Board Meeting Wednesday May 22 6pm Ft. Myers Campus

Governing Board of Athenian Academy

The Governing Board exists and is dedicated to help ensure Athenian Academy is run smoothly in every capacity. The Board establishes, maintains and has regular meetings on governing that allow for an ethical and compliant performance across the board. The Board works regularly with School Management to delegate work and interacts with the general public during meetings to answer questions and provide insight on operations.

The Governing Board meets every last Monday of the month.

Board Members

John PantazesBoard President
Mark TsetsiBoard Member
Vasili NezerBoard Member
Voula PatridesBoard Member
Tina PeglerBoard Member
Tanya BonillaParent Liason Clearwater Campus
Laurie HoffmanParent Liason Ft. Myers Campus

Role of the Board

The charter school governing board, to remain accountable to the sponsor, parents and students, its donors, the public, is to safeguard its tax-exempt status, approve the annual budget and ensure that proper financial controls are in place.

Financial oversight includes approval of annual operating, long-range financial planning, and development of financial policies. Physical assets oversight assures the wellbeing of all the physical assets of the school such as facilities. The Board also:

  • Holds Staff Accountable for Budget Management
  • Ensures Timely Financial Reporting
  • Authorizes Independent Audit
  • Selects Independent Auditor
  • Banking Decisions
  • Vendor Contracts
The board director will show a level of competence that is expected and is commonly expressed as the “duty of care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise in a like position and under similar circumstances.” The Board owes the duty to exercise reasonable care when he or she decides a steward of the Athenian Academy Charter School. They will share these additional responsibilities:

  • Regular attendance at board meetings.
  • Active participation and discussion in decision-making.
  • Good business judgment.
  • Financial integrity.
  • Accountability to those who have a stake in the charter school, especially students and their families, but also including staff, volunteers and the wider community served by the school.
  • Defining and Supporting the Mission and Vision. In addition to fulfilling legal requirements, the governing board is composed of individuals who support the school’s mission, believe in it and seek to promote it.
  • Clearly articulating the organization’s mission, accomplishments, and goals to the public, as well as garnering support from important members of the community.

It is the governing board’s responsibility to create the mission statement and review it periodically for accuracy and validity.  Each individual board director should fully understand and support it.
One of the Board’s foremost responsibilities is to provide adequate resources for the charter school to fulfill its mission.  The board works in partnership with the charter school administrator.

The strategic planning process is the “accountability planning” process. In this process, the school addresses the following questions:

  • What do we want our students to know and be able to do at different levels (what are the “academic standards”)?
  • How will we measure student achievement with reference to the standards?
  • How will we align curriculum and instructional practices to meet those standards?
  • What will we do with the information we get?
  • Commitment to and active role in strategic planning.
  • Building dialogue on critical issues into every board meeting.
  • Reflective of the educational goals of the school;
  • Written within the scope of the school board’s authority;
  • Adopted through proper board procedure;
  • Respectful of legal and constitutional rights and requirements; and
  • Communicated to the persons within the charter school community it will affect.
  • Applicable federal and state laws, including Internal Revenue Service regulations.
  • Charter school contract with the Sponsor.
  • Articles of incorporation for the Athenian Academy Charter School.
  • Bylaws of the Athenian Academy Charter School.
  • Standing policies of the board of the Athenian Academy Charter School.
  • Other one-time, short-term policies found in the Athenian Academy Charter School board minutes.
  • Personnel policies and procedures.
  • Administrative decisions made by staff based on, and/or consistent with, the above.
  • No action or policy decision at any one level within this hierarchy may violate the rules set in the level above it.

The board’s role in this area is to determine which educational programs and services are the most consistent with the school’s mission and to monitor their effectiveness.

  • Misrepresentation
  • Staff Salary Schedules
  • Staff Benefit Plans
  • Internal Controls

One responsibility of the board of directors is appraising the work of the School Leader.

Athenian Academy School Leaders are evaluated yearly using The Florida Consortium of Public Charter School’s evaluation tool.

