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Annual Conference Recap! What did you miss?
Nearly 500 school board members, superintendents and other public school leaders from throughout the state gathered in Phoenix Dec. 9-11 for the 58th joint annual conference of the Arizona School Boards Association and the Arizona School Administrators Superintendents’ Division.

Conference attendees had the opportunity to choose from 38 educational sessions addressing issues critical to public school leadership, and hear inspiring and informative messages from several keynote speakers, including Claudio Sanchez, former teacher and current education correspondent for NPR and Marshall Trimble, a writer, speaker, teacher and folk singer who is considered the dean of Arizona historians.

Over 150 new board members attended a pre-conference on the Key Work of School Boards, focused on five critical board governance responsibilities that contribute to improved student achievement: Vision, Accountability, Policy, Community Leadership and Relationships.

In addition, the people and programs in Arizona’s public schools that exemplified excellence in education in 2015 were honored with awards. Honorees hailed from districts large and small throughout the state.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Doreen Zannis, the founder and recently-retired executive director of Support Our Schools AZ, a non-partisan, non-profit parent and citizen advocacy organization, received the ASBA Barbara Robey Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions in support of public education and ASBA’s mission through servant leadership over an extended period of time.

Governance and Leadership Awards
The Paradise Valley Unified School District governing board was presented with ASBA’s annual Lou Ella Kleinz Award of Excellence for demonstrating the most outstanding educational leadership this year. This award is the highest honor the Arizona School Boards Association bestows on a governing board. Members of the Paradise USD board are Anne Greenberg, Julie Bacon, Mark Lane, Nancy Case and Sue Skidmore.

ASBA also named a five-member “all-star team” of school board members from throughout the state. Recipients of the 2015 ASBA All-Arizona School Board Award were Adam Lopez Falk (Alhambra ESD), Sarah Ells (Flagstaff USD), Patricia Jimenez (Isaac ESD), Carole Siegler (Catalina Foothills USD) and John Williams (Altar Valley ESD). This is the highest honor ASBA bestows on individual board members.

Recognition for Training
Individual board members and full governing boards that have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to pursuing training in leadership, governance and issues related to public education were also recognized.
• Nineteen boards received the ASBA Total Board Award, which is granted to a governing board when at least a quorum of members has received 36 hours of voluntary training.

• Thirty-six individual school board members received recognition for having completed more than 120 hours of voluntary training throughout their years of board service.

• Two board members were presented with the Master of Boardsmanship Fifth Cluster Award, which is awarded to members who have taken advantage of 400 or more professional development hours.
The members were Patricia Blair (Mobile ESD) and Debra Scott (Sierra Vista USD). A complete list of boards and individuals recognized for their commitment to training is available upon request.

Awards for Programs that Advance Student Achievement
School programs from throughout the state that have shown outstanding successes in student achievement were also honored with ASBA Golden Bell Awards.

Recipients of 2015 ASBA Golden Bell Awards were:
Elementary (pre-K through grade 6) Category
First Place: 21st Century Learning
Coyote Springs Elementary School, Humboldt Unified School District

Runner Up: Focusing Instruction: Reading and Match Instructional Mechanisms
All Elementary Sites: Desert Sun ES, Desert Willow ES, Lone Mountain ES, Horseshoe Trails ES & Black Mountain ES, Cave Creek Unified School District

Middle Years (Grade 4-9) Category
First Place: The BEE Extraordinary Campaign
Villago Middle School, Casa Grande Elementary School District

Runner Up: Isaac Middle School Cougar Band
Isaac Middle School, Isaac Elementary School District

High School (Grades 9-12) Category
First Place: PAW EXRESS
Morenci High School, Morenci School District

Runner Up: Bio-Medical Science Program
Red Mountain High School, Mesa Unified School District
Student Honors

ASBA named the winners of the annual Jack Peterson Student Photography Contest, who demonstrated excellence behind the lens. The theme of the statewide student photography contest was “Arizona Outdoors.” The 2015 winners are listed below.

9-12 category
First place
Desmond Hoogs, Sedona Red Rock High School, Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School District

Second place
• Lilly Davis, Sedona Red Rock High School, Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School District

Third place
• Christine Crossen, Red Mountain High School, Mesa Unified School District

Honorable Mention
• Kamryn Wells, Pinnacle High School, Paradise Valley Unified School District
• Heather Rea, Benson High School, Benson Unified School District

K-8 category
• Thomas Montanez, Patagonia Public School, Patagonia Elementary School District

ASBA’s Jack Peterson Scholarships, presented annually to high-performing high school seniors who plan to pursue college degrees in education, were awarded to:
• Jennifer Reyes, Washington High School, Glendale Union High School District
• Rachel Copeland, Washington High School, Glendale Union High School District
• Taicey Johnson, Antelope Union High School, Antelope Union High School District

ASBA’s Hispanic-Native American Indian Caucus presented the new Panfilo H. Contreras Honorary Scholarship to deserving Hispanic and Native American Indian students for their post-secondary education. Receiving scholarships were:
• Jordy Flores Yepiz, Nogales High School, Nogales Unified School District
• Shandiin Gorman, Westwood High School, Mesa Unified School District
ASBA’s Black Caucus presented two district awards Receiving districts were:
• Reading Contest Winner, Solomon Elementary School District
• President’s Award, Viper Inc., Verrado High School, Agua Fria Union High School District


If it’s good for kids, then we’re at the table! New Journal magazine issue ready.

In this issue: The overall theme focuses on if it’s good for kids, then we’re at the table. ASBA’s Past President begins the conversation on ending the year focused on the HOPE of the future, and featured articles cover the relationship between board members and their communities and celebrating this year’s Heroes of Public Education. Don’t miss out on the new look and feel to this edition which also includes a close look at what’s in store for the 2016 legislative session. View now

Upcoming ASBA Events  Register now

Get first dibs on registration for B.O.L.T.S. 2016
Join us in January for a brand new seminar focused on board operations and training. Choose from three locations: Tucson, Jan. 21, Phoenix, Jan. 22 or Flagstaff, Jan. 29.Learn more about:

  • What Can You Learn from Your Peers When It Comes to Policy?
  • The Role of Outside Facilitators at Board Retreats, Study Sessions and Community Meetings
  • Marketing Your District through Data-Driven Decision-Making
  • The Importance of Creating Alternate Budgets in Uncertain Times
FEBRUARY – MARCH: Spring Legal Webinars and (In-Person) Seminar
The ASBA Spring Legal Webinars will be held Friday, February 26 and Friday, March 25.  These sessions will cover timely, in-depth legal topics similar to what you would see at the popular ASBA Law Conference in a webinar format where registration is set per location.
A one-day, in-person Spring Legal Seminar will also be offered on Friday, March 4 in Flagstaff. Registration and program details will be coming soon.MARCH: The Equity Event
Save the date for our second annual Equity Event on March 10-11 at the Sheraton Crescent in Phoenix, and will feature keynote speaker Dr. Pedro Noguera, well-known expert, author and national media commentator on education.

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