retreat.

The following section officers were present at the meeting:
Chair Mark Tilley (TASB), Immediate Past Chair Julie Leahy (TCTA), Chair-Elect, Marney Collins Sims (Cypress-Fairbanks ISD), and Treasurer Chris Gilbert (Thompson & Horton, LLP)

The following executive committee members were present:
3rd of 3-year term: Norma Cantu (Brim, Robinett, Cantu & Brim)
2nd of 3-year term: Giana Ortiz (Ortiz Law Firm) and Andrea Slater-Gulley (Amarillo ISD)
1st of 3-year term: Jamie Turner (Walsh Gallegos Trevino Russo & Kyle) and Paige Williams (TCTA) One-year term: Cory Rush (Karczewski Bradshaw & Spalding)
One-year term: Leslie Story (TASB)

The following individuals appointed by the Chair were present to assist with planning the retreat: Newsletter Editor: Meredith Walker (Walsh Gallegos Trevino Russo & Kyle)
A/V Coordinator: Cory Rush (Karczewski Bradshaw & Spalding)
Hotel Coordinator: Michael Currie (TCTA)

The Chair began the meeting with a welcome and introductions. The Treasurer presented a budget report, which included current fund balance as well as an overview of the revenue and expenditures since the annual section meeting. The Treasurer shared that the State Bar, due to an administrative error, failed to send the Section’s financial information to the Treasurer for several months, but the error was realized by the Treasurer and accounts receivables and payment information were sent just prior to the Executive Meeting. Due to this, the Treasurer has been unable to confirm a reconciliation discrepancy in the Section’s budget. It appears that the hotel bill from the 2018 Section Retreat has been received and paid by the State Bar, but the amount has not been debited from the Section’s funds. Regardless, the Section continues to enjoy a healthy fund balance, which exceeds $100,000. The Treasurer then facilitated a discussion on the costs of the Retreat, including a spread sheet of Retreat costs from the past ten years (provided by the Hotel Coordinator), and how it is anticipated that the cost of the Retreat this year (which will be held at Hyatt Lost Pines) will likely be costlier than the retreat from the past 4 years. It was decided to maintain the Retreat registration cost at $240 for online regular registration and $270 for online late registration or on-site registration. The dinner ($10 adult/$5 child online and $20 adult/$10 child for on-site) and notebook costs ($30 online/$55 on-site) will remain the same. The cost for each golfer was negotiated as part of the hotel contact, per the Hotel Coordinator, at

$120 per golfer for 2019 and 2020; it was also decided the Section would use fund balance to pay any costs for the Retreat that were not covered by registration revenue.

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 Executive Committee determined that the final decision regarding the format for the KFLA award for 2019 would be decided by the Chair after surveying the former KFLA recipients, and one of the following options will be exercised:

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 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 2019 Summer Retreat was finalized. There was a discussion on assigning someone the duty of coordinating the golf tournament and a decision was made to assign the duty to the Vice Chair, which enables the Section to add the Vice Chair to the complimentary registration and one-night’s stay at the conference hotel because the Vice Chair would be required to be at the Retreat to perform a Section duty. The Vice Chair will now be responsible for coordinating the Section’s Recreational Event, which is currently the Section’s Golf Tournament.

The Chair facilitated a discussion on the topics and speakers for the Retreat presentations. It was also decided that one of the retreat planners would create the brochure this year. Cory Rush volunteered to do so, and Meredith Walker, who did the brochure last year, agreed to pass along information to Cory to help with the brochure’s creation. A final list of topics and suggested speakers was finalized and recruitment duties for each speaker was assigned by the Chair. The Chair left the meeting in order to start the conference on time. The Chair-Elect continued the discussion and took note of the assigned times in order to facilitate securing continuing legal education credit with the State Bar for the presentations, which is a duty of the Chair-Elect. A final list of topics and allotted times for presentation will be created by the Chair-Elect and distributed to the Executive Committee.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:00 p.m.

Texas School Law Section

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