This evaluation can help to improve the confidence, support, growth and working relationship between the board and the School Leader.

The board ensures that the charter school administrator has the moral and professional support he or she needs to further the goals of the charter school. In addition, he or she:

  • Adheres to Contract with the Sponsor
  • Sets Expectations for Operations
  • Complies with Laws
  • Stays Informed
  • Has Final Authority in Conflict Resolution Onsite
  • Sets Standards for Board Members

The governing board of directors has appointed Mrs. Tanya Bonilla as its representative for the Athenian Academy Charter School to facilitate parental involvement, provide access to information, assist parents and others with questions and concerns, and to resolve disputes. Mrs. Bonilla can be reached at 2289 N. Hercules Ave. Clearwater, Florida 33763. PH. 727-298-2718.

Conflicts and Conflict of Interest

Conflicts shall be resolved with the people with which it was created. Board members will commit to resolving conflict directly with each other or with the appropriate staff member and not share the conflict with anyone outside of the conflict, including, but not limited to other parents, other staff members or the media.

Board members shall exemplify integrity, honesty and respect. A dedication and commitment to the vision of Athenian Academy and the charter school movement shall be top priority for any board member. Any board member finding himself or herself involved in an unresolvable conflict shall put the vision of the school first and step down from the board.

Written Policy: The Board has an established written policy on avoiding conflicts of interest.

Loans: Athenian Academy is a nonprofit corporation and may not lend money to a board director or the board director’s family members.

Corporate Opportunity: Directors of business organizations are under a fiduciary obligation not to divert a corporate business opportunity for their personal gain. A board director of a charter school that is a nonprofit corporation is also subject to this duty. This duty means that the board may not engage in or benefit from a business opportunity that is available to and suitable for the charter school unless the charter school decides not to engage in the business opportunity and conflicts of interest procedures are followed.

Compliance with Governing Documents: The Board has a duty to follow the Athenian Academy Charter School’s governing documents (articles of incorporation and bylaws), to carry out the charter school’s mission and to assure that funds are used for lawful purposes. Also, the Board must comply with other state and federal laws that relate to the charter school and the way in which it conducts its operations.

State and Federal Statutes: The Board should be familiar with many state and federal statutes and laws relating to charter schools. Board directors should see to it that their charter school’s status with state and federal agencies is protected and that no actions are being taken that would put this status in jeopardy.

Filing Requirements: The Board must comply with deadlines for taxation, for filing with the Attorney General, for registering with the Secretary of State’s Office, for making social security payments, for income tax withholding.

Governing Documents: The Board is familiar with their charter school’s governing documents and should follow the provisions of those documents. The Board ensures proper notice is given for meetings, that regular meetings are held, that board directors are properly appointed and that the charter school’s mission is being accomplished.

Board Meetings

The Board will meet every month and have at least two public meetings per school year within the Sponsoring District. The meetings will be noticed, open, and accessible to the public, and attendees will be provided an opportunity to receive information and provide input regarding the charter school’s operations. The appointed representative and charter school principal or director, or his or her equivalent, will be physically present at each meeting.

Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Board shall be held on August I of each year, unless the President, or the Board by resolution, provide for a different time and place for the holding of such annual meetings. All meetings of the Board of Members and its committees are subject to the “Sunshine Law” Chapter 286, Florida Statutes.

Special Meetings

Special Meetings of the Board may be called by the Chairman or any two voting members of the Board.  The person(s) calling such meeting may set the location of the meeting as a conveniently accessible place for all Board members and the public.  Special Meetings must be scheduled with no less than one (1) day prior notice and must be established to discuss only a single issue.

Audience Participation

Any person wishing to address the Board during public comment should arrive prior to the commencement of the meeting and must complete a request form provided at each Board meeting. Each speaker will be permitted three minutes. Persons addressing the Board must state their name and address and direct their remarks to the Board. Persons will be recognized in the order in which requests are received.

The Board shall have the right to remove any person who is disruptive to or interferes with the meeting.

Sensory or mobility impaired persons seeking assistance for participation in any Board meeting should contact the Board Liaison prior to the meeting.

