ASBA-ASA 66th Annual Conference

Get ready to level up your educational leadership game because registration is now open for the ASBA-ASA 66th Annual Conference – “Game Plan for Success: Mastering Education Playbook – School Leadership Edition”! We’ve prepared an event that promises to be unforgettable, and we’re thrilled to share all the exciting details with you. 

Click HERE to view the 2023 ASBA Annual Conference Guidebook

FOR ASAP MEMBERS: Click here to access the 2023 ASBA/ASA Annual Conference ASAP One Page

NEW APP! Search for ASBA-ASA Annual Conference in your device’s app store. Download the app and open it. Your username will be your first name.last name (For example: john.smith) and Password for everyone is 23azsba.

Don’t Forget Your Sneakers and Sports T-Shirts or Team Jerseys!


D.J. Vanas

Internationally-acclaimed motivational storyteller and a leadership and personal development expert, author of the celebrated book “The Tiny Warrior: A Path to Personal Discovery & Achievement,” and a new novel, “Spirit on the Run” novel.​


Marc Brackett, Ph.D

Founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, professor in the Child Study Center at the Yale School of Medicine, and author of “Permission to Feel.”

Wednesday, Dec. 6 - 2023 ASBA-ASA Annual Pre-Conference: Playbook for school leadership: Governance Edition

7:30 am - 7:45 am


8:00 am - 8:30 am

Continental Breakfast & Student Entertainment

Registration and networking opportunities.

8:30 am - 9:00 am

Opening Ceremony

We start with a welcome address by ASBA Executive Leadership Teams and opening remarks empowering decision makers. Then, we continue with a Posting of Colors by the Piñon USD Color Guard and Directors: First Sergeant Kathy Brown and Sergeant Marvin Tom. Opening ceremony will finish with the Pledge of Allegiance.

9:00 am - 10:25 am

School Finance Game Plan

Jeremy Calles, Tolleson Union High School District, and Ken Hicks, Tolleson Union High School District

This session will provide a high-level fundamental game plan regarding school finance. This will include multiple phases of the game. The pick and roll of procurement. Setting screens in budgeting. And the 3-pointer of decision making.

10:25 am - 10:35 am

Morning Break

Networking and refreshments!

10:35 am - 11:30 am

Leadership Game Plan Modeling Effective Leadership: The Crucial Roles of Governing Board Members and Superintendents

Heidi Vega, Communication Director for Arizona School Board Association and Amy Castellanos, Leadership Development and Community Engagement Director for Arizona School Board Association.

Discover the pivotal roles governing board members and superintendents play in modeling effective – or less effective – leadership. This session is tailored to provide a comprehensive understanding of the unique challenges faced by leaders in educational governance. Through insightful discussions and practical examples, you'll navigate the intricacies of effective leadership, gaining strategies and insights on how to cultivate a culture of collaboration, open communication and continuous improvement. These skills are key in positively impacting your legacy as a board member and superintendent.

11:35 am - 12:05 pm

Policy Bridge

ASBA Policy Director Renae Watson, ASBA Policy Analysts Dr. Charlotte Patterson and Lynne Bondi

Explore PolicyBridge's vital role in policy management. Learn platform essentials, including policy advisories and manual maintenance. Ideal for new board members and all users.

12:10 pm - 12:55 pm

Lunch and Networking

Buffet lunch will be provided with student entertainment by Escorpion Sinaloense Band and Director:  Mr. Martin Peralta Sr., Gadsden ESD.

1:00 pm - 1:55 pm

Decision Making Game Plan Driving District & Student Success: Sharing Tools for Winning Outcomes

Joseph O'rilery, Director, Decision Center for Educational Excellence, ASU

Join the ASU Helios Decision Center as they share tools your district can use to engage the community in increasing graduation and college going, give your high schools feedback on how students do in college, and even get qualified students accepted to ASU/NAU/UA before they apply.

2:00 pm - 2:55 pm

Leveraging Your Diversity Data

Del Johnson, Vice President of Business Development for Infinity Systems, Jay Mann, Superintendent of Creighton ESD and Ernest Rose, Superintendent Wilson ESD

Presentations will be shared by Superintendents Jay Mann and Ernest Rose on how they are using this actionable data to connect better with staff and students that points out the gaps and provides more cultural competence that leads to better instruction for each student.

