It's getting to be that time of year when you pass along the gavel. Elections and officer transition is top of mind for many. This week's featured question from Ask a Question deals with the role of the outgoing president.

Nilam asks:
We are in the process of revising our bylaws. I was wondering if PTA bylaws include the past president as a member of the PTA board. I would greatly appreciate examples of how to define the role and responsibilities of the past president.

Craig writes:

Bylaws don't usually include specific duties for the past president, and I wouldn't recommend including her on the board. Having the past president sit on the board can make it difficult for the new president to get established and cause confusion about who's really in charge. If you have the person who has been running the PTO for the last year or two on the board, it's normal for people to look to her for decisions rather than the new president. That's especially true if, say, the new president was vice president for the last year or two under the now past president. If you want to define a role for the past president, I'd say it would be to act as an advisor as needed. If she wants a specific role, let her chair a key committee. But don't write that into the bylaws -- not all past presidents will be willing to take on that responsibility. In addition, there likely will be situations where the past president no longer has children in the school. She might be more interested in helping out in the middle school where her children now are than in the elementary school where she was president last year, for example.

Links related to officer transition:

http://www.ptotoday.com/pto-today-articles/article/360-how-to-retire-gracefully

http://www.ptotoday.com/pto-today-articles/article/80-8-tips-for-passing-the-gavel

http://www.ptotoday.com/transitionkit/

http://www.ptotoday.com/pto-today-articles/article/69-youre-elected-now-what