Constitution of the Georgia Science Teachers Association
Revised: November, 1993
Second Revision: March, 2005
The Georgia Science Teachers Association is an incorporated non-profit association of professional science teachers whose primary aims shall be to encourage the development of science interests and abilities as a vital part of the total educational development of the students. The science teacher of today must be at once a dedicated professional educator, aware of the philosophy and function of education and of current practices therein; an enlightened citizen in terms of knowledge, understandings, appreciations, and behavior; and a competent scientist, capable of making science a living force in the lives of children.
The aims of this Association shall be to cooperate with and support organizations and agencies which strive to improve science and science education, to encourage science teachers to participate actively in their local teacher organizations, to provide for administrators understanding and acceptance of the aims and objectives of this organization, to encourage an adequate pre-serve and in-service training program for science teachers and to act as a professional clearing house for science teaching problems of local and national significance.
Article I - MEMBERSHIP
Section A. Regular Member. The regular membership shall consist of those professional educators who are primarily concerned with science teaching at any level, that is, anyone who teaches science in the classroom or elsewhere, or who trains and/or supervises science teachers. Full association rights and privileges are afforded to the regular member.
Section B. Associate Member. The associate membership shall consist of those persons interested in science teaching but whose responsibilities are not primarily those of the professional science educator. The Associate Members will not have the right to vote, nor will they be able to hold elective office in the Association but may be eligible for appointive office.
Section C. Student Member. All full time students enrolled in an organized science education curriculum at any college or university of the state shall be eligible for associate membership.
Section D. Life Member. The honorary membership of life member of the Georgia Science Teachers Association may be awarded as recognition for outstanding service to the association and/or to the science education profession as a recipient of the Dallas Stewart Award.
Section E. Honorary Member. The honor of Honorary Member of the Georgia Science Teachers Association may be awarded as recognition of outstanding service to persons not directly involved in science education.
Section F. Membership Procedures. One becomes a Regular, Associate, or Student Member by applying to the Association and paying an assessed fee commensurate with the membership status for a membership year that runs one year from the date of the current paid membership. GSTA provides membership options of one, two, or three year terms. The membership term begins when the application form and fee are received by GSTA. Life and Honorary members are elected to membership by the Executive Board. Membership is not transferable.
Article II - STRUCTURE OF THE ASSOCIATION
Section A. Executive Board. The decision-making group for the Association, i.e., the board of directors, is the Executive Board, duly elected by the membership to carry out the goals and objectives of the Association. The Board is bound by the provisions of this Constitution.
Section B. Executive Board Records. The Corporation is embodied in the record of proceedings of the Executive Board and the annual meeting. The accounts shall be kept by the Executive Secretary Treasurer.
Section C. District Organization. The Association is divided into twelve (12) districts. The purpose of organizing into districts is to promote membership in the Association and to provide more and better services to individual members. The District Director represents the interests of district membership on the Executive Board.
Section D. District Membership. District membership is determined by the location of the educator's work place, not his/her personal residence.
Article III - OFFICERS
Election, Duties and Responsibilities, Terms of Office
Section A. Officers of the Georgia Science Teachers Association.
Paragraph 1. Elected officers of the Association will be the President, Vice-President, President-Elect, Secretary, five (5) Members-at-Large and twelve (12) District Directors. These members at large shall represent the areas of (1) college membership; (2) secondary school membership; (3) middle school membership; (4) elementary school membership; and (5) science supervisor/coordinator membership. The Publications Editors, Business Manager, Webmaster, and the Executive Secretary/Treasurer will be appointive offices. Such appointments will be recommended annually by the President and approved by the Executive Board.
Paragraph 2. Any Georgia Science Teachers Association district may establish a district organization. The District Director will be responsible for administering the establishment of the district organization and election of officers and will serve as the chief executive.