3:00 pm - 3:55 pm

Beyond Boundaries: AI and ChatGPT Strategies for School Board Success

Jason Perez, President and Co-Founder of Creovia

This presentation equips school board members with insights on leveraging AI and ChatGPT, paving the way for dynamic and effective leadership in the ever-evolving landscape of education.

4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Sports Exhibit Hall Opening Extravaganza

Don't miss the Sports Exhibit Hall Opening Extravaganza, where you can unleash your competitive spirit in sports-themed games. We've even got a surprise emcee, ASBA Multimedia Communications Manager Jade Frazier, to keep the energy high with competitions and music from the ever-popular D.J. Dangerous! With Starbucks gift cards for contest winners, it's a win-win for everyone. Bring your children along too; they can join in the fun with their own competitions. 

Thursday, Dec. 7 - 2023 ASBA-ASA Annual Conference - Sneaker Day

7:30 am - 7:45 am


7:30 am - 8:15 am

Black Alliance Meeting

LOCATION: Desert Suite 1 View the agenda here - LOCATION - Grand Sonoran E-F. View the online voter guide to learn more about the ASBA Candidates. Click the link here

8:00 am - 8:30 am

Continental Breakfast & Student Entertainment

Sponsored by Concord. Registration and networking opportunities!

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8:30 am - 9:50 am

Welcome To First General Sessions + Presentation of Colors JROTC, Barbara Robey & Lou Ella Kleinz award presentations + AI Panel

Sponsored by ASBAIT. Emceed by Gregory Offner.

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Keynote Speaker Marc Brackett

Mac Brackett, Ph.D. is the founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, professor in the Child Study Center at the Yale School of Medicine, and author of “Permission to Feel.”

9:50 am - 10:30 am

Exhibit Hall, Game Changers Unplugged: A Fireside Chat with Sporting Icons

Take a break and enjoy a fireside chat with sporting icons. 

10:30 am - 11:20 am

Breakout Sessions

  • Design Thinking: Empowering the Next Generation for Sustainable Design Choice The workshop's outcomes are multifaceted. Firstly, participants will gain a profound comprehension of Design Thinking. Secondly, they will recognize the intricate interplay between Global Sustainability Goals, ways their peers engage, and design choices of technologies that involve STEAM. Furthermore, they will have the opportunity to design their unique vision of a useful instrument, taking into consideration critical design constraints and questions that may influence their designs. Lastly, participants will develop effective communication skills, enabling them to present their distinctive ideas. Speakers - Dr. Loretta Cheeks, CEO, Stronger Ties & DS Innovation
  • Listen, Hear, Advocate & Build Relationships to Serve Students At Risk of or Experiencing Homelessness Proactively share McKinney Vento information through Constables when families are being evicted into homelessness. Listen to children when they share "they live or sleep at different family members houses and struggle to get to school.” Children of color do not describe being "unsheltered or homeless" in such blatant terms. We have to listen, hear, advocate, inform ourselves and build relationships to reach families in our communities that attend our schools. Speakers - Kiana Maria Sears, Governing Board member, Mesa Public Schools, Elaissia Sears, Justice of the Peace, Hand and Hand Business Consulting, Rita Rodriguez, State Homeless Education Program Coordinator
  • Purchasing 101: What Board Members Need to Know The session begins with an overview of the current landscape of student mental health, shedding light on common stressors, triggers, and the impact of academic pressures. Drawing on recent research, we emphasize the need for a holistic approach that encompasses not only academic success but also the emotional and psychological welfare of students. During our presentation, we will introduce the concept of mindfulness in the classroom. We explore practical strategies and techniques that educators can implement to create an environment conducive to emotional well-being. Mindful teaching practices, including meditation exercises, stress reduction activities, and fostering open communication, are discussed as essential tools in promoting a positive and supportive learning atmosphere. Attendees will leave with a deeper understanding of the relationship between mental health and academic success and a toolkit of strategies and/or resources to cultivate a mindful and compassionate classroom environment. Ultimately, the goal is to empower educators to play a proactive role in the well-being of their students and contribute to a positive and nurturing educational experience. Speakers - Pedro Lopez & Colleen Bartruff, for Zarephath
  • Unlocking Student Potential: A Mental Health Perspective Detailed information about presentation available on the app.
  • Strengthening School Community Through Respect, Affirmation and Inclusion. Speakers - Jimmy Hart, CEO, Hart Global Industries Scott Hagerman, Superintendent, Tanque Verde Unified School District
  • Teacher Shortage? Grow your Own! Access to Higher Education in Rural Communities Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College continues to create district partnerships within rural communities across the state to provide access to Higher Education programs. Hear about our experience with launching two teacher certification programs in rural communities. Learn about what works, hurdles encountered, lessons learned, and continuous growth moving forward. Speakers - Audrey Garcia, Crane School Governing Board Member and Clinical Assistant Professor, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University and Erika Flores, Clinical Assistant Professor, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

