The National School Boards Association (NSBA) Council of School Attorneys (COSA), the national network of attorneys representing K-12 public school districts, has seated new members for its 2020-2021 Board of Directors.

COSA supports school attorneys and provides leadership in legal advocacy for public schools; its 22-member Board of Directors oversees its continuing legal education programming and working groups for its more than 3,100 members across the United States and Canada.

Jim Keith became Chair: Keith is a partner with the Jackson, Mississippi office of Adams and Reese, where he serves as the attorney for the Mississippi School Boards Association, the Mississippi High School Activities Association, and the board attorney for twelve school districts. He received his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Joy Baskin
became Chair-Elect: Baskin is the Director of Legal Services at the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), where she oversees the division’s activities and informs TASB’s other service areas about legal developments. She received her law degree with honors from the University of Texas School of Law.

Joe Scholler became Vice Chair: Scholler is an equity partner at Frost Brown Todd, where he leads the Government Services practice group serving schools and other public sector entities. He received his law degree from the University of Dayton School of Law.

Debra Silk became Secretary: Silk is the Associate Executive Director and General Counsel to the Montana School Boards Association (MTSBA), where she is involved in every aspect of MTSBA from assisting its member school districts, oversight of its staff, programs and services, and assisting the Executive Director with Board and Association Matters. She received her law degree from the University of Idaho.

“Advocating for public education is a prime focus for NSBA,” said Francisco M. Negrón, Jr., NSBA’s Chief Legal Officer. “COSA’s new slate of officers and directors, passionate and experienced law practitioners from across the country, will strengthen and expand our legal advocacy efforts in the coming year.”

COSA welcomes four new directors to their first two-year term: Sara Clark, Chief Legal Counsel for the Ohio School Boards Association; A. Lynn Himes, an equity partner with Himes, Petrarca, & Fester in Chicago, Illinois; Heidi Maynard, an attorney with Vandeberg Johnson & Gandara, LLP, in Tacoma, Washington; and JulieAnn Rico, General Counsel for the School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida.

In addition, COSA welcomes three directors to a second two-year term: Chris Borreca, a partner at Thompson & Horton LLP, in Houston, Texas; Michele Eaddy, a partner at Thrun Law Firm in East Lansing, Michigan; Erin Gilsbach, an attorney at Steckel and Stopp in Slatington, Pennsylvania; and Jennifer Smith, a partner at Franczek Radelet P.C., in Chicago, Illinois.

Outgoing COSA Chair Phil Hartley congratulates the new officers and directors. “This group of school attorney leaders is made up of truly accomplished lawyers with a shared commitment to public education. Their skills and experiences will be an asset to the board and the COSA community,” said Hartley.

Diane Marshall-Freeman, past COSA Chair and head of this year’s nominating committee, agreed. “The Council’s new leaders bring geographic diversity, experience, and dedication for our mission, providing valuable perspectives to COSA’s board of directors,” said Marshall-Freeman, “I’m confident of the continued success of COSA’s efforts in supporting school attorneys and providing leadership in legal advocacy for public schools and welcome our new officers and directors.”

For more information about COSA, visit nsba.org/COSA.

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