ST. ELIZABETH SCHOOL
School Advisory Council
The St. Elizabeth School Advisory Council (AKA School Board) is an elected group of eight individuals who volunteer their services to the school and its' constituents.
Members are elected to two year terms. Voting members are charged with the responsibility of providing educational
opportunities for the children of the school through consultation, evaluation and support.
The School Principal, Parish Pastor, Parish Business and Operations Manager and Parish Director of Development and Stewardship are non-voting members of this council.
The School Advisory Council meets in regular session the second Tuesday of each month.
Applications for the School Advisory Council are accepted in March and voted upon annually in April.
By-Laws: St. Elizabeth School Advisory Council
Article One: Name of Organization
This body shall be named the “St. Elizabeth School Advisory Council,” under the parish of St. Elizabeth and the Diocese of Kansas City St. Joseph.
Article Two: Purpose and Function
This Council is established by St. Elizabeth School to advise the Pastor and Principal in the governance of the School, subject to the provisions of Canon Law and the laws of the State of Missouri.
The council is consultative in nature. This means that the council officially functions with the Pastor and Principal and cannot make decisions binding for the school without the approval of the Pastor and Principal.
Consultation (Canons 495-501) also means that decisions will not be made in major matters until and unless the School Advisory Council has been consulted. The areas in which the Council has responsibility:
A. Admissions Guidelines. The Council will offer input on admissions and financial support guidelines. Established guidelines are updated as necessary, and are approved by the Pastor and implemented by the Principal and the Stewardship and Development Director.
B. Extra-Curricular Activities. The Council supports a well-rounded extra curricular sports program within the School. The program shall include not only children in St Elizabeth Parish, but may also include children from other parishes. Ultimate responsibility for extra-curricular sports associated with the School rests with the Pastor. The Council, acting as an advisory body to the Principal, shall monitor all extra-curricular sports
associated with the School, shall hear and receive annual reports, and shall review programs and financial conditions on an annual basis. The Athletic Committee shall submit its rules and regulations to the Council and any revisions thereto no later than August 1, preceding the school year in which the rules are to be in effect.
C. Plant Utilization. The Council shall cooperate with other parish organizations to evaluate and assure full and proper utilization of total plant space and School facilities.
A. Budget. The school budget is set each year by a collaborative effort between School Administration, Parish Business Manager and Pastor. A draft of the budget is presented to the School Council, who shall offer input and suggestions before it is submitted to the Finance Council. The budget shall reflect all School income and all School expenditures and shall be in balance at all times unless specific contrary approval has been obtained in written form from the Diocesan Finance Office.
A. Curriculum. The Council will participate in curricular review of diocesan standards and assist in evaluation of the curriculum through the accreditation process.
B. Accreditation. When the school is preparing for or engaged in the accreditation process, the Council will assist the Principal throughout the process to ensure the school achieves and maintains its accredited status.
A. Principal Evaluation. The Council, according to Diocesan policy and procedure, shall participate in the annual review process for the Principal.
A. Health Programs. The Council shall assist in developing and maintaining sound health programs and policies for the benefit of the children and the School.
Article Three: Membership
The Pastor, Principal, and parish business manager are ex-officio members of the Council. The President will be the chair person for the Council. Terms for members of the Council shall be for two years, with a rotation established so that one-half of the Council is rotating on and off the Council in a given year. No member may serve more than three consecutive terms. Employees of the school shall not be eligible for membership, other than ex-officio.
The Pastor may appoint individuals to fill unexpired terms due to resignation or death. At the discretion of the Executive Committee (made up of the Council’s President, Vice-President, and Secretary) a member may be removed from the Council due to unexcused absence from two or more regular meetings in a 12 month period.
The Council shall consist of eight voting members. All voting members shall be registered members of the Parish, except the Community Parent Teacher Association (CPTA) President and one additional member may be non-registered parishioners who are parents of one or more students enrolled in St. Elizabeth School. Voting members shall be made up of the following:
1. Six members elected from the Parish at large with one or more children enrolled in St. Elizabeth School, each having one vote;
2. One member elected from the Parish at large with no children currently enrolled in St. Elizabeth School, having one vote. If no one files for this position, then this requirement will be waived and the members elected from the parish at
large with one or more children enrolled in St. Elizabeth School will be increased from six members to seven members; and
3. The President of the CPTA.
The Council shall also consist of the following ex-officio, non-voting members:
1. The Principal shall serve ex-officio as a non-voting member of the Council and in such capacity shall attend meetings and have a voice in proceedings, except those which pertain to the evaluation of the Principal;
2. The Pastor or his designee shall serve ex-officio as a non-voting member of the Council and in such capacity shall attend meetings and may have a voice in proceedings;
3. The parish business manager shall serve ex-officio as a non-voting member of the Council and in such capacity shall attend meetings and may have a voice in proceedings; and
4. The Vice-President of the CPTA may attend the meetings of the Council at the Council’s discretion, but shall have neither a voice nor vote unless acting in place of the CPTA President.