11:30 am - 12:20 pm

Breakout Sessions

  • Creating Sustainability by Integrating Proactive Initiatives Within a Whole-Person Lens Research shows that when our kids feel safe and emotionally regulated, only then are they able to learn and retain new information. By streamlining existing proactive initiatives, aligning that work with the vision and values of the school community and grounding the practices on the foundations of regulation and relationships, schools can be the whole-child healing-centered educational environments that our students and staff need. Speakers - Dr. Leslie Anway, Director of Resilient Schools Anthony Guillen, Bilingual Clinician, Flourish Learning Group, LLC
  • Dual Enrollment: Why It’s Important and How to Increase High School Offerings Panel discussion on the benefits of dual enrollment, state incentive programs for teachers and disparities of dual enrollment across the state. Speakers - Jennifer Mellor, Chief Innovation Officer, Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation Panel TBD
  • Cybersecurity Essentials for School Board Members Cybersecurity is more important than ever. School districts are especially vulnerable to cyber-attacks, as they store sensitive student and staff data with limited technology personnel and budgets. In this session, school board members will learn about the latest cyber threats, board, and district leadership roles in maintaining a strong defense, and how districts are building a strong cyber posture. Speakers - Russel Denault, Director of Information Technology at Creighton School District
  • Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: Elevating Financial Education for Vulnerable Youth and Families We delve into the crucial topic of enhancing financial education for economically vulnerable youth. We'll explore effective strategies for implementing state and local financial education standards, as well as tactics to boost family involvement in school-based financial education. Key discussion points will include outreach and recruitment techniques for enrolling students in financial education courses, expanding access to financial education, and examining the impact of youth financial education on parents' financial well-being and trajectories. Speakers - Monica Martinez, Director of Operations and Community Relations, Arizona Council on Economic Education Dr. Jason Reynolds, Former Superintendent, Peoria USD
  • Strategies to Drive Physical Academic Engagement Physically active students tend to have better grades, school attendance, cognitive performance, and classroom behaviors. Schools and districts around the U.S. are utilizing curricula that perpetuate movement and hands-on learning. STEM Sports will provide Arizona-based examples of in-classroom and after-school programming that has led to student success. Speakers - Jeff Golner, President and CEO, STEM Sports
  • Weaving Linguistic Riches: Exploring the Tapestry of Dual Language Education This presentation will address how dual language programs equip students with the invaluable skill of bilingualism and how exposing students to a second language and culture promotes empathy and a deeper appreciation of diversity. GESD has two dual language schools that are now in their 6th year of their bilingual journey. Come experience how your dual language programs can embrace linguistic diversity, making education more inclusive and responsive to the needs of a multicultural society. Speakers - Norma Jauregui, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Glendale ESD Alex Garcia, Director of Language Acquisition, Glendale ESD Sarah Balder, Principal of Horizon School, Glendale ESD Katy Oczytko, Principal of William C. Jack School, Glendale ESD in collaboration with the Arizona Latino School Board Association

12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

Celebration Café

ASA and Golden Bell Promise Program Awards presentations and recognition of Arizona Educational Foundation’s 2024 Teacher of the Year Efrain Casillas. Student Entertainment provided by Baboquivari USD.

1:45 pm - 2:30 pm

Exhibit Hall + dessert + entertainment (drumline competition)

More new additions like Exhibitor Ultimate Sports Fan Zone, Toy Drive - Stuff the NASCAR, Fun Conference Energizers and a brand-new conference app! Get ready for a student drumline competition with Greg Offner as your host. The winner will be determined by audience applause, and they'll take home a shiny trophy.  Don’t forget our Toy Drive - Stuff the NASCAR. You can contribute to this heartwarming initiative by donating via a QR code supplied by Phoenix Children’s Hospital to a secure site. We've got cute Christmas-themed floor decals to guide you to the donation area, and our dedicated staff will help process your donations. All proceeds will go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The NASCAR will be transformed with festively wrapped boxes, making it a sight to behold. 

