COSA Announcements

Submit a Proposal for Chicago! COSA is accepting proposals from its members for in-depth, interactive sessions to be presented on timely school law topics at its 2017 School Law Practice Seminar October 19-21, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Proposals and speaker resumes are due on or before March 17, 2017. Please read the Call for Proposals carefully and submit your information on the attached form.

COSA Nominating Committee Announces Slate

The COSA Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the following slate of nominees for COSA leadership positions, to be voted on by the membership at the annual COSA Business Meeting and Elections Saturday, March 25 at 9:30 a.m. at the Sheraton Denver Downtown.

Pursuant to Article IV, Section 5 of the COSA bylaws, “No nominations will be accepted from the floor. Nominations from the membership must be submitted in writing over the signature of ten (10) members and be delivered to the Chairperson at the NSBA headquarters no less than 30 days prior to the annual meeting of the Council.”

Any such nomination should be directed to Sonja Trainor via email at


Pilar Sokol (NY), currently Chair-elect, becomes
COSA Chair without further vote of the membership.

Diane Marshall-Freeman (CA), Chair-elect
Phil Hartley (GA), Vice-Chair
Jim Keith (MS), Secretary

Directors for First Two-year Term
Lisa M. Freiley (OR)
Tiffany N. Richardson (SC)
Marc L. Terry (MA)

Directors for Second Two-year Term
Randall G. Bennett (TN)
Michael J. Julka (WI)
Michael E. Smith (CA)
Jim Walsh (TX)

Proposed Amendments to COSA Bylaws

At its annual Business Meeting and Elections to be held Saturday, March 25, COSA will consider proposed amendments to its Bylaws, which were last amended in 2010. The proposed amendments were developed by a subcommittee of the COSA Board of Directors and discussed and approved by that Board at its meeting held October 16, 2016. Upon approval of the COSA membership, the Bylaws amendments will be submitted to the NSBA Board of Directors for approval.  The Business Meeting and Elections will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 25, 2017 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown, in conjunction with the 2017 School Law Seminar.

The Proposed Amendments and Summary are available to COSA members. You must be logged in to in order to view them.  Please contact Sonja Trainor at with any questions.

Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented to Martin Semple

The COSA Awards Committee is pleased to announce that it will present COSA’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Martin Semple on March 24, 2017. The award will be given in Mr. Semple’s home town, Denver, Colorado, at the morning general session of COSA’s 2017 School Law Seminar.

Martin has represented school districts in Colorado for nearly 40 years, exhibiting leadership and mentorship in all aspects of his law practice: competency in substance, integrity in ethics, and collegiality with all with whom he works. Respected as an authority in practically all areas of school law, he’s made a particularly strong mark in the labor and employment sector, guiding numerous school districts through the maze of collective bargaining, expertly handling countless grievance arbitrations, and dispensing sage advice on thousands of disciplinary situations. He has been a member of the Colorado School Attorneys Council for decades, chairing the organization in 1984, and has long collaborated with the Colorado Association of School Boards.

Many Colorado attorneys count Martin as role model and mentor; and school attorneys nationwide have benefitted from his leadership. He served on the COSA Board of Directors from 1992-2003, chairing the Board in 2000. He has presented sessions at COSA seminars on a variety of topics and authored several articles for COSA publications.

A few of the many COSA members who nominated Martin for the Lifetime Achievement Award will offer remarks at the awards presentation Friday, March 24 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown. We hope you can join us for the School Law Seminar to see Martin receive the award and to help COSA celebrate 50 years of legal advocacy for public schools.

COSA Welcomes 38th Affiliated State Council of School Attorneys
Indiana becomes COSA’s 38th affiliated state Council of School Attorneys.
Thanks go to Andrew Manna, COSA Board Member and Seamus Boyce, Past COSA Board Member, Church, Church, Hittle & Antrim; and Lisa Tanselle, General Counsel, and Julie Slavens, Staff Attorney, Indiana School Boards Association, who were instrumental in facilitating the affiliation of the Indiana state council of school attorneys.

Thank You COSA Members!

Thanks to Past COSA Chair Thomas E. Wheeler, Frost Brown Todd, for his article The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: A tale of one district's holiday show woes that was published in the December issue of NSBA's American School Board Journal; to Erin Gilsbach, King Spry Herman Freund & Faul, for her article Crowdfunding 101 that was published in the October issue of NSBA's American School Board JournalSeamus Boyce, Church Church Hittle & Antrim, for his article Data Threats: Protect your student and employee data from cyberattacks that was published in the August issue of NSBA's American School Board Journal; and to Jim Keith, Adams and Reese, for presenting on the June 16 DOL's Final Overtime Rules webinar

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