Article Four: Nominations and Selection for membership
The Executive Committee will appoint by March 1 each year a Nominating Committee to consider candidates for the Council.
Qualified persons for openings on the Council may file for candidacy with the President of the Council beginning March 15th of each school year. Applications for candidacy will not be accepted after April 1st of each school year.
The nominating committee shall confirm the qualifications of candidates. If the number of persons who file for candidacy shall be more than three times the number of vacancies on the Council, then the nominating committee shall select from among those who have filed a number of candidates which shall be not more than three times the number of vacancies.
After nominations have closed and the candidates have been determined, the nominating committee shall present the slate of candidates to the Pastor prior to issuing the election ballot.
The candidates selected by the nominating committee and approved by the Pastor shall be announced in the parish bulletin and the school newsletter no later than two weeks before the election. In the event the number of qualified candidates equals the number of openings on the Council, no general election shall be necessary and candidates shall be elected by a majority vote of the Council.
When a general election is required due to the number of qualified candidates exceeding the number of openings on the Council, the general election will begin on the fourth Friday of April of each year. Voting shall take place on the consecutive Friday, Saturday, and Sunday associated with the fourth Friday of April. The particular times and places of voting shall be announced in the parish bulletin and the school newsletter prior to the election. The nominating committee shall be responsible for the conduct of the general election.
Registered parishioners of age eighteen years and over and parents of one or more children enrolled in St. Elizabeth School that are not registered are entitled to one vote for each vacancy on the Council.
Voter eligibility requirements and voting instructions shall be printed on the ballots. Ballots shall be counted by a committee appointed by the President of the Council. The election results shall be announced in the parish bulletin on the Sunday following the election. In case of a tie, the current members of the Council shall vote one week following the election to break the tie.
The newly elected members of the Council shall be notified and shall attend the first regular meeting following the election. At the beginning of that meeting, the newly elected members assume the voting privileges of the members they are replacing on the Council.
article five: Duties of the officers and members
The officers of the Council shall consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Assistant Secretary. Officers shall be elected by the members of the Council from its membership. Positions are to be elected for one year terms with a maximum of two consecutive years in any position. The election of officers shall be accomplished no later than the second regular meeting following the annual election.
The duties of the officers shall be as
President – The President shall serve as Chairperson for the Council. The President shall convene and preside at all meetings of the Council and Executive Committee and shall, with the assistance of the Principal, prepare the agenda for the meetings. The President shall appoint committees to carry out the functions of the Council. The President shall perform such other additional duties as required by his office.
Vice President – The Vice President, in the absence of or at the request of the President, shall perform the duties and exercise the functions of the President and when so acting shall have the power of the President. The Vice President shall perform such other duties as delegated by the President of the Council.
Secretary – The secretary shall see that the minutes of all meetings are kept, that notices are fully given in accordance with the provisions of this document, shall serve as the custodian of all records of the Council, shall execute and attest written instruments as directed by the Council, and shall perform all duties inherent to the office of Secretary to the Council as from time to time may be assigned by the President or Principal.
Assistant Secretary – The assistant secretary, in the absence of the secretary, shall perform the duties and exercise the functions of the secretary.
Principal of the School – The Principal shall execute all written instruments, shall report the actions and recommendations of the Council to the Pastor (as necessary), and shall assist the President in the preparation of the agenda for meetings.
article six: Meetings
Regular meetings of the Council shall be held monthly on dates and at places designated by the Council. The calendar for meetings should be set in advance of the school year. These dates should be published in the school and parish calendars. Meetings shall be ordinarily open to the public. The Council may hold closed sessions at its discretion whenever issues involve personnel or other confidential matters.
Special Council meetings may be called by the President or by a total of three Council members, provided all members are notified and informed of the purpose of the meeting. Special Council meetings may be open or closed to non-Council members, as deemed appropriate by the Council.
Any non-council member wishing to address the Council must contact the President at least seven (7) days prior to a scheduled meeting.
