Minutes of Business Meeting of Convention 2015
Bassa High School Association, USA
Minutes of the 2015 Convention Business Meeting
Held at the Sheraton Suites, Downtown Wilmington, DE
August 15, 2015
ATTENDANCE (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER):
Baigebo, Frances Potter; Barnard, Caroline; Barnard, Johnny; Barnard, Oscar; Barnard, Thomas; Brumskine, Nathaniel; Caulcrick, Esther; Caulcrick, Joanna; Findley, Berma; Flah, Beatrix; Gordon, Osseh Brownell; Hall, Edward; Harmon, Diana; Harris, Jr., Edward; Jackson, Anna Konah; Johnson, Calvin R.; King, Joel; King Kolleh; King, Victor; Knowlden, Pearl; Lloyd, Ida; Logan, Tommy; Matthews, Richmond; Morris, J. Alexander; Nagbe, Charles; Nagbe Lucinda; Nyekan, D. Augustus; Pope, C. Nathaniel; Pope, Kumba; Reeves, E. Nuku; Reeves, S. Roy; Reeves, Serena B.; Sinyan, Joseph; Swain, Kadie Fahnbulleh; Thomas, Kay Ann; Williams, D. Patrick.
To start, opening prayer was offered by Board Member Berma Findley in the absence of Chaplain T. Ron Weegar. The section was presided over by President D. Patrick Williams. He recognized several persons in attendance for the first time: Edward J. Harris, Jr., Osseh Brownell Gordon, and Kumba Pope. He also welcomed members that had not attended in a while: Kolleh King, Nathaniel Brumskine, C. Nathaniel Pope, Joseph Sinyan, and Kadie Fahnbulleh Swain.
Minutes of 2014 Convention
President Williams called on the Secretary to present the minutes of the 2014 convention held in Landham, MD. Secretary Reeves had circulated copies of the minutes earlier and ask for questions or comments on the minutes. After minor adjustments, the minutes was adopted and now form a part of our archives.
A report from the committee to revise the scholarship program was circulated by the committee chairperson, Frances Potter-Baigebo. Other members of the team were Tommy G. Logan, Ida E. Lloyd, Richmond Matthews, and Anna Konah-Jackson. The committee proposed the following procedures:
-That the scholarship be awarded annually to 5 students per class on the basis of need and merit. This will enable needy and brilliant students to pursue their education without fear of dropping out because of finance.
-Selected students should fill out the application forms and submit them by August of each academic year.
-Funds for each successfully selected student should be deposited in the school’s account to ensure that the money is available for the entire year
-Selected students will be notified through the school’s administration.
-The application form should include a waiver/policy statement, and every selected student will have to sign, acknowledging adherence.
-The scholarship should include registration fees and tuition for selected students.
-Students should be terminated from the program if they fail to meet all of the requirements: grades, attendance, and good behavior.
-Total cost per student should not exceed $150 per year.
In discussing the recommendations, the body made several modifications via the democratic process, the exercise of votes. Three amounts were advanced as the maximum cost per student on the scholarship program: $125, $150 & $200, and less than or equal to $200. The $125 was an across the board amount per student, per year. The $150 & $200 was per student in grades 7 thru 9 ($150), and grades 10 thru 12 ($200). The last cost advanced less than or equal to $200 meant that the cost should not exceed $200 per student after adjustments for inflation and other variables. The majority of votes supported the second option ($150 & $200). On the issue of basis for award, the body overwhelmingly voted to scrap the need component (as it can be very subjective) and only award scholarships based on academic merit. Further to this, it was agreed that the two top students per class be awarded the scholarships annually.
Committee Chairman Johnny Barnard addressed the status of the science lab project. He noted that the building renovation was completed. The work done included the roof, new windows and window bars, doors, complete paint job, and tables and stools. The only aspect remaining was supplying the specimen and other lab equipment and apparatus. Towards this, the lab coordinator at the Bassa High School, Mr. Moses B. Gbaa, compiled a list of things needed; some can be obtained in Liberia, while others will have to be purchased in the US and shipped to Liberia. The price tag for the local acquisition of specimen, chemicals and skeletons totaled $405, while the cost of the remaining items to be purchased in the US were being looked into. A preliminary quote of items presented was very high. Chairman Barnard had obtained this from a contact of his at the University of Maryland. The committee was asked to examine the list and cut down some of the quantities of each item need, as well as get quote from other sources to fall within our budget. The budgetary allocation for the project was $15,000.00. It is expected to be disbursed in phases instead of all at one time so as to avoid misuse.
