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BETHANY CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS, INC.
Incorporated as a Non-profit Corporation
in the State of Indiana, June 17, 1953
Bethany Christian Schools, Inc., an organization owned by Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference and incorporated in the State of Indiana, in order to further through Christian education the cause of Christ, adopts the following Bylaws.
Article 1 – Name
The name of this non-profit corporation is Bethany Christian Schools, Inc.
Article 2 – Purposes
The purposes of this corporation are:
- To plan for, finance, construct, manage, and administer a high school, middle school, and/or other schools that assist parents and the church in the sacred obligation of teaching their children; that deepen understanding of and appreciation for the Bible; that inspire commitment to Christ; and that promote appreciation for faith in an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective and active participation in congregational life.
- To provide a dynamic learning community that integrates faith development with academic excellence and to equip students for Christian discipleship in the church and around the world.
- To meet requirements for accreditation by the state of Indiana, Mennonite Education Agency, and other accreditation bodies, as deemed appropriate, insofar as these are congruent with Anabaptist-Mennonite perspectives.
Article 3 – The Board
Section a: Accountability
The board shall be accountable to Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference through its leadership team and through annual reports to the delegate body.
Section b: Board Members
Bethany Christian Schools’ board shall number from nine to twelve members, who shall be selected as prescribed by Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference’s own Bylaws, as follows:
(1) The Conference Moderator or designee shall serve on the board, functioning as a liaison between the leadership team of Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference and Bethany’s board. The term of this appointment shall be one year.
(2) Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference’s leadership team, in consultation with Bethany’s board and administrative leader, shall appoint or forward for delegate action the remaining eight-to-eleven members for three-year terms.
(a) Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference’s gifts discernment team and Bethany’s Governance Committee shall collaborate in identifying prospective board members and recommending individuals with the capacity to contribute to effective oversight of the school.
(b) A vacancy resulting from resignation or other cause may be filled by Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference’s leadership team in consultation with Bethany’s Governance Committee and chief administrator. A board member so chosen shall serve until the expiration of the replaced board member’s term.
(c) A board member may serve a maximum of three full consecutive three-year terms.
Section c: Qualifications
(1) Members of Bethany Christian Schools’ board shall be active members of Christian congregations; have deep interest in the church and its mission; be ready to contribute the time required for board work; set a good example in praying, serving and giving in support of the church; and be persons of good judgment with active interest in Christian education.
(2) The process of discerning who is suitable for the board shall include consideration of aptitudes and skills needed as well as representation of pastors, parents, and educators; women and men; persons from varied racial-ethnic backgrounds; individuals of different ages; and persons from congregations with significant involvement at Bethany.
(3) At least 75% of the board members shall be members of Mennonite Church USA congregations.
Section d: Meetings
(1) The board shall meet regularly on a schedule and at a location established at the beginning of each board year.
(2) Special meetings may be called by the chair or a majority of board members. A written notice stating the time, place, and purpose of such a meeting shall be given to board members at least five days before the meeting. The requirement of five-day days’ notice can be waived by unanimous consent of all board members.
(3) With consent of all board members, the board may conduct business according to these Bylaws in meetings other than those with all participants physically present – for example, meetings by email, teleconference, or video conference.
Section e: Quorum
A majority of the total number of board members in office shall constitute a quorum for a meeting of the board. At a meeting with a quorum, an action of the majority of the board members present shall be an action of the board unless the board had decided to require a higher level of support for a given action.
Section f: Board Responsibilities
(1) Selecting, appointing, evaluating and, as appropriate, reappointing the principal.
(2) Approving the school’s administrative organization.
(3) Leading periodic reviews of the school’s mission statement and adopting changes.
(4) Setting policies that will assist the school in fulfilling its mission and facilitate effective management and operation of the school.
(5) Establishing a policy framework to guide the principal in hiring members of the faculty and staff and, when asked to do so, offering the principal counsel on hiring decisions.
(6) Assessing the ever-changing environment and annually approving the school’s strategy to respond.
(7) Participating in institutional goal-setting and strategic planning and adopting plans when appropriate.
(8) Evaluating administrative proposals for adding or discontinuing programs and authorizing any major program changes.
(9) Approving annual budgets, overseeing the school’s financial affairs throughout the year, and supporting efforts to ensure that the school has adequate funding to carry out its mission.
(10) Evaluating and, when appropriate, approving the buying or selling of real estate and legal claims on capital assets.
(11) Serving as Bethany’s advocates in the community.
(12) Advising the principal on administrative issues.
(13) Acting as a court of appeal, when necessary, within the institution.
(14) Evaluating the school’s achievements and reporting annually to the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference.
Section g: Conflict of Interest
The board shall maintain a current policy related to conflicts of interest. Board members are expected to disclose any actual or potential conflicts of interest in a timely fashion and to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest that might embarrass the board and/or Bethany.
Article 4 – Officers of the Board
Section a: Terms of Office
The board shall organize annually by electing a chair, assistant chair, secretary, and treasurer from among the members of the board. The term of office shall be for one year or until successors are elected.
Section b: Duties of the Chairperson
The chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the board, chair the Governance Committee, serve ex officio on any committee, and perform such other duties as are usually performed by a chair.
Section c: Duties of the Assistant Chairperson
The assistant chairperson shall serve as chair in the absence of, or at the request of, the chair.
Section d: Duties of the Secretary
The secretary shall ensure that accurate minutes of each meeting of the board are recorded and kept.
Section e: Duties of the Treasurer
The treasurer shall chair the Finance Committee.
Section f: Removal from Office
Any officer of the board may be removed at any time, with or without cause, by a majority vote of the entire board.
Article 5 – Liability Insurance
Board members, officers, and employees of Bethany Christian Schools shall be insured to the extent provided under Indiana Code 23-17-16, as this law prescribes at the time when these bylaws are adopted or as modified by bylaws and board resolution from time to time.
Article 6 – Amendments
These Bylaws may be amended at any regular or special meeting of the board, without previous notice, by unanimous consent of those present; or by two-thirds majority of the board members present, provided that notice describing the proposed amendment(s) has been sent to each board member at least ten days before the vote on adoption. No amendment shall take effect until approved by the leadership team of the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference.
Date adopted: April 30, 2012
* Approved with amendment by Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference’s Missional Leadership Team on April 21, 2012; approved as amended by Bethany Christian Schools’ board on April 30, 2012.