When you are elected PTA secretary, you know your primary job is to keep the minutes at PTA meetings. But the role of the secretary goes beyond the minutes.
About Those Minutes
The PTA secretary keeps the minutes not only for the general membership meetings, but also for the meetings of the executive committee (officers) and executive board (officers and committee chairs). The secretary should also have at all meetings a copy of the bylaws, a copy of previous minutes for the year, and a copy of the membership list in case there are questions about previous decisions or who is eligible to vote.
In taking minutes, the secretary does not have to record everything said or even the main points of the discussion. What is recorded in the minutes are the motions made (with exact wording), any amendments to those motions, and the final decisions on the motions and amendments. You may find it helpful as secretary to have a copy of the agenda and any motions coming from committees (e.g., the names and correct spellings of the nominees from the nominations committee) ahead of time to get the wording of motions correct in the minutes without delaying the meeting by asking for clarifications.
Beyond the Minutes
The primary duties of the PTA secretary are spelled out in your PTA bylaws in Article VII, Section 3. Note that the secretary is the keeper of the official membership list, so make sure your membership chairperson is keeping your list up to date. The secretary is also the official correspondent for the PTA, though with e-mail, most officers and committee chairs handle their own communications. The secretary should be the person to contact a nominee to let them know they have been elected if they are not in attendance at the election meeting.
If the positions of both the president and the vice president are vacant, the PTA secretary is the person who runs the special general membership meeting for the purpose of filling those positions. The secretary also signs off on the approved bylaws along with the PTA president before they are submitted to the Illinois PTA.
Finally, the secretary takes on any additional responsibilities assigned by the PTA president. Such duties might include:
- Serving on a committee to ensure accurate minutes are taken (e.g., a special committee planning a large event).
- Proofreading official PTA correspondence sent by other officers or committee chairs. Note it is always good to have a second pair of eyes read over any official PTA correspondence.
- Ensuring that committee procedure books are distributed to new committee chairs at the beginning of the year and collecting them at the end of the year.