Paragraph 3. Officers holding elective positions, except as noted below, must receive a plurality of votes of members voting by statewide ballot and shall hold office for a term of one (1) year or two (2) years or until a successor is elected and qualified. Offices of a one year term include Secretary, President, President-Elect, and Director. Offices of two (2) year term include Vice-President, District Director, and five (5) Members-at-Large. The District Director must receive a plurality of vote of members in his/her district by statewide ballot and shall hold office for a term of two years. Odd numbered districts will elect their directors in odd-numbered years; even-numbered districts in even numbered years. The three (3) Members-at-Large who represent (1) college membership, (2) middle school membership, and (3) science supervisor/coordinator membership shall be elected in odd-numbered years. The two (2) Members-at-Large who represent (1) secondary membership and (2) elementary membership shall be elected in even-numbered years. Terms of office shall begin with the Transition Meeting held no later than May 31st of each year. An elected officer will not be eligible for re-election for the same office for at least a period of one year. The term of appointed office shall be indeterminate and appointment shall be recommended annually by the President and approved by the Executive Board.
Paragraph 4. To provide that some continuity of administration will be maintained, the President-Elect will succeed the President. The Vice-President will become President-Elect in the event that the person elected to this office is unable to fulfill the responsibilities of the office. This policy of ascendancy pertains only to the President-Elect.
Paragraph 5. In the event that the office of State President is vacated during the term of office, the President-Elect will ascend to that office, fill the unexpired term, and continue in the office for one (1) full term. In the event the office of District Director is vacated during the term of office, the President shall appoint someone to fill the unexpired District Director's term.
Section B. Election Procedures.
Paragraph 1. The State President shall, on or before November 15 each year, appoint a Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee will prepare a slate of nominees, with written consent of the nominees, for those offices identified in Article III, Section A, Paragraph 1. The Nominating Committee may also make recommendations for the Publications Editors.
Paragraph 2. Any member of the Georgia Science Teachers Association may submit suggested nominees for state officers. These suggestions must be made in writing, must include the written consent of the potential nominee, and be received by the State President no later than December 5 each year.
Paragraph 3. The chair of the Nominating Committee will prepare and distribute a ballot voting information by January 15th, with voting to terminate on February 28, and the results to be announced on or before March 15 of each year.
Paragraph 4. Only regular members in good standing, i.e., members who have paid their assessed dues for the current membership year, will receive a ballot, and consequently be eligible to vote on elected officers.
Section C. Duties and Responsibilities of State Officers
Paragraph 1. Acceptance of nomination and election or appointment to office make the duties and responsibilities indicated in the following paragraphs of this section obligatory. Any state officer who does not attend two consecutive Executive Board meetings without submitting written reasons considered justifiable by Executive Board consensus shall indicate by the absences the intention of vacating that office. The President shall be authorized to appoint someone to fill the unexpired term of the office.
Paragraph 2. Duties and responsibilities of the State President are:
a. Shall be held accountable for all funds received by the Georgia Science Teachers Association and shall be solely responsible for the disbursement of said funds.
b. Shall have the duty of planning the annual business meeting as part of the Georgia Science Teachers Association Annual Conference.
c. Shall solicit funds from sponsors and maintain correspondence
with sponsors for the support of the annual state-wide Science and Leadership Conference. The president shall serve as a member of the conference committee and assist in preparing the conference budget.
d. Shall cooperate with and be generally available to organizations and meetings involved in science and science education activities; and shall otherwise be active in professional activities.
e. Shall be responsible for maintaining the correspondence necessary for effective organization of the Association and shall be informed at all times of activities of districts and committees.
f. Shall be accountable to the members of the Georgia Science Teachers Association for the activities of the Association.
g. Shall take the initiative with the Executive Board in leading the Association toward a definite and firm policy on all issues, regardless of nature, pertinent to science and science education.
h. May appoint such committees as deemed necessary for the efficient operation of the Association.
i. May delegate other duties and responsibilities as deemed necessary to subordinate officers, appointees, or committees.
j. Shall take whatever action necessary to insure that all members receive adequate and advance notification of Association activities.
k. Shall serve on the board of directors of the Georgia Science Teachers Education Foundation.
l. Shall serve on the finance committee of the state organization.
m. Shall support Strategic Planning Committee in implementation of the current Association's Strategic Plan.
n. Shall, after completion of the term of office, serve one (1) year as the State Director of the Association.