Relationship with the School Leader

Distinction between governance and management. The decision-making model reflects a clear distinction between governance decision-making and management decision-making. The Board focuses on matters of governance and delegates’ administration and management to the School Leader who in turn delegates to other staff.

  • The Board hires, supervises, compensates, and (if necessary) terminates the School Leader
  • Board members will not question any decision made by the School Leader in any public arena. If a director questions a decision, he or she shall immediately take that concern or disagreement to the administrator in a confidential and diplomatic format. Likewise, the School Leader shall agree to the same commitment. Respect for each other shall remain constant.
  • While at the school, board members shall be mindful of the different roles they play: parent, volunteer, board member, etc. A board member will not use their position of authority while acting in their parent or volunteer roles. Directors shall foster good relationships with the administrator and staff on a personal level. With humility, each board member will serve the best interests of the school.

Board members shall remember that stepping out of their advisory/board capacity and attempting to run the school as an administrator will always cause problems.

  • The vision and mission statement of The Athenian Academy Charter School will serve to guide and direct the Board. The goal to continually improve, maintain integrity, serve Athenian families and ensure academic success for our students shall take precedence in all situations.

Governing Board Code of Ethics

  • Will not hold any employment or contractual relationship with a business or agency which is subject to the regulation of or is doing business with the school. F.S. 1002.33(26) (a)-(b); F.S.
    112.313(7)(a) (exception for collective bargaining).
  • Will not hold any employment or contractual relationship that will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between private interests and the performance of public duties or that would impede the full and faithful discharge of your public duties. F.S. 1002.33(26) (a)-(b); F.S. 112.313(7)(a).
  • Will not disclose or use information not available to members of the public and gained because of your official position, except for information relating exclusively to governmental practices, for your personal gain or benefit or the benefit of another person. F.S.1002.33(26) (a)-(b); F.S. 112.313(8).
  • Will not solicit or accept anything of value including a gift, loan, reward, promise of future employment, favor or service based upon any understanding that your vote, official action, or judgment will be influenced thereby. F.S. 1002.33(26) (a)-(b); F.S. 112.313(2).
  • Will not accept and do not allow your spouse or minor child to accept any compensation, payment, or thing of value when you know, or with the exercise of reasonable care, should know, that it was given to you to influence a vote or other action in which you are expected to participate. F.S. 1002.33(26) (a)-(b); F.S. 112.313(4).
  • Will not corruptly use or attempt to use your position or any property or resource which may be within your trust, or perform your official duties to secure a special privilege, benefit, or exemption for yourself or others. F.S. 1002.33(26) (a)- (b); F.S. 112.313(6).
  • The Governing Board may not include: – a school employee or spouse or – charter management company employee or spouse. F.S. 1002.33(26) (c)
  • Will not, either directly or indirectly, purchase, rent or lease any realty, goods or services for your own agency from any business entity of which you or your spouse or child is an officer, partner, director or proprietor or has a material interest. F.S. 1002.33(26) (a)-(b); F.S. 112.313(3).
  • Will not rent, lease, or sell any realty, or services to your own agency. F.S. 1002.33(26) (a)-(b); F.S. 112.313(3).
  • Will not appoint, employ, promote or advance or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion or advancement, in or to a position in the agency in which the official is serving or over which the official exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative of the public official.
  • Will not be appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a position in an agency if such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement has been advocated by a public official, serving in or exercising jurisdiction or control over the agency, who is a relative of the individual or if such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement is made by a collegial body of which a relative of the individual is a member. (Relatives include husband/wife, parents, parents-in-law, step parents, children, step children, siblings, step siblings, uncle/aunt, first cousins, and nephews/nieces). F.S. 112.3135(2)(a); CEO 06-13

Florida Whistleblower Act

Extends protection to five categories of employees including those who:

  • Disclose information on their own initiative in a written and signed complaint
  • Are requested to participate in an investigation, hearing or other inquiry conducted by any agency or federal government entity
  • Refuse to participate in any adverse action prohibited by the act