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Spotlight on Takoma Academy - Update 2013
    Takoma  Academy
Spotlight  on    
Takoma Academy   

located in Takoma Park, Maryland.   

Published  February  2012 

 Update:  Jan. 31, 2013
Last Update:  April 28, 2013  
Takoma Academy (aka TA) was founded in 1904 and has a long history of preparing youth for college and fitting them for service to God. (See history on their websitewww.ta.edu/#/about-us/history ).  This history has been marred by recent events, starting when the Potomac Conference started legal action against the Alumni Association which was established in 1977.  This is an update to the article published in Feb. 2012.
   In January, the Potomac Conference has started a legal action against the Takoma Academy Alumni Association which was established 35 years ago in 1977.
It seems that the Board of Trustees of Tokoma Academy have a vision that differs from the Alumni Association in that the Alumni want to help the school, the students and alumni and the Board envisions an Alumni Assocaition that only helps the school and the students.  There was an attempt to negotiate a settlement of differences and a proposal was submitted to the school board. The Board of Trustees rejected the proposal on Nov. 5, 2012 and started a new Alumni Association called the 'Official' Takoma Academy Alumni Association.
The Potomac Conference Trademarked the Takoma Academy name (approved in January) and soon after started legal action asking the existing Association to cease and disist from it's activities. See Cease and Desist letter sent from the Potomac Conference to the president of the Alumni Association. The Alumni Association sent a message to the Alumni on January 30th informing them of their side of the issue.
The Potomac Conference filed a federal lawsuit on April 16th against the Takoma Academy Alumni Association. An official statement was posted on the conference website http://www.pcsda.org/files/Education/official_statement.pdf

                      The Alumni Association responded with a letter to alumni dated April 19th
On April 16, 2013, your Alumni Association was informed that the Potomac Conference and Takoma Academy filed a federal lawsuit  http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1110080654893-13/Complaint+-+Potomac+Conf.+Corp.+v.+Takoma+Academy+Alumni+Assn..PDF
against over 4000 alumni members of the Takoma Academy Alumni Association, Inc.; an association that has supported the school for over 35 years.

For the past 12 months we have earnestly negotiated with members of the Takoma Academy Board of Trustees, the leadership of the Potomac Conference, and other officials. During the negotiations, we proposed a Memorandum of Agreement as a mechanism to protect both the Alumni Association and the school and to address all the specific concerns raised by the Conference.

However, during the Nov. 5, 2012 Takoma Academy Board of Trustees meeting, the Takoma Academy Board rejected our draft MOA after over five months of negotiations between representatives of our board and the Takoma Academy Board of Trustees and an attorney / alumnus from the General Conference.
Additionally, our incoming alumni President, Ms. Cathy Mills, had been in discussions with Keith Hallam to meet and discuss options to resolve the conflict. Unbeknownst to us, lawyers representing the Potomac Conference were preparing the legal paperwork to file this lawsuit while we were speaking to Mr. Hallam. Indeed, a meeting is scheduled for May 14th, 2013 at the General Conference.

The allegations, outlined in the attached lawsuit, are misleading and the decision to sue Henry Pittman personally when, by their own admission, he was acting in his official capacity as president, is legally without merit and appears merely to be an intimidation tactic. Most troubling is that the Takoma Academy Board of Trustees would initiate legal action against their Alumni Association that has given over $20,000. within the past 12 months to allow students to graduate, sponsored a Senior breakfast for new alumni members, and provided alumni volunteers to clean the school. . . "

The Alumni homecoming weekend was April 26 - 28th and the Takoma Academy Alumni Association (TAAA, Inc.) ran its 14th Annual Golf Tournament event on Friday April 26th. The new 'Official' Takoma Academy Alumni Association ran its first Golf Tournament at the exact same time at a Golf course just 5 minutes away. Ted Wilson (Class of 1968) briefly attended the TAAA, Inc. event to see classmates he has not seen for a long time.

Ted Wilson, the school's most prominent alumnus because he is currently President of the General Conference, which speaks for the worldwide church with 17 million members; delivered the Sabbath Sermon on April 27th and participated in a luncheon for the Class of 1968. These events were organized by the 'Official' Alumni Association. On April 28th the new 'Official' Alumni Association held its first business meeting and elected its first President and Officers. 
Bill Miller, President of the Potomac Conference sent an e-mail to the alumni on April 25th explaining the conference position and announced a special webpage with information about the lawsuit. – www.pcsda.org/trademark
We will be posting the response from the TAAA, Inc. as well as information about the first business meeting of the new Association. Please come back in a few days.
Updated:   April 28, 2013
Lawsuit ended on Aug. 7, 2014 with a Consent Order signed by the judge giving the name Takoma Academy to the plaintiff and restricting the Alumni Association from using this or similar names.  Click here to see Court Order 
The Spotlight has been on Takoma Academy since February 2012 and I hope that readers will read and discuss this on the
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