As the school year wraps up, many PTA presidents will soon be ex-PTA presidents. And while the job description for an ex-PTA president sounds simple—stop running the PTA—some PTA presidents struggle to do that, especially if they are still at the school where they were president. Here’s a handy guide to being a successful ex-PTA president.
Handing Things Off
Make sure your successor gets all the material you inherited when you became PTA president as well as the materials you’ve added. Be sure to include your procedure book. Find a time to sit down with the new PTA president to discuss how your term went, what worked, what didn’t, and what you’d do differently if you had the job for another term. Be sure to answer any questions they might have and provide them with your contact information so they can ask questions when they arise during their term.
Transition Your Board
Have your outgoing board meet with the incoming board to do what you did with the new president. Make sure materials get handed over to those new board members. Share how your board worked together, where you all stumbled, and how you’d handle some things differently if they came up again.
Make sure you introduce the new PTA president to teachers, administrators, staff, and community partners. Talk to your principal to see if you could have a couple of minutes to do this at the beginning of a year-end staff meeting. Have your other officers and committee chairs do the same with their successors.
Don’t forget to introduce the new officers and board members to your membership as well. Be sure to share the abilities of the new team that led to their nominations. Doing so provides members with the knowledge that there will be a smooth transition and their PTA, their school, and their children will be in good hands next year.
Don’t Forget Online
Remember that existing officers will need to put in the information on next year’s officers into MemberHub. Don’t forget to hand over administrative access to the new officers and to pass on any passwords for social media accounts, online banking, and other online PTA accounts along with instructions to change them right away and a reminder to make sure that more than one person has the passwords available.
Make sure the signatories on your PTA checking account get updated as well. Remember that because of new federal legislation, banks are required to get the Social Security number of account owners.
Plan to Step Back
Whether you are moving on to another position on the PTA board, not taking another PTA leadership role, or going to another school, plan on stepping back from the PTA presidency. Give your successor the room to do their job, even if it is not the way you would do it. Make sure that they know that while you are not going to be backseat driving during their term, you are there as a resource for them and will answer any questions they have, serve as a sounding board for their ideas, and give them a shoulder to cry on if they need it.
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