2:30 pm - 3:20 pm

Rural Alliance Meeting

View the agenda here. Click the link here

2:30 pm - 3:20 pm

Breakout Sessions

  • Amplifying American Indian Student Voices: Empowering Advocacy Join us for a dynamic and empowering workshop dedicated to highlighting the indispensable role of Native student voices within the Page Unified School Districtand the Arizona School Boards Association. This session will underscore the profound impact that student input can have on shaping educational policies and fostering a more supportive and inclusive learning environment. Through interactive discussions and activities, participants will gain insights into the unique perspectives of American Indian students, addressing their needs, challenges, and aspirations to pave the way for a brighter educational future. Speakers - Carlos Begay, Page USD Navajo Language Unity Club Desiree Fowler, ASBA Board President
  • The Next Generation Workforce: Team-Based Staffing Models for Better Educator & Student Outcomes Join this opportunity to learn and discuss the big ideas in Arizona State University's Next Education Workforce initiative. Several Arizona districts began designing team-based staffing models five years ago and now at least 80 school systems across the country are customizing models in their contexts. This innovative work is embedded in AASA's Learning 2025 and can help with both short-term staffing challenges as well as bring about long-term, positive change in schools. Early results show positive outcomes for both educators and students. Hear directly from superintendents and other systems leaders who are at varying stages of implementation. The session will provide several concrete resources for thinking differently about educator staffing as well as the opportunity to join a learning cohort for the coming school year or to prepare to launch a pilot as early as next fall. Speakers - Dr. Jan Vesely, AASA Liaison with the Next Education Workforce (ASU)
  • Tiered Mental Health Supports & The Hope Institute of CUSD The Hope Institute of CUSD is the first school-based suicide treatment center of its kind. Any CUSD student having thoughts of suicide is able to receive services within 48 hours and up to four times a week. All clinicians have specific treatment training that reduces suicidal risk, increases hope and allows students to safely wait for ongoing care through stabilization. Join us to learn more about the why and how behind the tiered system of mental health supports CUSD has put in place. Speakers - Natasha Davis, Director of Counseling and Social Services Chandler USD Lindsay Taylor, Clinical Director, The HOPE Institute
  • Schools and Taxes: An Overview of How it Works Everyone pays taxes. Are taxes an interception or a touchdown for school districts. Let’s dive into the details of how taxes support education. Speakers - Jeremy Calles, Tolleson Union High School District, and Ken Hicks, Tolleson Union High School District
  • Supporting Native American Students in AZ Schools In this session participants will learn about supports, resources, and programming the Arizona Office of Indian Education (OIE) can provide to superintendents and school boards to better support Native American students. This session will feature the Superintendent of Piñon Unified School District sharing examples of how they have partnered with OIE. Speakers - Lynnann Yazzie, Deputy Associate Superintendent, Arizona Department of Education Office of Indian Education, Helen Thomas, Professional Learning Coordinator, Arizona Department of Education Office of Indian Education, Chris Ostgaard, Superintendent, Piñon Unified School District Rural Alliance Meeting- Desert Suite 1

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

ASBA Membership Meetings

LOCATION - Grand Sonoran G-K. View the online voter guide to learn more about the ASBA Candidates. Click the link here

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

ASA Membership Meeting

LOCATION - Grand Sonoran E-F. View the online voter guide to learn more about the ASBA Candidates. Click the link here

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Exhibit Hall Reception

As the day unfolds, join us for the Exhibit Hall for an evening reception where we're having a Sneaker Ball with Jock Jams party. Greg Offner will host the evening, while a DJ curates the playlist for an unforgettable night of dancing. We'll have a dance floor, red carpet, a Polaroid camera to capture your sneaker style and a cork board to show off your photos. The ultimate prize? A glorious Sneaker Trophy for the best-dressed attendee, as decided by audience applause. 

Friday, Dec. 8 - 2023 ASBA-ASA Annual Conference Jersey Day

7:00 am - 7:50 am

ASBA Inaugural Sunrise Fun Run/Walk

Sponsored by Mindshine Technologies

Kick off your Friday morning with the one-mile ASBA Inaugural Sunrise Fun Run/Walk sponsored by Mindshine Technologies, and led by our point person, Lynne Bondi, ASBA Policy Analyst. No registration required. Please meet outside the Revive Spa at 7 a.m. to receive your shirt, sign in and warm up. The one-mile fun run/walk begins at 7:15 a.m. Prizes will be given to the first-place finisher and the best sports attire. Water and fruit will be provided. 

