ASBA Connect E-News


From Your ASBA 2024 Board of Directors: Executive Director Search, Non-Partisan Strategies

Your ASBA 2024 Board of Directors update

Your ASBA 2024 Board of Directors would like to share this update with members.

Seeking an External Firm for Executive Director search 

  • ASBA is seeking the services of a search firm to assist with the recruitment process for an Executive Director. Kindly distribute this Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to any firms you are familiar with. Proposals are due by Monday, February 5, 2024, at 5:00 pm MST. The proposal and any supplemental materials should be emailed to
  • Member feedback is integral to our decision-making process. Please provide your input on the qualities you would like to see in the next executive director by clicking here. This survey is now open and will close February 9, 2024.

Non-partisan Strategies and Results

  • Members have expressed the need to ensure we remain a non-partisan organization. As representatives of our broad membership, we are pleased that the new board mirrors the diversity of member locations, racial and ethnic backgrounds, life experiences, perspectives and skills across the rural, suburban, urban and other areas of Arizona.
  • We view the proposed bylaw updates, new board policies/procedures and ongoing communication with membership as opportunities to support non-partisan strategies, programming and results and we hope you will see our commitment to non-partisanship in everything we do.

Expect to hear updates throughout the year from your ASBA 2024 Board of Directors.

School Board Members: What’s Your Why?

Armando Montero

Every school board member has a reason why they serve their local school district and community. Hear what some ASBA’s Board of Directors told us during National School Board Recognition Month.

There is no handbook on how to be a school board member, “and there are so many unique ways to go about that,” said Maricopa County Co-Director Armando Montero in a Facebook video.

“I think leaning on that close circle of people you surrounded yourself with to get here in the first place, those who you can trust and who can give you good advice, and kind of help guide you through that process,” said Montero, who serves as Tempe Union High School District Governing Board President.

Active, engaged school members who look for different resources and opportunities for their school district and student are so important, said Joseph Bia Jr., ASBA Hispanic-Native American Indian Caucus Vice Chair in a different Facebook video.

“We’re a rural community that deserves and has to provide many opportunities to the students who attend our public school district. Being very remote, a lot of the student opportunities and community opportunities really come from the school district itself,” said Bia, who serves as a Kayenta Unified School District Governing Board Member.

ASBA Secretary Mitra Khazai said she ran for office and re-election for the same reason.

“It’s to give voice to our students, to our staff, to our families who don’t always share their voices or are not able to share their voices,” said Khazai, who serves as a Madison Elementary School Board Member.

“I find that that’s an important role for myself and I think many of the board members I serve with is to make sure that we represent everyone, especially those who don’t always come to the podium or let us know what they need,” Khazai said.

“I serve because kids need someone to stand up for them,” said Wendy Effing, ASBA Pima County Co-Director and Flowing Wells Unified School District Governing Board Member.

Thank you, school governing board members, for everything you do to help Arizona students thrive and succeed!

From Proclamations to Videos: January is About Celebrating School Board Members!

Pima County honors school board members.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors proclaimed January 2024 as School Board Recognition Month in partnership with the Pima County School Superintendent’s Office and recognized local school board members at the meeting, said Matt Stamp, communications and elections director for Pima County School Superintendent’s Office.

In a Facebook video, Pima County School Superintendent Dustin Williams thanked school board members, saying “I just want to thank you for everything that you do. You really are special people. You spend tireless hours every day, every month, talking with constituents all based on quality of education for our kids, our teachers and our community.”

Union Elementary School District celebrated their school governing board members on social media thanking them for all they do to support their students, staff and community.

Glendale ESD recognizes school board members

Glendale Elementary School District honored their Governing Board Members with a cut-out board and little statuettes, said Adriana Parsons, director of communications for Glendale ESD.

“For the cut-out board we said, ‘Students and staff love seeing your faces at our schools,’ and for the little statuettes, we said that board members are so busy sometimes it feels like they need a ‘mini me’ to be in multiple places,” Parsons said.

Glendale ESD school board members with their statuettes

Please share with us what you’re doing to celebrate school board members so we can share it on social media and in our eNews by emailing Multimedia Communications Manager Jade Frazier at

If you’re looking for resources to celebrate National School Board Recognition Month, 

click here for a sample proclamation, superintendent statement and social media copy.

See Who’s Presenting at ASBA’s Women’s Conference & New Student Registration Link!

See who will be speaking at the ASBA Women’s Leadership Conference & Expo, find out more about them, take a look at the agenda and get ready to be empowered, inspired and transformed!

We invite all women in all roles to join us for this event where you will connect with professionals and elevate your leadership skills! Invite your friends and colleagues and let’s make history together!

