Why should I join High School America?
To be part of a movement that believes that America’s high schools are more than educational institutions, that they form part of the cultural and social fabric of our communities, that their contributions to the attitudes and mores of each generation of citizens is crucial to our civilization, and that without a strong voice in the halls of government, high schools may suffer in an era of constrained budgets and limited revenue.
Is HSA a 501(c)(3) organization?
No. Because HSA intends to be involved in the political process at all governmental levels in its effort to preserve and promote America’s high schools, it cannot claim charitable status under the tax code.
What are your plans for the next several months?
We want to recruit as many high school associations, high school graduates, and individuals associated with high schools as possible to the new organization to build sufficient bulk to give our views credibility on the national stage. By the summer, we will start to identify the issues we think are most important. By the fall, we will be ready to announce our first issue campaigns as well as the fund raising projects that we hope will sustain the organization in the coming years.
Are you planning a book project?
We are. The HSA book project is envisaged as a series of books with members serving as Contributing Authors under the title, My Favorite High School Memories. Some of the chapters will be humorous, others sad, romantic, and revelatory. However a chapter strikes a reader, we hope all will be testaments to the importance of high school in our development.
How will the organization be financed?
At the outset, we hope to raise sufficient money from membership fees to launch the organization. Later on, we hope the products the organization sells will sustain it.
Why are individual membership dues just $2?
Although the $2 will help us defray a few of our initial expenses, the fee is intended as a symbolic homage to Thomas Jefferson. We hope it won’t discourage anyone from joining and yet give joining some meaning. We believe high schools have a great deal to do with the continuing success of America’s democracy. Jefferson was instrumental in insisting on democratic ideals in the creation of American governance practices.
I never graduated high school. Am I eligible to join HSA?
Anyone who has attended an American high school, no matter the length of time and no matter if he or she was graduated, is eligible for membership in HSA. By the same token, we welcome anyone who has worked at an American high school during his career.
When do you expect to have the first National HSA Meeting?
We hope to have the initial gathering of member organizations and interested individuals in September 2012 in Palm Springs, California. We will be sharing information about the conference as we get closer to the date.
Why are there three constituent elements in High School America?
Each element is likely to be interested in a different aspect of the high school experience. The Association of High School Alumni Organizations, we assume, will be most involved in exchanging information about the nuts and bolts of running organizations of the size of a high school alumni group – how to raise funds, how to stay in touch with graduates, how to offer programs that cross multiple graduating classes, how to bring graduates back to campus to mentor current students, and the like. We think individual members will be more interested in the substantive education, cultural, and social issues involving high school students. We also wanted a place for those graduates who do not have an alumni organization at their school. We would anticipate that teachers, administrators, and staff will want to become involved in personnel, pension, and other personnel matters effecting high schools.
If I am a member in good standing of an alumni association, should I also join HSA as an individual?
Yes. First of all, it may take a while for your alumni association to learn of High School America and to make the decision to join. In the meantime, you can add your voice to the effort to improve America’s high schools and help us become a group to be reckoned with. Even after your high school alumni association becomes a part of High School America, your participation will continue to be needed in those areas of interest different from the Associations.
Tell us how the organization will function.
A Charter for the organization has been drafted. It is tentative. We expect that it will be formally adopted at the first National HSA Conference. In the interim, the organization will be governed by a Board of Trustees selected first by the Chairman-Designate and then by him and his fellow Board members, one by one, until the full complement of seven has been selected. They will determine the type of structure they want for the organization. At the moment, it is a not-for-profit enterprise organized under the laws of State of California.