Paragraph 3. Duties and responsibilities of the President-Elect are:
a. Shall assume duties and responsibilities of the President in the absence of same.
b. Shall be chair of the program committee for the annual state-wide Science and Leadership Conference. These duties shall include:
1. Selection of a conference program planning committee
which will assist with the review and selection of concurrent sessions and other items related to program. Membership of this committee will include the vice president of the Association, director of the Association, chair of the education committee, chair of the communications committee, and additional members to represent a cross-section of the membership.
2. Selection of a theme, logo, and conference strands for the conference and present to Executive Board during transitional meeting.
3. Solicit and select presenters from those submitting applications for presentations at concurrent sessions and correspond as necessary
4. Select presiders for sessions as needed
5. Schedule concurrent sessions into available time and space
6. Arrange and type program
7. Design program and have it printed.
8. Provide appropriate program information for appropriate electronic distribution
9. Will assist in the development of a conference budget.
10. Provide periodic updates of program to members of the Executive Board, Director, and members of the program planning committee.
c. Shall cooperate with and be generally available to organizations and meetings involving science and science education, and otherwise actively participate in professional activities.
d. Shall assume those responsibilities delegated by the President.
e. Shall serve on the board of directors of the Georgia Science Teachers Education Foundation.
Paragraph 4. Duties and responsibilities of the Director are:
a. Shall serve as chair of the annual Science and Leadership Conference and as such, be responsible for the overall quality, publicity and decision making of the conference. These duties shall include:
1. Selection of a local arrangements chair.
2. Formulation of a budget for the annual state-wide Science Teachers Conference and present this budget to the Executive Board of the organization by the first meeting of the fiscal year.
3. Secure speakers for the conference's general sessions, special events, and the awards ceremony.
b. Shall serve on the board of directors of the Georgia Science Teachers Education Foundation.
c. Shall serve as an advisor to the president and the executive board.
Paragraph 5. Duties and responsibilities of the State Vice-President are:
a. Shall chair the membership committee of the Georgia Science Teachers Association.
b. Shall coordinate information regarding youth activities.
c. Shall serve on the program committee of the annual Science and Leadership Conference.
d. Shall serve as Parliamentarian during official meetings of the Georgia Science Teachers Association.
Paragraph 6. Duties and responsibilities of the State Secretary are:
a. Shall maintain the minutes of the executive Board for each official meeting.
b. Shall submit compiled minutes to the Executive Secretary after the Transition Meeting.
Paragraph 7. Duties and responsibilities of the Members-at-Large are:
a. Shall attend meetings of the Executive Board and represent concerns of the membership in that instructional level.
b. Shall encourage membership.
c. Shall submit information, news, and at least one article for an instructional column in Observations The Georgia Science Teacher according to the yearly specified publication schedule.
d. Shall assist conference coordinator with identification and solicitations of workshops for appropriate level.
e. Shall lead a Share-a-Thon session at conference to trade ideas among instructional level membership.
Paragraph 8. Duties and responsibilities of the State Executive Secretary/Treasurer are:
a. Shall maintain membership files and regularly up- date membership information.
b. Shall maintain Association financial records, make deposits and disbursements for the treasury as directed by the President.
c. Shall prepare and publish an annual audit of all treasury records.
d. Shall conduct business of the Association as directed by the President and/or Executive Board.
e. Shall maintain the archives of records regarding the business of the Association.
f. Shall maintain financial records, make deposits and disbursements for the Foundation as directed by the Board of Directors of the Foundation.
