Meet ASBA’s new executive director, Dr. Sheila Harrison-Williams

Are you leaving your school district’s future to chance?

Written by Ann O’Brien, ASBA President-Elect

Who will serve on your local governing board next? School districts across Arizona elect local governing board members every two years. The next election will be in 2020. While the nation and media focus for months and now years on who our next president will be, often, little to no thought is given to who will be the next leaders of a school district. These elections are vital to the neighborhood and communities impacted by the education decisions these board members make for years. It is time to highlight the importance of local school district governing board elections, and who makes a good governing board member.

School board members hire the district’s superintendent, approve the district budget, set policy and curriculum and decide whether to allow the district to go out for a bond or override election. These are a few of the official duties that occur at governing board meetings. In addition to official duties, board members who are a part of the community often determine the culture of the district. Is your district a place where people want to work and go to school? Or, are people leaving in droves for higher academic achievement, a culture of family or just a better place to work.

A highly functioning governing board makes decisions based on factual data and stakeholder input in the best interest of students, staff and the community. When a member has a personal agenda, believes their way is the only way or is not willing to find common ground with fellow board members, dysfunction ensues. Dysfunction or a negative culture may cause students to leave. And, staff may leave for another teaching opportunity or exit the profession altogether.

Who should serve on a school board? Some believe it is a former educator and others believe it is a noneducator. The truth is school districts are served best by a diverse board who bring different viewpoints to the dais and reflect the diversity of the community. A few characteristics of a good board member are being open-minded, willing to learn and listening. It is important for board members to research matters prior to meetings and then listen to their constituents, fellow members and district administrators before a vote.

The time to look for potential school board members is always! When talking with constituents consider if they may be interested in serving. One of the parent volunteers might be willing to help at the next level. Or, that active community business owner could be just the perspective missing from the dais. Check out these resources,  https://azsba.org/becoming-a-board-member/, for future governing board members. The next great board member may be right around the corner.

Rural Alliance election of officers, deadline for nominations is Jan. 17, 2020

The bylaws of the Rural Alliance call for three officers: A president, vice president and immediate past president. Officers serve two-year terms. The voting members of the Alliance shall determine officers.

In December 2019, the ASBA Board of Directors formally established the ASBA Rural Alliance to enhance the work of the association and its member boards as it relates to equitably serving students in rural and remote Arizona. The purpose, priorities and activities

of the Rural Alliance will be strategically aligned with those of ASBA. To that end, the Alliance will work to cultivate excellence in locally governed school districts, with a focus on:

  • Networking opportunities to encourage positive, effective relationships and collaborative efforts among leaders of rural and remote school districts.
  • Collective and strategic advocacy and member education to improve opportunities and outcomes for students in rural Arizona.
  • Ensuring representation by rural and remote leaders within the governance of the ASBA.

Click here to learn more about the qualifications and duties for officers.

Annual Conference photos and videos

Photos and videos from the Annual Conference are available. Did you receive an award, was your district recognized or maybe you took a new head shot? View photos here. All videos can be viewed on ASBA’s YouTube page.

What does #MyASBA mean to you?

Meet Tida Garcia from Tolleson ESD 

You will see #MyASBA throughout our communications this year as board members describe how ASBA has personally connected with them. Whether it’s adopting our equity framework, voting on our bylaws or getting involved on a committee or alliance, we want you to feel that ASBA is your association and represents your boards, schools, students and communities.

Superintendent job openings in Wickenburg, Window Rock, Mohave Valley, Page PLUS more

ASBA is your one-stop-shop for superintendent searches. From helping your board become search ready, to launching a statewide or nationwide search, to assisting you with a smooth transition post-search – we’ve got you covered. View the current openings for superintendents.

Jan. 22 Webinar: Advancing Equity through deeper learning for rural/remote students

While many of the challenges facing public education in Arizona are system-wide (e.g. funding shortage, teacher crisis), these challenges and others can be particularly difficult for our rural and remote districts.

These districts, while small in size, represent the majority of school districts in Arizona.

Join us and we welcome rural/remote school leaders to discuss the specific needs of the students in their districts. You can listen to this FREE webinar later by registering for the webinar and receive the recording directly to you.

Register here

More districts pass Census model resolution

Thank you to Patagonia ESD and Flagstaff USD for passing the Census resolution. You can find the a model school district resolution on the 2020 U.S. Census now available on  ASBA’s new webpage dedicated to information and resources for members to use to keep their local community informed on the importance of participating in the upcoming Census in 2020. The new webpage includes quick facts, key dates, graphics, articles and other external resources.

Please email Heidi Otero, ASBA’s director of communications at hvega@azsba.org, if your board passes a resolution to celebrate your district on ASBA’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

We appreciate ASBAIT as a year-long VIP partner

ASBA Events

Rural Advocacy Day 2020

February 17 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Join colleagues from across the state to focus on the needs and challenges of rural and remote public schools. Learn about what’s developing in the 2020 Legislative Session, meet with your legislators to advocate for your school district and attend a House Education committee hearing! This event is open to board members, superintendents and other. Registration is free. Learn more now.

Board Operations and Leadership Training Seminar 2020

January 24, January 29 and February 7 @ 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Board Operations and Leadership Training Seminar Bolts is provided in Phoenix, Flagstaff and Tucson and focuses on governance and leadership topics for school Boards and superintendents. A track for administrative professionals (ASAP) who support boards and superintendents is included.

01/24/2020 Tucson 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Westin La Paloma Resort
3800 E. Sunrise Drive
Tucson, AZ
Register
01/29/2020 Phoenix 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Desert Willow Conference Center
4340 E. Cotton Center Blvd., #100
Phoenix, AZ
Register
02/07/2020 Flagstaff 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. High Country Conference Center
201 W. Butler Avenue
Flagstaff, AZ
Register

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