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7:00 am - 7:50 am

Arizona Rural Schools Meeting

LOCATION - Desert Suite 1

7:30 am - 7:45 am


7:30 am - 8:15 am

Hispanic and Native American Indian Caucus

LOCATION: Desert Suite 3-5 View the agenda here - Click the link here

8:00 am - 8:30 am

Continental Breakfast & Student Entertainment

Algebra Zero (by Edu2000) Registration and networking opportunities. Student entertainment provided by Braves Cultural Group of San Carlos Unified District Director: Randy Begay

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8:30 am - 10:50 am

General Session/Tribute to Leadership

Sponsored by Veregy. The session will begin with a Student Blessing from the Navajo Language/UNITY Club, Page High School, Page USD, continue with ASBA Awards presentations for Gold STAR Award, Total Board Award, Honor Roll Award, and All Arizona School Board Member Awards, along with a passing of the Gavel. We will then recognize our outgoing and incoming ASBA Board of Directors, and finish with a prize drawing.

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10:00 am - 10:50 am

Keynote Speaker DJ Vanas

D.J. Vanas

D.J. Vanas is a motivational storyteller, leadership and personal development expert and author of “The Warrior Within: Own Your Power to Serve, Fight, Protect and Heal” and “Spirit on the Run.”

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Breakout Sessions

  • Leveraging AI as a Tool for Self-Reflection: SIBME Sibme AI is a revolutionary artificial intelligence tool designed to enhance professional growth and improve teaching. It utilizes machine learning algorithms and natural language processing to analyze and provide real-time insights for educational leaders. Sibme AI provides real-time video and audio analysis, highlighting key aspects of teaching and coaching sessions. Sibme AI allows educational leaders to self-reflect and identify areas of success and growth. Speakers - Dr. Jacinto Ramos
  • Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: Innovative Strategies for Preparing Arizona Students for College and Career Success Explore the strategies and initiatives implemented by Tempe Union High School District to address the unique needs of their diverse student population and equip them with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in both college and their chosen careers. Speakers - Roxanne Murphy, Director Postsecondary Attainment, Arizona Board of Regents Julie Sainz, Director, FAFSA & College Access Initiatives, Arizona Board of Regents Armando Montero, Governing Board President, Tempe UHSD Monica Trejo, Board Member, Director of Community Engagement, Tempe ESD and Arizona Board of Regents
  • Meeting the Need of Teacher Shortage Detailed information about presentation available on the app. Speakers - Dr. Mike Robinson
  • The System of Care Center: Where You Get What You Need to Help You Succeed! The presentation will focus on the evolution of the Glendale Elementary School District System of Care Center. This repurposed school has become a one-stop shop for anyone in the community to get all their needs met in one place. This is accomplished through partnerships with organizations willing to provide their services to the community at no cost in exchange for space and access to those in need of servicesSpeakers - Denis Parcells, Glendale ESD, System of Care Center
  • A Better Future for Arizona Despite widespread support for public education, many of the actions by those elected to statewide positions are hostile to education. Only by reform of our election system will we have greater choice in candidates, more voice and better outcomes for Arizona. Brought to you by Why Not the Best Public Education in Arizona Foundation, this session will feature Kathy Knecht, Executive Committee Member of Voter Choice AZ. Join us as we discuss Signature Requirements, Open Primaries, and Rank Choice Voting. Speakers - Dr. Deb Duvall, President and Founder, Why Not the Best Public Education in Arizona Foundation Kathy Knecht, Executive
  • Algebra 0 - Clarify Confusion, Cut Busywork, and Conquer Algebra 1 Today! Join our presentation to discover how Algebra 0 can break the endless intervention cycle and turbocharge your existing curriculum. Through engaging storytelling, concrete scenarios and relevant problems, Algebra 0 appealingly delivers sustainable improvements in algebra. Find out how your middle and high school students can achieve significant gains in just 3 to 12 weeks using Algebra 0, as evidenced by recent studies. Speakers - Mike Liu & David Brancamp, Algebra Zero Team
  • Schools and Taxes: An Overview of How it Works Everyone pays taxes. Are taxes an interception or a touchdown for school districts. Let’s dive into the details of how taxes support education. Speakers - Jeremy Calles, Tolleson Union High School District, and Ken Hicks, Tolleson Union High School District

12:00 pm -

Conference Adjourned


December 6, 2023

8:00 am - 4:00 pm