Paragraph 9. Duties and responsibilities of the Publications Editors are:
a. Shall be responsible for the collection, publication, and distribution of material constituting the official Georgia Science Teachers Association publications.
b. Shall publish and distribute no less than three (3) issues of each publication per fiscal year.
c. Shall make other mailings at own discretion or as directed by the State President or Executive Board.
Section D. Duties and Responsibilities of District Officers
Paragraph 1. Acceptance of nomination and election to office make the duties and responsibilities in the following paragraphs of this section obligatory. Any District Director who misses two consecutive executive Board meetings without written reasons considered justifiable by Executive Board consensus, or who fails to send a representative, thereby indicates the intentions of vacating the office. The State President shall appoint someone to fill the unexpired District Directors' term.
Paragraph 2. Duties and Responsibilities of the District Directors are:
a. Shall coordinate staff development workshops within the district.
b. Shall promote or encourage membership among potential members within the district.
c. Shall act as a communications link with Georgia Science Teachers Association membership within the district.
d. Shall submit district news, information, and reports to be published in GSTA Observations according to the yearly specified publication schedule.
e. Shall encourage the establishment of local Georgia Science Teachers Association chapters within the district.
f. Shall coordinate district meetings as a part of the Annual Conference program.
g. Shall attend meetings of the Executive Board and represent the concerns of the district membership.
Article IV - STATE COMMITTEES
All committees of the Georgia Science Teachers Association formulated for whatever purpose must be representative of the Association, inclusive of all instructional levels and reflecting no biases with respect to race, sex, or origin.
Section A. State Executive Board
Paragraph 1. MEMBERSHIP: The State Executive Board functions as the Board of Directors for the corporation and shall consist of the State President, State President-Elect, State Vice-President, State Secretary, State Director, five (5) Members-at-Large, and the twelve (12) District Directors. The State Executive Secretary/Treasurer and the Publications Editors shall attend all Executive Board meetings. The designated Science representatives of the State Department of Education are recognized by the Association as advisors to the Executive Board. In this capacity (as advisors) the State's Science representatives are invited to attend, as non-voting participants, the meetings of the Executive Board.
Paragraph 2. MEETINGS AND DUTIES: It shall be the primary responsibility of this Board to plan all Association activities. The Board must plan a publicized annual meeting, the actual date and time to be set by the Board. It will commonly occur during the Annual Conference of the Association. Publicity will occur through The Georgia Science Teacher and GSTA Observations. Proxy and/or cumulative voting will not be allowed in matters of Association business. The State President may call additional meetings of the Board as needed. The Secretary will communicate dates and times of these called meetings to Board members. Roberts Rules of Order will govern all Association meetings.
Section B. Nominating Committee
Paragraph 1. MEMBERSHIP: The membership of this committee shall be the State President and four (4) appointed members, one of whom shall be named Chair by the State President.
Paragraph 2. DUTIES: The duties of this committee shall be as stated in Article III, Section B, Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3. In the event that the Chair of the Nominating Committee is nominated for an office, the State Executive Secretary/Treasurer shall conduct the election or the President will appoint someone to run the election.
Section C. Awards Committee
Paragraph 1. MEMBERSHIP: The awards committee shall be comprised of a chair, appointed for a three year term by the president, and the level representatives for elementary, middle, secondary, and college. Each level representative shall form a subcommittee composed of a majority of classroom teachers for the purpose of evaluating the awards nominations/applications. The chairperson shall be responsible for receiving applications and communicating with all nominees/applicants and the district representatives concerning the final selection.
Paragraph 2. DUTIES: The awards committee shall serve as a link between the Executive Board of the Association and the Georgia Science Teachers Education Foundation. Annual awards in recognition of meritorious service to science and/or science education will be presented by this committee at the annual business meeting. Each committee shall determine the criteria for those awards, the nature of the awards to be given, and ascertain worthy recipients.
Paragraph 3. Criteria for the awards should be published in the Georgia Science Teachers Association's various publications to enable members to make nominations for the various awards.
