ASBA Connect E-News


Ask the Board Services Team – A Benefit of ASBA Membership

Where can I learn what I need to know as a new board member? 
By Julie Bacon, ASBA Leadership Development Manager

Q: As a new board member, I am feeling overwhelmed with the amount of “stuff” I need to learn. How can I learn the information I need to lay the foundation for being a good board member?  

A: There is SO much to learn as a new board member. If you didn’t attend New Board Member Orientation, Part 1 in December you may be feeling more overwhelmed than members who did attend. But we have numerous resources that can help you gain the baseline knowledge you need to be an effective board member.  

Here is a list of those items:  

  1. The ASBA website has a variety of information for you. From running for the school board to being an advocate, you will find lots of information at  
  1. The School Board Member Handbook is another tool that will help you review the basics of numerous topics. It was included in the registration fee for New Board Member Orientation, but the handbook is available for $25 per copy. If you’d like a copy, ask your board’s administrative assistant to contact us to arrange that.  
  1. Along the same lines, we have a new version of the Open Meeting Law Handbook that is available for the same price.  
  1. Listen FOR FREE to all our webinars. Here are our webinar archives. When you find one you want to listen to, you will be directed to a GoToWebinar registration page. Provide the information requested (again they are free) and you will be able to listen to the webinar immediately.  
  1. Attend any ASBA event to learn everything you need to know about board service. Our calendar of events is here: Calendar of Events  
  1. ASBA’s “Phone a Friend” program can also help! We are happy to connect with any board member from member districts to answer questions, provide direction or just listen. You can contact Julie Bacon at our office number: 602-254-1100.  

Finally, it’s not just new board members who have questions. Even veteran board members are learning new things all the time. A commitment to continuous improvement is vital to student success and good governance. Remember, ASBA is YOUR organization so please take advantage of the services and resources we provide!  

Take the next step at New Board Member Orientation, Part 2  

New Board Member Orientation Part 2

Register now for New Board Member Orientation, Part 2 (Virtual) on March 31, 2023 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. where you’ll learn more about good governance, conflict of interest, school finance and budget and working on a team. You will also have an opportunity to network with other new school board members and ask experts questions. New Board Member Orientation, Part 2 will also be offered as an in-person event as the pre-conference for the 2023 Summer Leadership Institute.   

Phoenix ESD shares how ASBA helped their superintendent search  

Phoenix Elementary School District School Board President Carmen Trujillo shares how ASBA Executive Search guided the board through the board-driven process  of finding their superintendent using the governing board’s priorities, including helping the board develop a summary of what the district looks like and the characteristics they’d like in a leader.  

“ASBA was able to provide the governing board a diverse pool of candidates,” Trujillo said. “Representation was really important to this board and making sure that we found somebody reflective of our community, because we do serve a highly Latino community.” 

Community leaders, parents and students were involved throughout the process of finding a new superintendent. 

“Our student councils came out and were able to ask questions of the candidates,” Trujillo said.  

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

“The whole process went really smoothly. This was definitely a board-driven process. ASBA knew exactly what questions to ask and made sure we thought of things we weren’t at first thinking about,” Trujillo said.  

ASBA is searching for a superintendent for several school districts in Arizona, including Creighton and Tonto Basin Elementary School Districts, as well as Ganado and Prescott Unified School Districts. Click here to find out more about the process and recent openings on ASBA’s website.  

Coming together for a common cause creates a recipe for leadership success 
By James Bryce, ASBA Board President    

ASBA President James Bryce

Sixteen years ago, when I decided to run for our local school board, I realized that I was not only willing to serve, but I also had value that would benefit the board. I am not unique in this belief. It is shared by every school board member in Arizona. So one might ask, “If school board members are so valuable, why don’t they get paid?”  The answer is simple. School board members do not go unpaid because they are worthless, they go unpaid because they are priceless. Your value as a board member is truly priceless and when you get a group of three or five high value individuals to come together for a common cause, you have a recipe for leadership success.   

Does this mean that every district in Arizona follows the same recipe? Absolutely not. Every district has its own unique circumstances, and all districts share many similarities. It is only through local control that a district can align itself with its community and create the best educational environment. Our students deserve to attend quality schools and their parents demand it, as well they should. This is the job we signed up for and this is the job that a highly effective board gets done.  

As school board members it is our responsibility to ensure that we lead by example. We need to work just as hard in our roles as we would like staff and administration to work in theirs. We expect that our superintendents continue to receive professional development and stay current in the world of education. We should too. We need to take full advantage of the Arizona School Boards Association and participate in professional development to remain relevant in our districts. We must set an example, both inside and outside the boardroom.    

The ASBA is a mission driven organization that belongs to every member. We are an association of diverse and unique school boards with the common goal of being the best schools in every district. ASBA does not and cannot represent every board in Arizona. It is impossible to be everything to everyone, but it can support every board in an equitable manner through offering training tailored to fit the districts, resources for data and advocating on issues that are common to all districts in Arizona.  

I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve as your ASBA president for 2023. I promise to do my best to lead by example and together we can be the best example of what elected officials should be and how so much can be accomplished through respect and proper decorum. We are stronger together because when we get together, we make each other stronger.  

