ASBA Connect E-News


Ask the Governmental Relations TeamWhen will the Legislative session end?

A Benefit of ASBA Membership

By Chris Kotterman, ASBA Governmental Relations Director

Chris Kotterman

Q: When will the Legislative session be over?

A: If you know, please tell me. Legislative sessions have been trending longer over the past few years and this year I don’t see as being any great exception, unfortunately. The length of the session revolves completely around how long it takes the Governor and Legislature to reach agreement on a budget. Rumors about that abound, with some saying they’re closer than one might think, while others are ever pessimistic. With a divided government, there are more moving parts than before.

Q: Will you be doing a session wrap-up webinar this year?

A: Of course! It will take us about a week or so after session concludes to put it together, but we know that one of the premier benefits of membership in ASBA is access to timely information about statutory changes. In order to make sure that you receive information about the wrap-up webinar and other ASBA Government Relations publications, make sure your email address is correct in the ASBA membership database. Because these events are an exclusive benefit of membership, we only publicize them to ASBA members.

Q: What should I do if I want more detailed communication from the ASBA Government Relations team beyond what I get from ASBA Connect?

A: ASBA’s GR team maintains its own list that you can opt into in order become a more engaged advocate. We do this because we understand not everyone wants to get all the information all the time. So we ask folks to opt in to the advocacy system. Once opted in, you’ll receive all the information you can handle about what’s going on in the world of public policy. You’ll also get the opportunity to take action when appropriate. You can sign up by clicking here or by texting JOINASBA to 52886 on your cell phone.

Q: What if I’m a little crazy like you, and I want to do even MORE?

A: Welcome, fellow traveler! I’m so glad you asked. We are constantly looking for folks who want to take opportunities to expand their advocacy skillset to be on our Advocacy Response Team. The team is headed up by Devin del Palacio on our staff, so please send him a note at to get signed up! We’re looking forward to working with you!

ASBA’s Dr. Harrison-Williams announces her retirement

Dr. Sheila Harrison-Williams

ASBA Executive Director Dr. Sheila Harrison-Williams announced last week that she will retire on June 30, 2023. Dr. Harrison-Williams has led the Arizona School Boards Association since 2020. Under her leadership, many significant accomplishments occurred.

In announcing her retirement to ASBA’s Board of Directors and staff, Dr. Harrison-Williams said, “It’s been such an honor to lead an organization with a vision to have the best schools in every community, representing nearly 1 million students in Arizona. I’m proud of our organization for creating a culture that lives by that vision every day.” 

Additional details will soon be available.

ASBA District Spotlight: Pendergast ESD offers unique solution to teacher shortage crisis 

Pendergast Professional Development Flyer

As the nation faces an unprecedented teacher shortage crisis, the Pendergast Elementary School District is taking a bold step to address this issue. In February 2023, the Pendergast District began offering training through Grand Canyon University to interested hourly staff and long-term substitutes who wished to have additional training in classroom management, building relationships with students, and entry level instructional strategies. The offerings meet the requirements of an instructional tech position and are designed to help address the teacher shortage crisis.

The training is provided free of charge to Pendergast employees and covers a range of topics, including classroom management strategies and support for social emotional needs of students. With a limited number of employees able to take part, the District encouraged all interested parties to return their applications early to avoid missing out on this unique and valuable opportunity. The District has received over fifty applications for its pilot program, and participants have remained engaged throughout the process and are on track to complete their instructional tech training soon.

In addition, the Pendergast District is connecting the candidates participating in this program with State Universities and Community Colleges that offer the Arizona Teacher Academy scholarships. The Arizona Teacher Academy covers tuition and mandatory fees after the student has accepted all other non-loan aid, such as institutional scholarships, federal Pell grants, and other private scholarships. In exchange for the scholarship, recipients must commit to one year of teaching in an Arizona public school for each year they receive funding. To support this initiative, instructional hourly staff are encouraged to enroll in the program and become the next group of qualified teachers for our community.

As a result of the innovative approach taken by the Pendergast Elementary School District, more employees will have the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge required to support students and contribute to a high-quality education system.