Section D. Communications Committee
Paragraph 1. MEMBERSHIP: The chair of this committee shall be appointed by the president . Committee members will include both editors of the organization's publications, the Webmaster, as well as other members of the organization.
Paragraph 2. Duties. The duties of this committee shall be to recommend to the Board and implement a comprehensive year round communications plan directed toward GSTA members, potential members, public officials, the corporate/business community, media and the general public. The plan should include broad general informational components, as well as special interest segments to support membership, marketing, membership information, as well as presentation of GSTA views/position on science education geared to specific external constituency groups.
Paragraph 3. SPECIAL PUBLICATIONS: Special publications may be made by the committee as deemed necessary by the Executive Board.
Section E. Public Relations Committee
Paragraph 1. MEMBERSHIP: The Public Relations Committee and its chair will be recommended by the State President and appointed by the Executive Board.
Paragraph 2. DUTIES: It shall be the duty of this committee to issue press releases about the Association activities and to improve the visibility of the Association statewide.
Section F. Budget Committee
Paragraph 1. MEMBERSHIP. The Budget Committee will consist of a chair to be appointed by the. Other members will include the president, president-elect, director, executive secretary, and foundation chair. Advisors from the field of finance, commerce, or management can be appointed at the discretion of the president.
Paragraph 2. DUTIES. The committee shall develop, monitor and report on the annual budget and any special funding secured through grants, contracts or awards. The annual fiscal budget should be developed with input from the president, the executive secretary-treasurer and chairs of the standing committees and Foundation and presented to the full board for approval prior to the beginning of the fiscal year.
Section G. Membership Committee
Paragraph 1. MEMBERSHIP. The committee shall be chaired by the Association Vice-President and other members representative of GSTA districts across the state and may also include as advisors experts from the fields of marketing and communications.
Paragraph 2. DUTIES. The committee is responsible for development and implementation of statewide membership recruiting and retention efforts and the evaluation/recommendation of services to members. The committee will collaborate with the Communications Committee to assure that publications, media releases , etc. focus proper attention on membership activities and services.
Section H. Education Committee
Paragraph 1. MEMBERSHIP. The committee will consist of a chair appointed by the president and the chair of each subcommittee. Subcommittees for GSTA's District Staff Development Programs, the Annual Conference, and any other educational, instructional program will be part of the Education Committee. Experts from throughout education, business, communication, and marketing communities may be advisory members of the Education Committee.
Paragraph 2. DUTIES. The duties of the Education Committee shall be to implement major programming efforts of the organization. It will provide leadership to each of the subcommittees in order to assure that continuity and consistency in messages are delivered.
Section I. Strategic Planning Committee
Paragraph 1. MEMBERSHIP. Membership of this committee shall consist of a chair to be appointed by the president and at least one representative from each of the other standing committees as well as officers of the organization.
Paragraph 2. DUTIES. The Strategic Planning Committee shall annually review, assess and modify GSTA's strategic plan and present its recommendations to the Board prior to the beginning of the fiscal year.
Section J. Website Review Committee
Paragraph 1. MEMBERSHIP. The membership of this committee shall consist of a chair appointed by the president, the webmaster, and the chair of the Communications Committee. Advisors may be appointed by the president as needed.
Paragraph 2. DUTIES. The committee shall recommend methods/approaches for increasing the use of technology in all areas/aspects of GSTA's services including communications, membership and education.
Section K. Legislative Committee
Paragraph 1. MEMBERSHIP. Membership of this committee shall consist of a chair appointed by the president, the president, president-elect, and director. The Legislative Advocate shall serve as an advisor.
Paragraph 2. DUTIES. The committee shall communicate with the Legislative Advisor regarding current activity in the Georgia General Assembly, the Georgia State Board of Education, and the Georgia Department of Education, and will discuss the appropriate actions of the Georgia Science Teachers Association. Members of this committee will attend meetings of the Georgia General Assembly, Georgia State Board of Education, and other appropriate meetings as deemed necessary. The Chair of this committee will communicate with GSTA District Directors when legislative information needs to be communicated to the membership at large.