New Student Registration Link

High school students are welcome to join us for a discounted fee, just remember to bring your school ID card to the registration desk on the day of the event. Click here for student registration.

You don’t want to miss this groundbreaking, inaugural event that will be held March 5, 2024, at Desert Willow Conference Center at 4340 E. Cotton Center Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85040.

Conference speakers

  • Enjoy an inspirational keynote from Mallika Chopra, sponsored by Veregy, that will ignite your passion for leadership and success.
  • Take part in transformative breakout sessions, including:
  • A panel discussion on Harmonizing Voices: Leading with Synergy in Multi-Generational Teams, featuring Veronica Sanchez, Director, Media Relations and Strategic Communications, Arizona State University; Danielle Lerner, EMMY-Winning Journalist, Host of “Arizona Living” & Media Consultant; Renee Romo, Multimedia Journalist, KOLD News 13; and moderated by Jade Frazier, ASBA Multimedia Communications Manager and former Fox 10 News Assignment Editor.
  • Elevate and Embrace: Emotional Intelligence in Women’s Leadership with Ana Cortes, Positive Intelligence Certified Mental Fitness Life Coach.
  • EmpowerHER: Navigating Leadership Horizons in AI – A Journey for Women featuring Dr. Loretta Cheeks, President and CEO of Strong TIES and DS Innovation.
  • Visionary Leadership: Strategic Decision-Making for Tomorrow’s Triumph by Dr. Cherryl Paul, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President, Academic Alliances | K12 Educational Development at Grand Canyon Education, and Dr. Meredith Critchfield, Dean of the College of Education at Grand Canyon University.
  • Empowered Elegance: Unveiling the Intersection of Inner Beauty and Leadership featuring Marshelle Barwise, Strategic Transformation Executive at Achieve, Published Author, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Chaplain.
  • Breaking Barriers: Women Rising to Leadership Roles with Debbie Esparza, CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix.
  • Also, enjoy an expo extravaganza, interactive workshops, free professional headshots, a licensed professional makeup artist, networking opportunities, a fashion show, entertainment and more!

Registration Info

Don’t wait! Click here to grab your ticket.

If you register by Feb. 9, you’ll be entered into an Early Bird drawing for the opportunity to win a $100 gift card!

The $175 per person member and non-member registration fee includes access to conference materials, continental breakfast, lunch, snacks and an evening reception.

Join us in celebrating the power and potential of women in leadership. ASBA’s Women’s Leadership Conference & Expo promises to be an unforgettable experience. Be a part of this extraordinary journey to empower, inspire and transform! 

Congratulations to $500 ASBA Classroom Grants Recipients from Williams USD and Mohawk Valley ESD!

Amada Yllano and students

We are proud to announce the two ASBA Classroom Grants Recipients for the first quarter of 2024.

Congratulations to ASBA Classroom Grants recipients Amada Yllano, a teacher at Williams Elementary/Middle School in Williams Unified School District, and Christina Noble, a teacher at Mohawk Valley Elementary School in Mohawk Valley Elementary School District.

Williams Elementary/Middle School Teacher Amada Yllano, pictured above, will use the $500 ASBA Classroom Grant for the Kite Flying Festival initiative, which is a standards-based project using Euclidean geometry for seventh- and eighth-grade students who will work together in small groups to design their own scale-models of kites, construct them and fly them.

Mohawk Valley Elementary School Teacher Christina Noble, pictured below, will use the $500 ASBA Classroom Grant for the Microscopes for Science initiative, which will help replace some of the microscopes damaged by a leak in the ceiling of the junior high science lab that are used by all students for the STEMscopes science curriculum.

Christina Noble

School board leaders of ASBA Classroom Grants recipients receive a certificate to present to their educator, a script to use for the presentation, and a press release that can be sent out to local media soon. School principals will receive the grants to disburse to their teachers soon too.

Please encourage your teachers to apply for ASBA Classroom Grants, and you may see them featured in our eNewsletters and social media.

Hear Why Your Advocacy is So Important & Join Us for Advocacy Day

ASBA Hispanic-Native American Indian Caucus Vice Chair Joseph Bia Jr., who often speaks at Education Committee meetings at the Arizona Legislature, shares why advocacy is so important to serving your community as Advocacy Day nears.

Advocacy, “especially in my rural district, is the ability of the community to participate and learn about ways they can make change happen,” Bia said.

Joe Bia Jr.

“It’s “also about learning what some of the quieter, unspoken needs of the community are,” by engaging with community members “who may not attend our board meetings or who may not be as outspoken as other individuals,” Bia said.

“We’re all involved in this. We’re all in this together, and the more that we can speak about and engage people in our community, the better off we’re going to be all around,” Bia said.

Join us for Advocacy Day on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024 at the Capitol in Phoenix.