What does the ASBA Policy Calendar & companion piece include?  

The ASBA Policy Services Team maintains a calendar of recommended and required dates for subscribers, says Nick Buzan, director of ASBA’s Legal and Policy Services. This calendar is not a comprehensive list of every event that ASBA offers or every date a board member must know about.   

Instead, it is a comprehensive list of statutory deadlines and where those deadlines are listed in the ASBA model policy manual, Buzan says. The calendar is intended for use by district administrators in conjunction with the ASBA policy manual.   

For example, state law requires that boards hold an organizational meeting between January 1st and January 15th following the election. This required action is placed in Policy BDA – Board Organizational Meeting. The calendar notifies subscribers that the action must occur in January and that the specifics of the requirement are in BDA and A.R.S. 15-321.  

ASBA has created a colorful calendar that is intended as a companion piece to the more detailed calendar created by ASBA Policy Services. This calendar may be used by district administrators and executive staff to identify deadlines to achieve statutory compliance. 

It also includes key information about the Arizona Legislation adjourning its session usually in May or June, school districts receiving policy advisories reflecting state law in July through August and school boards conducting their first and second reads of annual policy advisories in September through October.

It’s time for your students to apply for ASBA scholarships  

Arizona high school seniors who attend classes in an ASBA member district are invited to apply now for ASBA scholarships. The deadline for students to apply for all three scholarships is 5 p.m. Monday, April 3, 2023.   

The Jack Peterson Scholarship is awarded annually to at least one Arizona high school senior who plans to pursue education as their major course of study at the college/university level. Amounts of the awards vary from year to year and are based on annual earnings from the scholarship endowment. Scholarship amounts typically range from $1,000 to $1,500. The scholarship was established in honor of ASBA Executive Director Jack Peterson, who served the association from 1991 to 1998.  

The Panfilo H. Contreras Honorary Scholarship was awarded for the first time in 2013 by ASBA’s Hispanic-Native American Indian Caucus. Hispanic and Native American Indian students are eligible to apply for this scholarship to support their attendance at an accredited post-secondary institution. Last year’s scholarships were $1,000 each.  

The Georgie and Calvin Goode Student Scholarship was established by the ASBA Black Alliance in 2021 and was awarded for the first time in Spring 2022. Two scholarships of $1,250 each are available. Scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors who demonstrate an exceptional record of academic growth and a commitment to service to others.  Applicants must be a currently enrolled senior in an ASBA member district, Black or of African descent and planning to further their education at an accredited postsecondary institution. Find links to the online applications here.

Take part in the Town Hall: Public Education in Rural Arizona! 

Register now to be a part of the free, interactive Town Hall: Public Education in Rural Arizona hosted by the ASBA Rural Alliance on Thursday, March 30, 2023 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Zoom. This Town Hall brings Arizona’s rural and remote school board members and superintendents together to identify and prioritize the needs of rural schools and the actions necessary to address them. 

About 65% of Arizona school districts are in rural and/or remote areas of the state. Their distance from urban centers and each another, as well as the distance their students must travel to attend school present unique challenges to providing an exceptional educational environment in which every student has the opportunity to thrive.  

 The ASBA Rural Alliance invites and encourages you to be a part of this advocacy-centric effort as we come together to identify the issues that unite us. We ARE stronger together. Link to register before March 15 and complete the survey at and you’ll receive preparation materials prior to the Town Hall. 

Register now for the Wednesday Webinar

As an exclusive benefit of ASBA membership, members can register to attend the Wednesday Webinars live or view the recording at their own leisure. Learn from key experts and receive continuing education units for participating in and watching webinars.   

When a governing board has an action item on the agenda, good governance requires board members consider all the facts and perspectives about that agenda item. In this webinar, we will talk about board decision-making with an equity lens. This kind of decision-making lens would include a set of questions districts will ask themselves to assess how a particular policy or practice might impact various groups. Doing so will allow the district to determine if a policy, practice or program supports the district’s work and ensures the board action does not disproportionally benefit or harm any particular group of students during the March 22 Wednesday Webinar. 

If you can’t attend the webinar live, receive a recording directly to your email by registering for the event in advance. There is no cost to register for this webinar. We encourage advance registration.

ASBA Events and Webinars

Upcoming ASBA Events

Town Hall: Public Education in Rural Arizona 
March 30, 4 pm – 6 pm on Zoom (Register now) 

New Board Member Orientation Part Two (Virtual) 
March 31, 2023, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm 

Summer Leadership Institute  
June 8 – 10, 2023 (Save the Date) 

In-Person New Board Member Orientation Part Two 
June 8, 2023  (Save the Date) 

View all ASBA events on the ASBA website.

Upcoming ASBA Webinars

ASBA Webinars 

Wednesday Webinars: I Don’t Understand: Engagement and the Importance of Home Language 
April 26, 4 pm – 5 pm 

Wednesday Webinars: Students Have Rights?!?! 
May 10, 4 pm – 5 pm 

You can find all Wednesday webinars on the ASBA webpage.

Can’t view the webinar live? No problem. Go ahead and register and you will receive the recording automatically by email so you can view it later. There is no cost to register for these webinars.  We encourage advance registration.

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