Section L. Ad Hoc Committees. Committees for special purposes may be named by the State President or District Director as needed.
ARTICLE V--MEETINGS OF THE ASSOCIATION
Section A. Business Meeting. The Association business shall be conducted by membership present at the annual meeting held in conjunction with the Annual Conference of the Georgia Science Teachers Association.
Section B. Rules. Robert's Rules of Order, the current revised edition, shall govern the business meetings of State and District Association groups.
Section C. District Meetings. Business meetings of the District Association shall be conducted at a time determined by the District Director.
Section D. State-wide Meetings. There will be an Annual Conference of the entire Association for the purpose of bringing both the membership and other interested professional people information and experience in the field of science and science education, and to bring to the participants current ideas and practices in the field of science teaching and related topics.
Section E. Additional Meetings. Additional meetings shall be encouraged, especially at the district level, where such might serve to promote the aims and objectives of the Association as set forth in the Preamble of this Constitution.
ARTICLE VII -- FINANCES
Section A. Fiscal Year. The Fiscal Year shall be determined by the Executive Board.
Section B. Membership Year. Membership shall run one year from the date of the current paid membership. Any member who has not paid dues prior to December 31 shall be considered in arrears and will not receive ballots, The Georgia Science Teacher, GSTA Observations, or other materials from the Association, until such time as dues are paid.
Section C. Budget. The finance chair with the president, executive secretary-treasurer, Foundation and committee chairs, will prepare the annual budget for approval by the Executive Board. Amendments and corrections to the budget will be completed and approved by the Executive Board prior to the beginning of the Fiscal Year.
Section D. Dues. Dues will be assessed by the Executive Board in the amount necessary to meet the needs of the annual budget. Additional assessments may be made at the District level by the District membership to meet the demands of District Association activities.
ARTICLE VIII -- GEORGIA SCIENCE TEACHERS EDUCATION FOUNDATION
Section A. Purposes. The Georgia Science Teachers Education Foundation shall serve as a non-profit, tax-deductible corporation of Georgia Science Teachers Association. The goal of the Foundation is to distribute scholarships and awards for promoting science education. The Foundation shall accept real or personal gifts from individuals or corporations.
Section B. Board of Directors. The decision making group of the Foundation shall consist of a Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will be comprised of members of Georgia Science Teachers Association and may have as members representatives from business and industry, communications, marketing, and science related areas. The president, president-elect, director, chair of the awards committee and executive secretary-treasurer of the Association will serve on the Board of the Foundation. Other members of the Association may be appointed to the Foundation's Board of Directors. The officers of the Board of Directors will consist of a chair, vice-chair, secretary and director. The executive secretary-treasurer of the Association shall serve as the treasurer of the Foundation. The chair is appointed for a three year term by the president of the Association.
Section C. Meetings. The Foundation has to have at least one annual meeting to be held at the time and place determined by the Chair of the Board of Directors.
Section D. Finances. The Foundation is financed by the membership of Georgia Science Teachers Association and by contributions from the business and charitable community. Funds for awards shall be allocated by the Executive Board of the Association.
Sections E. Awards and Scholarships. The Foundation will establish awards, scholarships and grants to science professionals and their students throughout Georgia. The nature and number of the awards will be determined by the Board of Directors of the Foundation. The awards program will be administered by the chair of the awards committee.
ARTICLE IX – AMENDMENTS
Section A. This Constitution should be reviewed at least every five years, but may be amended at any time. Amendments must be made in writing and seconded by any member, and submitted to the Executive Board for review. A simple majority approval by this Board shall require that the amendment be submitted to the regular membership by distributing a ballot in the Association publication. The amendment shall be considered passed when approved by a two-thirds majority of those regular members returning properly marked ballots to the State Secretary/Treasurer.
Last updated: April 2005