Register now for this FREE event held in the Executive Tower’s second floor conference room.

Get ready for a day of connecting with fellow school board members and ASBA’s Governmental Relations Team to discuss the biggest issues facing school districts this year, learn tips on how to be a more effective advocate, meet with Legislators and hear from students.

School board members will have the option to make an appointment to meet with their Legislators in the afternoon to discuss issues important to their students or attend legislative proceedings. If you need assistance in making an appointment with your Legislators, please contact Administrative Assistant Gina Razo at or 602-254-1100.

Sign up here to get the latest public education news in your email with ASBA Governmental Relations In-Session Updates, weekly highlights, regulatory hearing summaries and so much more.

Make sure your voice is heard at the Capitol by sharing your input on key education bills by creating an account on the legislative request to speak system. Click here to fill out the Request to Speak form and ASBA Governmental Relations staff will enter your information in the system at the Capitol.

Become an ASBA Advocate!

  1. Text JOINASBA to 52886
  2. You will receive a text message with a link to join our advocacy efforts. Click it!
  3. Enter your information, including your home address to link you with your elected officials (ASBA will never share or sell your information)
  4. That’s it! You’ll receive action alerts from ASBA to easily contact your elected officials to support district schools! Be on the lookout for opportunities to practice during the conference.
  5. Share with your friends and family who also want to help district schools! Anyone can join at any time.

ASBA Student Scholarships Applications Open Soon

2023 ASBA Scholarshipp Winners

Applications open Feb. 1, 2024 for ASBA Scholarships, and we’re looking forward to hearing about what your students plan to do after graduating high school!

Students in ASBA member districts are eligible for the following ASBA Scholarships:

Black Alliance Georgie and Calvin Goode Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to seniors of Black or African descent who demonstrate an exceptional record of academic growth and commitment of service to others who plan to further their education at an accredited postsecondary institution.

Jack Peterson Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded annually to exceptional high school seniors who plan to pursue college degrees in teaching. Recipients shall have maintained a high school record that reflects high academic achievement and regular attendance, respectable leadership and citizenship among peers and sustained participation in school and community activities. Amounts of the awards vary from year to year and are based on annual earnings from the scholarship endowment.

Panfilo H. Contreras Honorary Scholarship: This scholarship was awarded for the first time in 2013 by ASBA’s Hispanic-Native American Indian Caucus. Hispanic and Native American Indian students who are seniors in high school are eligible to apply for this scholarship to support their attendance at an accredited post-secondary institution.

You’ll be seeing more information coming your way about ASBA Scholarships soon.

Upcoming Events

Desiree Fowler speaks with attendees at the conference.

Attention Super Users! Join ASBA Policy Bridge Regional Trainings for FREE and Supercharge Your Expertise!
February 7, 1 pm – 4 pm
Tolleson UHSD 

Advocacy Day
February 12, 9 am – 3 pm
State Capitol in Phoenix

2024 Annual Conference The Science of School Social Work
February 29, 7 am – 4:30 pm
ASU West Valley Conference Center
4701 W. Thunderbird Road, Glendale, AZ 85306
This conference features keynote addresses and breakout workshops that are valuable not only for school social workers, but to all educators. Click here to find out more and register.

ASBA’s Inaugural Women’s Leadership Conference & Expo! Empower. Inspire. Transform.
March 5, 9 am – 6 pm
Desert Willow Conference Center at 4340 E. Cotton Center Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85040

2024 School Safety and Security Summit
April 1-2
Renaissance Glendale Hotel
9495 W. Entertainment Blvd., Glendale, AZ
School safety is everyone’s business. Just how safe are we on school campuses across America? What can you do about it? This event is brought to you through the partnership of the Arizona Business and Education Coalition, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Arizona School Administrators. Click here to find out more and register. 

Attention Super Users! Join ASBA Policy Bridge Regional Trainings for FREE and Supercharge Your Expertise!
April 11, 1 pm – 4 pm
Sunnyside USD        

Attention Super Users! Join ASBA Policy Bridge Regional Trainings for FREE and Supercharge Your Expertise!
April 12, 1 pm – 4 pm
Tombstone USD 

BOLTS (Save the Date)
April 19
(Registration opens March 7)

Summer Leadership Institute (Save the date!)
June 6-8
Marriott Little America in Flagstaff
(Registration opens April 15)

Attention Super Users! Join ASBA Policy Bridge Regional Trainings for FREE and Supercharge Your Expertise!
June 10, 1 pm – 4 pm
Holbrook USD

Attention Super Users! Join ASBA Policy Bridge Regional Trainings for FREE and Supercharge Your Expertise!
June 11, 1 pm – 4 pm
Prescott USD

Find out more at ASBA Events.

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