AMENDED 2/1/96, 2/7/97, 2/5/99, 2/4/00, 10/24/00, 11/08/01, 11/12/02, 11/7/03, 11/5/04, 11/5/10, 11/6/12, 12/6/13, 11/30/18
Maine School Counselor Association (MESCA) Bylaws
ARTICLE I: NAMES AND PURPOSES
SECTION 1. The name of the association shall be the Maine School Counselor Association (MESCA), a state division of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and affiliated with the Maine Counseling Association (MeCA). This association, also known as a division, shall be autonomous in the conduct of its affairs, consistent with the constitutions and bylaws of ASCA.
SECTION 2. The purposes of the association shall be:
- To foster personal and professional relationships among Maine school counselors.
- To advance the spirit and the academic discipline of school counseling.
- To promote high standards for school counseling in Maine.
- To assume an active role in helping the people of Maine to understand the nature and importance of school counseling services.
- To promote and support the professional growth of school counselors.
- To strengthen state legislation and policy which is in the best interest of school counselors and the students and children of Maine.
- To publish and disseminate educational and professional materials.
- To provide an annual conference on school counseling issues
ARTICLE II: MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1. Types of Membership. This association shall include four types of membership: Professional, Emeritus, Student, and Affiliate.
SECTION 2. Requirements of Membership. In order to qualify for one of the four types of membership, an individual must meet the following requirements for the membership being sought.
- Professional Membership. Professional members must hold a Master’s degree in counseling or a closely related field and must meet one or more of the following requirements: be certified as a school counselor by the State of Maine, or be employed as a counselor educator in a graduate program that prepares school counselors.
- Emeritus Membership. Emeritus membership may be conferred by a three-fourths vote of the Board of Directors on any person who has been a professional member of the association for several years, who has made a significant contribution to school counseling in Maine, and who has resigned or retired from a professional position in Maine. Emeritus members shall enjoy the rights and privileges of professional members but shall not be required to pay dues.
- Student Membership. Student members must be engaged in a planned program of counselor education designed to result in a degree which will make them eligible for a certificate as a Maine school counselor.
- Affiliate Membership. Any person, who subscribes to the purposes and ideals of the association and who wishes to support its goals but is not eligible for any other type of membership, may become an affiliate member.
SECTION 3. Dues. Dues shall be recommended by the Board of Directors and shall be voted upon by the membership at the annual meeting.
SECTION 4. Rights and Privileges. Only professional, emeritus, and student members can vote and initiate motions at parliamentary proceedings. These members shall be considered the organization’s legislative body. Subject to any limitations or exceptions otherwise stated herein, only professional members shall be eligible for elective office or election to the Board of Directors.
SECTION 5. Severance of Membership.
- A member may be dropped from membership by a vote of three-quarters of the Board of Directors for any conduct that violates principles stated in the ASCA Bylaws and Code of Ethics. Any members charged with engaging in such conduct shall be given the opportunity to present evidence on their behalf through witnesses or otherwise, and shall have the right to appeal and have a hearing before the MESCA Board of Directors, whose decision is final.
- A member may be dropped from membership for nonpayment of dues.
ARTICLE III: MESCA OFFICERS, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SECTION 1. Officers, Terms of Office, and Conditions.
- The elected officers of the association shall be the Board of Directors shall consist of nine elected and voting board members.
- The Chair of the Board shall be an elected Director on the Board of Directors who is selected by the members of the Board of Directors to serve a one-year term as the Chair of the Board, in accordance with policies and procedures that address Governance.
- The Assistant Chair of the Board shall be an elected Director on the Board of Directors who is selected by the members of the Board of Directors to serve a one-year term to assist the Chair of the Board and to serve as the Chair of the Board in the Chair’s absence, in accordance with policies and procedures that address Governance.
- Secretary, treasurer, and student reps and other committee co-chairs will be appointed by the chair of the board.
- The Board of Directors shall be elected by the MESCA membership to serve a three-year term to take actions or to make decisions on behalf of the members in accordance with MESCA policies and procedures that address Governance.
- The Assistant Chair of the Board shall be an elected Director on the Board of Directors who is selected by the members of the Board of Directors to serve a one-year term to ASCA Bylaws: APPROVED 07/08/2016 4 assist the Chair of the Board and to serve as the Chair of the Board in the Chair’s absence, in accordance with policies and procedures that address Governance
- Directors shall not serve more than two consecutive terms on the Board of Directors.
SECTION 2. Nominations and Elections of Officers
- The Elected Board of Directors shall be elected at the annual conference or by ballot mailed or emailed to members. If the election is not held at the conference, ballots will be mailed in the spring, and the Board of Directors will determine a deadline for their return. Elected Board of Directors will assume their duties July 1.
- Board of Directors shall be elected by the voting members of the association.
- To be eligible for any office in the association except student representatives, a member must hold professional or emeritus membership. A student representative may not hold any other office on the Board.
- Before each annual meeting, at the annual meeting, or upon starting the election process, the Nominations and Elections Committee shall issue a call to all members of the association for nomination of officers and members of the Board of Directors for the year. Nominations must be received by a date set by the Board of Directors. (All board members must belong to MESCA and dues are waived. The Chair and Assistant Chair must belong to ASCA with the dues being paid by the association.
- The Board of Directors shall determine the eligibility of those members nominated.
- If any board member elected should be unable to assume the office on or about the first day of the term, the next ranking candidate on the election return shall assume that position. The Board of Directors shall have the authority to fill any vacancy for which there are no other provisions.