“We recognize that the current teacher shortage is a significant challenge, but we believe that by taking proactive steps to address this issue, we can help ensure that our students receive the education they deserve,” said Dr. Jennifer Cruz, Pendergast District Superintendent. “We are proud to partner with Grand Canyon University to provide this unique training program to our hourly staff and long-term substitutes, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact it has on our students and our community.”

Teacher Appreciation Week is next week! Encourage your teachers to apply for ASBA Classroom Grants  

ASBA Classroom Grants recipients Andee Vanta, left, and Jessica Spink, right.

During Teacher Appreciation Week, please encourage your teachers to apply for ASBA Classroom Grants to fund their initiatives to enhance students’ learning.

The two most recent ASBA Classroom Grants recipients are Jessica Spink, a teacher at Bagdad High School in Bagdad Unified School District, for the Second Language Literacy initiative, and Anndee Vanta, a teacher at Miami Junior Senior High School in Miami Unified School District, for the Let’s Raise a Baby initiative.

Summer Leadership Institute agenda up: Choose your breakout sessions    

Summer Leadership Institute keynote speaker Frank Kitchen graphic

Start choosing your breakout sessions for Summer Leadership Institute and register now on the ASBA website for this conference in the cool Flagstaff pines that features Keynote Speaker Frank Kitchen who will share how to “Build Your Recipe for Leadership Success.”

In addition, there is a new registration process for Summer Leadership Institute. Attendees must register for the conference before booking a hotel room. For more information, please see the ASBA website.

The overflow hotel for SLI will be the Days Hotel by Wyndham Flagstaff.  It is on the site and available for booking.  

If someone would like to be placed on the waiting list for Little America in case there are any cancellations, please email with names, arrival and departure dates. 

Video: Policy Team shares how to edit and create district documents NOT from a policy advisory 

Find out from ASBA Policy Analyst Lynne Bondi how your district can edit and create district documents in PolicyBridge that are NOT from a policy advisory.

In this video, Bondi takes you through each option step-by-step with key reminders of what you need to include for policies, regulations, or exhibits.

Bondi also shares that helpful information on how to do this with step-by-step instructions has been posted on the ASBA PolicyBridge webpage.

In addition, please remember you can always reach out to ASBA’s Policy Team with any questions you may have at (602) 254-1100 ext. 107.

Available now: 2023 ASBA Teacher and Administrator Salary and Benefits Survey results 

An art teacher works with students at Cave Creek Unified School District. Photo by Lisa Irish/ ASBA

We are pleased to present a summary of the results of the ASBA Teacher and Administrator Salary and Benefits Survey for fiscal year 2023. Please check your email for the message and password to access it.

The purpose of the ASBA Teacher and Administrator Salary and Benefits Survey is to provide comparative data to school district leaders to use when making decisions related to salaries and benefits for teachers, principals, assistant principals, and district-level administrators. All data was self-reported by school districts, using an online collection tool provided by ASBA. Data requested was for the 2022-2023 school year (FY23).

All Arizona school district members of the Arizona School Boards Association had the opportunity to complete the survey between Jan. 26 and Mar. 16, 2023. The survey response rate was 49 percent. The completers, when viewed as a whole, are representative of Arizona school districts. Access to the summary results of the ASBA Teacher and Administrator Salary and Benefits Survey is an exclusive benefit of ASBA membership. All member districts receive this summary document.

Districts that completed the survey also receive the full data set in an Excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet also includes data on FTE teachers per district, life insurance benefits provided to teachers and administrators, and maximum allowable life-of-employment accrual and payout at end of employment of paid time off and sick leave.

Meet the Administrative Professionals highlighted on ASBA social media 

Angie Lopez, Executive Assistant at Santa Cruz Valley USD No. 35

Angie Lopez

ASBA highlighted  Administrative Professionals during the lead up to  Administrative Professionals Day  on  April 26, and awarded gift cards to four of those highlighted.

Santa Cruz Valley USD No. 35 celebrates our amazing Executive Assistant Angie Lopez. Angie is kind, compassionate, and a true professional. In addition to her role as executive assistant to the superintendent, she is the coordinator for our McKinney-Vento program and Back-to-School Blitz. She is very passionate about helping our families with supplies, support, and resources needed to be successful in and out of school.  

