Question: How to recruit a new secretary midterm?

We are in our first year as a PTO at the middle school. Our secretary had to step down and our bylaws state to elect a replacement at our next meeting. So far, we have not been able to find anyone willing to take the position. What are our options? For now our vice president has been taking the minutes for our meetings.

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Advice from PTO Today

Elly writes:

It’s OK for your VP to take minutes until you’ve found a permanent replacement. In the meantime, don’t expect someone to knock down your doors jumping at the chance to be secretary. You’ll need to do some recruiting.

Start by generating a list of capable replacements, such as past or current committee chairs who have kept good records and detailed summaries of their activities. Get a copy of the job description, and make a few calls to let these folks know about the vacancy. (If they don’t hang up on you, they’re at least entertaining the thought of being secretary, and that’s a plus!)

Invite your best prospect to talk about the opportunity one on one over coffee or lunch—there’s a far greater chance she’ll say yes in person! When you meet, let her know you’ll walk her through the position and give her everything she needs to succeed on the job. A tape recorder and a procedures manual make for a lovely welcoming gift.

If you come up short finding a replacement, consider asking a local high school student (one familiar with student council meeting proceedings, for example) or a mature Boy Scout or Girl Scout in need of service hours to volunteer.

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