- Board of Directors must be an employed certified school counselor in a school, school district or state department of Education or as a faculty in a school counselor education program.
- Directors must hold a valid school counselor license or certificate issued by a state department of education or equivalent state or federal agency.
- Board of Directors must be ASCA Professional Members.
SECTION 3. Removal from the Board of Directors. An elected officer or member of the Board may be removed from the Board, for cause, by three-fourths majority vote of the Board or the voting membership. Any Board member with three unexplained absences from monthly Board of Directors meetings will be subject to Board review and possible dismissal so that an actively involved replacement may be sought.
SECTION 4. Compensation and Expenses of Officers.
- The elected Board of Directors shall receive no compensation for their services.
- Expenses of the elected officers Board of Directors may be paid from the funds of the association by specific authorization of the Board of Directors, within the limits of financial resources and prudent planning.
ARTICLE IV: GOVERNING BOARD
SECTION 1. Powers and Functions.
- The Board of Directors shall be the agency through which the general administration of the association is affected.
- The Board of Directors shall conduct, manage, and control the business of the association between its official meetings.
SECTION 2. Meetings
- The Board of Directors shall meet at the time and place of the annual MESCA conference and at such other times as may be designated by either the President or a majority of voting members of the Board of Directors.
- A majority of the members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum. In the intervals between annual or special meetings of the association, the Governing Board shall take such action as is necessary for the conduct of the association’s affairs.
- The expenses of members of the Board of Directors in attending meetings of the Board other than those held at the annual MESCA conference, may be paid for from association funds, within the limits of prudent financial planning.
ARTICLE V: ANNUAL MEETINGS
SECTION 1. Time of the Annual Meeting. The annual business meeting shall be conducted during the annual MESCA Conference.
SECTION 2. Functions of the Annual Meeting. To bring together the voting members of the association to:
- Take action on recommendations from the Board of Directors.
- Initiate action affecting the association’s program and policies.
- Act on reports of the standing committees and special committees.
- Exercise such other functions as may be necessary or desirable in the best interest of the association.
- Adopt and amend the bylaws.
SECTION 3. Other Meetings of the Association.
- Special meetings, having the same functions as the Annual Meeting, may be called to deal with extraordinary situations by majority vote of the members at the Annual Meeting, or by the Board of Directors. Time and place of all meetings shall be fixed by the Board of Directors; notice thereof shall be given to the membership at least 30 days prior to each meeting.
- Each professional, emeritus, and student member of the association in attendance shall have one vote. One-fifth of the general membership of the association shall constitute a quorum.
ARTICLE VI: COMMITTEES
SECTION 1. Executive Committee.
- The Executive committee of the Governing Board Board of Directors shall consist of the Chair, Assistant Chair, and and another appointed board member.
- The Executive Committee (Chair and Assistant Chair and another appointed board member) shall act for the Board of Directors during intervals between its meetings but within the limits of any decisions or policies adopted by either the general membership or the Governing Board. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for reviewing and resolving personnel issues.
SECTION 2. Standing and Special Committees.
- The committees of the association shall consist of special committees appointed by the Board of Directors, and standing committees as identified in the bylaws.
- The committees shall present reports at the Annual Meeting.
- A special committee shall serve until, in the opinion of the Board, the purpose of said committee is accomplished. Committee members shall serve for a period of one year following the time at which the appointment is announced.
- Committee chairpersons and coordinators shall be appointed by the Chair with the approval of the Board of Directors.
SECTION 3. Standing Committees.
- The Standing Committees for MESCA include:Conference, Government Relations, Communication, Membership, Finance, School Counselor of the Year/Nominations and Elections
- Standing Committee Chairs shall be appointed by the MESCA Chair
ARTICLE VII: BUSINESS AFFAIRS OF THE ASSOCIATION
SECTION 1. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year shall be established by the Board of Directors(July 1 – June 30).
SECTION 2. Property of the Association. In the event the association should be dissolved, none of its property shall be distributed to any of the members. Instead, all of its property shall be transferred to such non-profit organizations as the Board of Directions shall determine to have purposes and activities most nearly consistent with those of the association.
SECTION 3. Indemnification.
- The association shall indemnify each member of the Board of Directors for the defense of civil or criminal actions or proceedings in a manner and to the extent permitted by applicable law.
- The association will indemnify each of its Board of Directors from and against any and all judgments, fines, amounts paid in settlement, and reasonable expenses incurred or imposed as a result of being or having been a board member, acting within the scope of his or her official duties. However, it must be determined that he or she acted in good faith for a purpose which he or she reasonably believed to be in the best interests of the association. In the case of criminal action or proceeding, it must be determined that he or she had no reasonable cause to believe that his or her conduct was unlawful. A quorum of the Board of Directors members not involved in the proceedings shall determine whether or not the indemnification is made.
SECTION 4. Parliamentary Authority. The parliamentary authority for the meetings of the association shall be Reed’s Rules of Order. A Parliamentarian may be appointed by the Chair to be present at association meetings.
ARTICLE VIII: AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS
SECTION 1. Amendment. These Bylaws may be amended in one of two ways:
- At a general membership meeting attended by a quorum, by two-thirds vote.
- Amendments recommended by the Board of Directors may be sent electronically to the current voting membership for ratification by digital ballots. A two-thirds vote of the members voting is required for ratification.
SECTION 2. Publication. The Bylaws of this association shall be published in their entirety and shall be available to any member upon request.
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