ARTICLE SEVEN: STANDING COMMITTEES, TASK FORCES AND SPECIAL PROJECT COMMITTEES
The Council shall have the responsibility of appointing and approving members of necessary committees, task forces, and special project committees. Such groups should be composed of Council members and non-Council members. The term of such a group is dependent on the task and should be short-termed by nature. No member may serve more than two consecutive years on a specific committee or task force. Liaisons from other parish groups should be appointed as
Current standing committees of the Council on which one or more Council members shall be assigned are:
1. Athletic Committee: The responsibilities of the Council member who serves as the St Elizabeth Athletic Committee Representative shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
A. To report on activities of the Athletic Committee as they affect the St. Elizabeth children at regular Council
B. To keep the Athletic Committee informed of important Council issues; and
C. To foster two-way communication between the Council and the Athletic Committee.
2. Community Parent Teachers Association (CPTA): The Community Parent Teachers Association is an organization, which operates under the authority of the St. Elizabeth Council. The primary responsibilities of the CPTA are fundraising and promoting a sense of community in support of St. Elizabeth School. The St. Elizabeth School annual budget includes a predetermined contribution from the CPTA. Money generated in excess of the predetermined amount may be used for the benefit of the School as the CPTA wishes, after input is received from the principal and approval received from the pastor. The responsibility of the President Couple of the CPTA who serves on the Council shall include, but not be limited to the following:
A. To report on the activities of the CPTA at regular Council
B. To foster two-way communication between the Council and the CPTA; and
C. To obtain an annual financial statement of the
3. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM): The responsibilities of the STEM committee shall include, but not be limited to:
A. [Still need a description of
In an effort to assist communication among Pastor, Council, and other parish advisory groups or committees, members of the Council will attend meetings of other St. Elizabeth Parish entities. Council members will be assigned to attend meetings at Parish Council, Parish Finance, & Stewardship on a monthly basis. Council members assigned to these groups are to represent the Council at these meetings and report back to the Council as needed. The Council shall consider additional committee assignments, as they become necessary.
article eight: rules of order
Ordinarily decisions regarding policy matters and other major issues should not be made at the initial presentation, which shall be set aside for information and clarification purposes. In order to provide the most useful consultation to the pastor and principal the Council shall employ the consensus method of decision making. If the Council is unable to reach consensus the minutes should reflect the different positions taken and the reasons behind the Council’s decision or recommendation.
1. Quorum. A quorum shall consist of five voting members of the Council. No Council business shall be conducted without quorum. A simple majority of votes cast by the Council members present shall be required to approve a proposal.
2. Recording of Votes. When demanded by any member of the Council, the “Ayes” and “Nays ” shall be called for and recorded. Any member who requests ma y have his vote and reasons recorded on any question.
3. Consent Agenda. The agenda of the Council shall provide for a list of consent items shall be known as the consent agenda. The President of the Council shall identify those items to appear on the consent agenda. If an item appears on the consent agenda, no debate shall occur on such item but shall be accepted or rejected based solely on the vote of members. If any Council member desires debate on any issue, the Council member shall request that the item be removed from the consent agenda prior to the vote. Once the item is removed from the consent agenda, debate is allowed. If no action is taken at the meeting a debate occurs, the President of the Council may request that the item appear on the consent agenda of any following regular Council meeting.
4. Agenda. The order of business at regular meetings shall contain as a minimum the following:
A. Roll Call
B. Distribution and approval of minutes
(1) Principal reports
(2) Committee reports
D. Old Business
E. New Business
F. Audience to Non-Council members if appropriate
G. Such other matters as may appropriately come before the meeting
5. Procedure. Any question decided upon by the Council shall not be raised again during the same fiscal year except on motion to reconsider. In the absence of any special rules or by special order of the Council, meetings of the Council shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Orders (Revised) or any other established methodology as approved by the Council.
article nine: amendments
These By-Laws, or any part thereof, may be amended or repealed by a majority of at least five members of the Council at a regular meeting as follows
1. A written notice of the proposal to amend or repeal these By-Laws shall be given to each member of the Council at least seven days prior to the date of the next regular meeting unless said prior written notice requirement is waived by all voting Council members.
2. The proposal shall be discussed at the next regular meeting and voted upon at the meeting or at the next subsequent regular meeting.
STE School Advisory Council Members:
JESSICA UNDERWOOD, PRESIDENT
Jessica Underwood is a lifelong parishioner and class of 1995 alumna from St. Elizabeth School. She and her husband Chris have six children, five of which are currently enrolled at STE. Betsy (Class of 2023), Topher (Class of 2024), Mac (Class of 2026), Simon (Class of 2028) and Ralphie i(Class of 2030). Their youngest Dierks, “Everybody’s baby”, plans to start preschool next year.
After STE’s, Jessie attended St. Teresa’s Academy, then graduated from Marquette University in 2003 with a degree in Communications. After 8 years in corporate sales, Jessie founded a recruiting firm, Chief of Staff, where she is still involved as a member owner.