Treasurer Ida Lloyd reported that the financial report had been emailed to everyone prior to the convention. She was only opened to entertaining questions about issues in the report. The report covered the period of Jan. 1, 2015 thru Jul. 31, 2015. It contained a balance brought forward of $34,840.95. It showed a modest revenue of $305 representing membership dues, raffle ticket sales, and souvenir sales. It also showed expenses totaling $10,332, covering convention related expenses, as well as Ebola contribution expense and tax exempt fees. This left the treasury with a balance of $24,938.21 ($124.26 of which is in the paypal account). Since the majority of members present did not have their copies on hand, the report was accepted as presented.
State of the Association
President Williams Talked about his signature point of focus throughout his Presidency: Transparency and Accountability as well as the science lab project. He thanked Chairman Reeves for unilaterally taking on the sub project of the stairs and completing it. He observed that one major setback the implementation faced during the course of the year was the uncooperative efforts of the financial team. Mr. Williams spoke of the importance of the science project to the overall advancement of quality education in today’s world of technological advancements. He exposed his personal experience when in college here in the US, not being able to relate to things taught as he came from a high school without lab exposure. The President later came under attack from several persons, accusing him of preaching transparency and accountability, while practicing something to the contrary.
Secretary Reeves circulated copies a letter from former President Wilmot Howard, expressing thanks and appreciation for the thoughtfulness, gifts, prayers, and concerns about his health condition. He also presented members of the website committee in the persons of Oscar Barnard and Diana Harmon. He encouraged members to visit the site frequently as updates will be posted regularly.
Election of Officers and Board of Directors
An interim election committee was set up to conduct the elections. Dr. Joel King headed the committee. Other members included Caroline Barnard, Eddie Harris, Jr. and Kolleh King. For the presidency, the nominees were E. Nuku Reeves and D. Patrick Williams. Mr. Williams later declined the nomination, leaving Mr. Reeves to run unopposed. For the Vice Presidency, Mrs. Frances Potter-Baigebo ran unopposed. This was the same for the position of Secretary. Incumbent Roy Reeves was unopposed. For The Treasurer, the three nominees were Incumbent Ida Lloyd, Financial Secretary J. Alexander Morris, and former Vice President Pearl Knowlden. At the first round of voting, the ballots were tied between Ms. Knowlden and Lloyd. An immediate run-off gave Ms. Knowlden a slight edge, thus making her the new Treasurer. For the Financial Secretary, the nominees were incumbent J. Alexander Morris and Richmond Matthews. The result was not even close as Mr. Matthews easily defeated the longest member of the financial team by a wide margin. In the absence of Chaplain Weegar, Mrs. Diana Harmon was unanimously elected as the new Chaplain.
The Board election was a little different. With all seats up for grasp, the committee decided to accept all of the nominees and the five with the highest votes were going to be the elected members. The nominees were: Victor D. King, Charles G. Nagbe, Joanna Caulcrick, Berma Findley, Nathaniel Brumskine, D. Augustus Nyekan, and Calvin R. Johnson. At the end of the first round, the following persons had secured positions on the Board: Victor King, Charles Nagbe, D. Augustus Nyekan, Calvin R. Johnson, and Mother Joanna Caulcrick (position reserved for the Extension Division as per the Election Committee). The bottom two nominees, Nathaniel Brumskine and Berma Findley were to go for a run-off, but Mr. Brumskine yielded the position to Ms. Findley.
Prior to concluding this section, the newly elected Board members were given a few minutes to organize themselves and report the results to the body. After less than fifteen minutes of what was assumed to be intense deliberations, Board Members returned with the results as follows: Victor D. King – Chairman, D. Augustus Nyekan – Co-Chair, Berma M. Findley –Secretary, and Mother Joanna Caulcrick –Chaplain.
Venue of the 2016 Convention
The last item on the agenda was the selection of a venue for the 2016 Convention. To this end, Dr. Joel King and his team from the Garden State of New Jersey asked to host the convention. The team selected Southern New Jersey as the area for Convention 2016.
With time far spent, outgoing President Williams called for a motion for adjournment. The motion was advanced by newly elected Board Member Calvin Johnson and seconded by newly elected president, Nuku Reeves. Closing prayer was offered by newly elected chaplain, Diana Harmon.
S. Roy Reeves, SECRETARY