ASBA Connect E-News


As Dr. Harrison-Williams retires, Board of Directors names new executive director

Dr. Sheila Harrison-Williams

The Arizona School Boards Association would like to thank Dr. Sheila Harrison-Williams for serving as Executive Director for the past three and a half years. Under her leadership, many significant accomplishments occurred, including leading the association and supporting ASBA members during the pandemic, the passage of HNAIC bylaws that created an additional seat on the ASBA Board of Directors and much more.

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 over 1 million students in Arizona. I’m proud of our organization for creating a culture that lives by that vision every day.”

Dr. Harrison-Williams met with members in every county and learned first-hand the issues that impact students, families and communities across the state. It was her vision to ensure that every board member felt like ASBA was their association, representing school board members who represent their communities.

View her farewell video here. 

The ASBA Board of Directors named Devin Del Palacio as the new Executive Director.


Ask the Advocacy Team – When will the Legislative Session End?

A Benefit of ASBA Membership

By Chris Kotterman, ASBA Director of Governmental Relations

Chris Kotterman

Question: When is the Legislative session going to be over for the year?

Answer: If you know will you please call me? After the budget, the Legislature adjourned for almost a month, coming back into session on June 12, for two days. Now, the rumor is that after working for a few days this week, they will adjourn until sometime in August.

Question: When will all the bills passed by this year’s Legislature go into effect?

Answer: It depends. Unless a bill is an emergency enactment or specifies its own effective date, all bills passed by the Legislature become effective 90 days after the final adjournment (known as sine die, Latin for “indefinitely”) of the session in which they were enacted. If the Legislature chooses not to end its session and instead adjourn to a date certain in August, the start of that 90-day clock will be delayed, creating a much later than usual effective date.

Question: What about the budget? Will that be delayed?

Answer: No. Laws making appropriations, including the budget, take effect upon the signature of the governor under the AZ Constitution. In addition, there is a specific statute that allows the department of education to implement changes to the formula as of July 1, regardless of the effective date, to guarantee that funding is available for the entire fiscal year.

Question: What about the aggregate expenditure limit (AEL)? Is that still a problem?

Answer: Thankfully, not this year. Education spending is still well over the cap, but as part of the budget agreement between the Legislature and Gov. Katie Hobbs, the Legislature voted to authorize expenditures for FY 2024. Therefore, the limit is not an issue for the coming fiscal year beginning July 1. That covers all of the 2023-2024 school year. We will still need authorization for FY 2025.

Question: How can I keep up with all this stuff?

Answer: I’m glad you asked! The ASBA GR team produces a newsletter with updates from the capitol and other information. You can sign up at Thanks for reading!

Get ready for ASBA County Meetings this Fall!

ASBA county gatherings are back with music, dinner, discussions, celebrations and more! Last year we transformed the county meeting from the same-old meeting into a truly special event with music, dinner, discussion, celebrations of learning and leadership, prize drawings, and much more. Members kept telling us how much they enjoyed their county meeting and how it felt like a whole new event. We’re keeping it that way! You won’t want to miss it.

We sure hope to see you at your 2023 ASBA County Dinner and Meeting from 5-7 p.m., with check-in beginning at 4:30 p.m. The exception is the Navajo-Apache-Coconino County meeting, which will be from 9:30-11:30 a.m. with check-in and a light breakfast from 9-9:30 a.m. Registration for this member-only event is $40.

Tuesday, Sept. 19: Graham-Greenlee County at Duncan USD
Wednesday, Sept. 20: Gila County at to be determined
Tuesday, Sept. 26: Yavapai County at TBD
Thursday, Sept. 28: Pima County at Flowing Wells USD
Saturday, Sept. 30: Navajo-Apache-Coconino Counties at TBD
Monday, Oct. 16: Maricopa County at TBD
Wednesday, Oct. 18: Pinal County at TBD
Monday Oct. 23: Mohave County at TBD
Tuesday, Oct. 24: La Paz County at TBD
Wednesday, Oct. 25: Yuma County at Gadsden ESD
Wednesday, Nov. 1: Santa Cruz County at TBD
Thursday Nov. 2: Cochise County at TBD

Thank you for submitting your suggestions to shape ASBA’s political priorities

School board member voting at Delegate Assembly

ASBA thanks district member boards for exercising their ASBA membership rights and participating in submitting suggestions to shape ASBA’s 2024 political priorities. As you know, your input to the Legislative Committee is critical.

It is our pleasure as your Governmental Relations staff to facilitate this important process, and we were happy to submit your proposals to the Legislative Committee to consider for the 2024 ASBA Political Agenda.

Your submitted proposals were provided by staff to the ASBA Legislative Committee to consider at their June 2 meeting. The Committee then creates a draft document that will be circulated to all governing boards and superintendents in June.

Members will be reminded to review the draft agenda and select delegates in August. This draft agenda will be the basis for discussion and final approval at the official Delegate Assembly on Saturday, Sept. 9, following the ASBA 47th Annual Law Conference.

This document is a policy document. It is referred to as the “political agenda” within the ASBA bylaws, however you will note that the content is 100% focused on education policy issues within Arizona, and is used by the association to pursue public policy goals that support district schools across the state.

The 2023 Delegate Assembly will determine the positions of the Arizona School Boards Association for any future Special Sessions of the current legislature and for the Second Regular Session of the Fifty-Sixth Legislature.  Your board can help craft ASBA’s advocacy stances by registering your district’s delegate.

Your delegate will represent your district at the Delegate Assembly, a critical meeting where the views of your district can be represented and discussed. The Delegate Assembly will be held on Saturday, September 9 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn following the Law Conference. Delegate registration will open on the same date as registration for the ASBA Law Conference. Thank you for your active participation in ASBA. If you have any questions, please call Chris Kotterman, ASBA Director of Governmental Relations directly at 602-254-1100 or 800-238-4701. You can also reach him by email at

Meet Pima County Director John Sparks   

Pima County Director John Sparks

Throughout the year Connect will highlight your ASBA Board of Directors and content from the Journal. This week, learn a more about why Pima County Co-Director John Sparks serves his community.

Engage your community with ASBA Executive Search 

If you’re seeking to get your community members involved in your superintendent search, ASBA Executive Search can help with that.

In the past fiscal year, ASBA Executive Search helped governing boards in 11 Arizona school districts find their new leader. Whether you’re a small, rural district or a district in downtown Phoenix, ASBA can assist you in finding the best candidates.  

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 and Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School District, and has assisted in searches this past year for Creighton, Naco, Sacaton, Quartzsite, Roosevelt, Tonto Basin and Clarkdale-Jerome Elementary School Districts as well as  Ray, Ganado and Prescott Unified School Districts.  

ASBA Events and Webinars

Upcoming ASBA Events

ASBA 47th Annual Law Conference 
Sept. 6, 2023 – Sept. 8, 2023 (Save the dates) 

ASBA County meetings 2023 
Sept. 18, 2023 – Nov. 2, 2023  

ASBA-ASA 66th Annual Conference 
Dec. 6, 2023 – Dec. 8, 2023 (Save the dates) 

View all ASBA events on the ASBA website.

Sign Up for ASBA Connect E-News