Jessie is passionate about helping the KC community, especially the people of STE. Jessie has always known St. Elizabeth is where she’d want to raise her children and has been delighted to find the core values stronger than ever, 25+ years later.
She has served on numerous committees for the parish, most recently as a co-chair for the Building Our Legacy capital campaign. Jessie is thrilled at the opportunity to take her leadership and passion to the school board as we build upon the success of STE, by constantly looking for ways to improve and do better for our kids.
Lauren Bertram, Vice president and SPecial Projects
Hello there! My name is Lauren Bertram. My husband (Jamey) and I have been parishioners at St. Elizabeth for almost 10 years and have two children who attend St. Elizabeth. Amelia (Class of 2028) and Cal (Class of 2031).
Growing up in a small town, I always loved the close and supportive community environment I was raised in. Being Catholic has also always been a big part of my life; so it was a no-brainer when our family decided on St. Elizabeth as our parish and school.
I hope to take the experience I’ve gained professionally in recruitment, event planning, fundraising, and D&I and partner it along with my passion for giving back.
I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of the STE School Advisory Committee and look forward to giving back to our STE community, who has already had such a profound impact on me and my family’s lives, in the new role as STEM Committee Liaison.
Susan Lopez, secretary
I’m Susan Lopez. My husband Mario and our family are parishioners here at St. Elizabeth Church. We have three sons, Michael, Christian and Lionel (Leo). We have been married 25 years. I have a Bachelors in Liberal Arts from UMKC and an Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies from Metropolitan Community College. I have been a licensed Realtor Broker for over 20 years in Missouri and Kansas. I have spent most of those years working at Reece Nichols.
Our two older boys both graduated from Catholic schools. My oldest currently is a senior at Rockhurst University. We are happy to be at St. Elizabeth's, our youngest has been attending since Pre-K; and he benefits from the FIRE program. I look forward to many years at St. Elizabeth's and getting to know many of you.
Molly Pease, parish council liasion
I’m Molly Pease. My family and I have been parishioners since 1978. My four children attended St. Elizabeth’s from Preschool through Eighth Grade and I am very grateful that they received wonderful educations.
I have a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from UMKC and have been on staff at St. E’s from 1987 to 2020 as a Kindergarten Teacher aide, Pre-K Teacher and Kindergarten Teacher. I am proud to have been a teacher when St. E’s was chosen as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.
Currently, I have five grandchildren enrolled so I have a strong desire to see quality education continue at St. Elizabeth’s. I am happy to be a member of the School Advisory Council!
ANita Nolte, STEAM committee liasion
Anita grew up in the Prairie Village, KS. She attended St. Ann Catholic School and Bishop Miege (class of 1994).
After graduating college from the University of Kansas, she began a career in insurance sales. She has continued her insurance career and has been with Lincoln Financial for 15 years.
Anita moved to Colorado in the early 2000’s. She married Andrew in 2006 and they adopted their first child in 2010.
Anita and Andy moved back to KC in 2011 and became parishioners at STE. Both of her daughters attend STE, Elliotte (class of 2024) and Keira (Class of 2027). Anita has been involved in many volunteer opportunities such Grade/Room Parent, Grade/Room Parent, Cafeteria Volunteer, Girl Scout Cookie Manager and looks forward to her new role as STEM Committee Liaison.
Casey Mcgraw, athletic committee liasion
Josh Boesen, finance committee liasion
2020 is my first year on the school board, on which I serve as the finance committee liaison. I have been a St. Elizabeth parishioner since 2015. My three children attend the school (Teddy - Class of 2027, Charlie - Class of 2030 and Susie – Class of 2031).
Prior to joining St. Elizabeth, my wife Maureen and I lived in Omaha. I grew up in south Kansas City, where I attended St. Thomas More. After graduating from Rockhurst High School, I moved to Omaha to attend Creighton University and start my career. I now work as a commercial banking portfolio manager.
Kate Van dyke, Kindness committee and STE Belong liaison
Hi, my name is Kate Van Dyke! I am happy to be a part of the STE School Board, not only as a way to be more involved, but as a way to give back to the wonderful STE community.
After attending public schools, I truly appreciate the close-knit community St. Elizabeth provides. My husband, Joe, is a lifelong St. Elizabeth parishioner and graduate. He introduced me to St. Elizabeth when we started dating and I went through the RCIA program and joined the parish almost 15 years ago.
We have 3 children who all attend St. Elizabeth – Mary Jane (Class of 2024), Bo (Class of 2026) and Annabelle (Class of 2029). I love having the opportunity to serve our community as a member of the School Advisory Council!