Brook Constance

Brook Constance

Administrative Assistant Brook Constance is amazing! She has been with Chandler Unified for more than 15 years, but just recently started in Marketing and Communications. In just a short time, she has had to absorb a tremendous amount of information about school PR and marketing in general, as well as learn new systems and software that she had not used before at a school site. She did just that and then some! Brook is always two steps ahead and because of her organization our office runs like a well-oiled machine. She is kind, caring, and fiercely funny. Her laugh is infectious. We are so lucky to have Brook on the team! 

 Betsy Palacios

Betsy Palacios

Sahuarita Unified Supt. Dr. Manny Valenzuela thanks Executive Assistant Betsy Palacios, who exemplifies the highest ideals of professional excellence, focus on quality, and legendary service. She understands the value of people, and goes above and beyond the call of duty to deliver acts of support, kindness, and affirmation to our teammates and families, whenever  and however she can. Betsy truly makes a difference!

Elizabeth Powell

Elizabeth Powell

The Glendale Elementary School District Governing Board and Superintendent Cindy Segotta-Jones thank Elizabeth Powell. Not only does she excel in her role, she also has an incredible talent for long-distance running. It takes strength, determination, and mental fortitude to race. But what’s even more impressive is how she brings that same strength and determination to her role at GESD. Liz handles every challenge with grace and resilience. She inspires everyone to stay strong and never give up!

Judith Jameson

Judith Jameson

Tolleson Union High School District Supt. Nora Gutierrez says Judith Jameson is a true professional in every sense of the word. Her attention to detail, her focus and her life-long commitment to education and service to the Superintendent and the Governing Board is beyond exceptional. Our focus on academic achievement for students is greatly supported by Judith and all her work. And that is what makes her so special. She is, and has been, a big part of all of the work that is achieved by the Superintendent and the Governing Board. I truly value her friendship and support.

Paula Alden

Paula Alden

Flowing Wells Unified Supt. Dr. Devin Stoltzfus says Administrative Assistant Paula Alden is the unsung hero of our board and of the superintendent’s office. She works tirelessly to making sure that we are kept apprised of things that we need to do or sign and that all of the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed so that we are running efficiently. She receives no accolades for her work (nor does she want any), but we could not be as effective without her working with us.  We are grateful for her hard work and dedication as our Administrative Professional.

ASBA provides resources for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Are you looking for educational resources for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month? Then take a look at ASBA’s Resources page.

On ASBA’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Resources page, school board members and school district leaders can find board resolutions, information on the history of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month as well as influential and historic figures, and books to better understand the month, as well as social media graphics and government relations materials.

Also included on the Resource page are resources for educators such as classroom lesson plans, learning activities, a teacher guide, units of study, identity-based curriculum modules and key news articles.  

Seeking a superintendent or interim superintendent? ASBA Executive Search can help

Former Casa Grande Supt. JoEtta Gonzales helps a family on the first day of school. Lisa Irish/ ASBA

ASBA Executive Search 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. ASBA offers a wide range of search services, from comprehensive searches to fill a current or future superintendent position, to assisting governing boards seek an interim superintendent when necessary. 

ASBA Executive Search is currently searching for a superintendent for Littlefield Unified School District in Arizona, and has assisted in recent superintendent searches for Creighton, Naco, Sacaton and Clarkdale-Jerome Elementary School Districts and Prescott Unified School DistrictASBA will provide the names of all the superintendents placed in June. 

Register now for the Wednesday Webinar 

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.  

Students have Rights?!?!

As adults, we understand that we have rights. As district leaders, we know that our employees and parents have rights but what about students?In the Wednesday Webinar: Students Have Rights?!?! on May 10, 2023 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., we will review several “J policies” that cover students’ rights as well as some court cases that set precedents for them.

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 Webinars

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.

Upcoming ASBA Events

Trauma Sensitive Schools Symposium (Virtual)
June 6, 8 am – 3 pm

In-Person New Board Member Orientation Part Two
June 8, 2023  (Registration open)

Summer Leadership Institute
June 8 – 10, 2023 (Registration open)

Tri-County Convening: Focusing on the Priorities that Unite Us
This event will be held in conjunction with ASBA Summer Leadership Institute on Saturday, June 10)
June 10, 2023  9 a.m.- 10 a.m.

ASBA County Meetings 2023
September 18, 2023 – November 2, 2023

View all ASBA events on the ASBA website.

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