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December 17 @ 8:30 am - December 19 @ 4:30 pm



ASBA’s Annual Conference will be held December 17-19, 2019. The Annual Conference is our celebratory end-of-year gathering of school board members and other district leaders in the state. Attendees hear from national speakers, focus on statewide education initiatives and network and share experiences with other educational leaders across Arizona. School board members, students and educators are celebrated during the Annual Awards program and the Golden Bell Luncheon.

Please NOTE: This year’s conference days are: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and at a new location, J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge.

62nd ASBA Annual Pre-Conference: Supporting the Whole Child: Student Well-Being in School

Tuesday, December 17th
Check-In & Continental Breakfast
What it Means to Support the Whole ChildNikkie Whaley, Board Support and Training Specialist, ASBAGrand Sonoran
E Ballroom
Physical Wellness: The Educational Impact of Physical HealthDr. Constance Tucker, Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy Specialist, Honor HealthGrand Sonoran
E Ballroom
9:45 -10:45Mental Wellness: The Educational Impact of Mental Health and the Importance of Behavior Health ProfessionalsErica Chavez, Director of Prevention, Touchstone Behavioral Health; Caitlin Gizler, Director of Integrated School-Based Services, Valle del Sol; Candise Alverez, Professional School Counselor, Sahuarita USDGrand Sonoran
E Ballroom
11:00-12:15Creating a Sense of Belonging: The Value of Recognizing Student Identity and VoiceDr. Adama Sallu, Director of Equity and Inclusion, Chandler USD

Grand Sonoran
E Ballroom
1:30-2:30Providing Supports: The Value of Caring Adults and Future Pathways for YouthDr. Rick Miller, Founder/CEO and Chief Treasure Hunter, Kids at HopeGrand Sonoran
E Ballroom
2:30-3:30Speaker Panel with Q & AFeaturing all the day's speakersGrand Sonoran
E Ballroom
3:30-4:00Wrap-UpGrand Sonoran
E Ballroom
4:00-6:00Check-In for ASBA-ASA Annual ConferencePick up all your materials for the conferenceGrand Sonoran A-F Foyer
4:30-6:00Welcome Reception
Join us for drinks and hors d'oeuvres as you mix and mingle with vendors and attendees. Open to all pre-conference and main conference attendees.Exhibit Hall-
Grand Saguaro Ballroom

62nd ASBA Annual Conference

Tuesday, December 17th
4:00-6:00Check-In for ASBA-ASA Annual Conference
Registration pickup.
4:30-6:00Welcome Reception
Join us for drinks and hors d'oeuvres as you mix and mingle with vendors and attendees. Open to all pre-conference and main conference attendees.
Wednesday, December 18th
7:30-8:30Check-In, Continental BreakfastRegistration pickup.
Grand Saguaro Ballroom Foyer
8:30-10:15Opening Ceremony & Keynote SpeakerShane Feldman, "Undercover Teen" and founder of Count Me InGrand Sonoran A-F
10:30-11:45ASBA Annual Business Meeting & Officer ElectionGrand Sonoran E Ballroom
10:30-11:45ASA MeetingGrand Sonoran F Ballroom
10:30-11:45Exhibit Hall - Networking, Activities and Service ProjectGrand Saguaro Ballroom
12:00-1:15Golden Bell Promise Program Awards Luncheon Sponsored by Cox BusinessGrand Sonoran G-K
1:30-2:20Breakout Sessions
1:30-2:20A Mosaic of Minds: Using Unique Differences to Meet the Social/Emotional Needs of Students and Families.Dr. Louis Laffitte, Executive Director for Behavioral Health and School Safety, GESD; Andrea Arellano, Director of Emotional Learning and Mental Health Services, GESD; Jody Gallimore Director of Student Services, GESDGrand Sonoran A-D
1:30-2:20Empowering Excellence and Success through Student Leadership
Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux, Superintendent, Pendergast ESD;
Susan Perin, Board President, PESD; Ray Pohlmeyer, Director of Interactive Design & Digital Learning, PESD
Pinnacle Peak 3
1:30-2:20Excellence IS Possible David Verdugo, Superintendent, Santa Cruz Valley USD;
Stephen Schadler, Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum & Instruction, SCVUSD; Melisa Lunderville, Assistant Superintendent, Student Services,
Desert Suite 3-5
1:30-2:20“Climate Change” for LGBTQ Students: Proven Tools for Promoting Inclusion and Defusing Discrimination in K-12 SchoolsSkyler Tuholsky-Froke, Education Coordinator, GLSEN PhoenixPinnacle Peak 1
1:30-2:20School Counselors: Building Better HumansAmanda Nolasco, School Counselor Specialist, ADE; Janine Menard, Past Chair, Arizona School Counselors Association; Sarah Skemp, Assistant Chair, AzSCADesert Suite 4-6
1:30-2:20Bonus Outcomes: How a Focus on Student Social-Emotional Health Improved Job Satisfaction of TeachersDr. Cecilia Sanchez, Director of Special Services, Cartwright ESD; Marissa Hernandez, Board President, CESD; Denice Garcia, Board Vice President, CESD

Pinnacle Peak 2
1:30-2:20Golden Bell Winner-Elementary: Sacaton ESD's Legacy Community Orchard Albert Alaniz, STEAM Teacher; Angie Weddle, Curriculum Enrichment Teacher; Amanda Billings, Manager of Data Analysis and Continuous ImprovementGrand Sonoran E
1:30-2:20Golden Bell Winner- High School: Glendale UHSD's Summer Academies Brian Capistran, Superintendent; Craig Mussi, Associate Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction
Grand Sonoran F
1:30-2:30ASBA Black Caucus Business MeetingDesert Suite 2
2:20-3:30Exhibit Hall - Dessert, Service Project and Rural Alliance Kick-OffGrand Saguaro Ballroom
3:30-4:20Breakout Sessions
3:30-4:20Incorporating Students in Your Emergency Management PlansKaylee Sorensen, Emergency Management Consultant, The TrustDesert Suite 3-5
3:30-4:20Never Giving Up: Educating Our Most Vulnerable StudentsSteve King, Superintendent, Cottonwood-Oak Creek USD; Eric Marcus, Governing Board President, COCUSDPinnacle Peak 2
3:30-4:20Professional Development: A Comprehensive Approach to Supporting and Retaining TeachersTom Huffman, Executive Director of Educational Services, Agua Fria UHSD; Dr. Grant Conway, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, AFUHSD; Angela Madsen, Director of Federal Programs, AFUHSDPinnacle Peak 3
3:30-4:20Connect and Collaborate: Mental Health Partnerships in SchoolsSusie Huhn, CEO, Casa de los Niños, Tucson; Trever Davis, Chief Clinical Officer, The Guidance Center, Flagstaff ; Erica Chavez, Director of Prevention and School-Based Services, Touchstone Behavioral Health; Caitlin Gizler, Director of Integrated School-Based Services, Valle del SolGrand Sonoran A-D
3:30-4:20Relational Leadership: The Foundation for a High-Performing CultureChris Layton, Leadership Solutions Advisor, Flippen Group; Danny Howe, Superintendent, Camp Verde USDPinnacle Peak 1
3:30-4:20Golden Bell Winner-Collaboration: Pendergast ESD's Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life ConferenceDr. Lily Matos DeBlieux, Superintendent, Pendergast Elementary School District; Gina Godbehere, Attorney and Bureau Chief, Maricopa County Attorney’s OfficeGrand Sonoran E
3:30-4:20Golden Bell Winner-CTED: Pima JTED's Healthcare ProgramsBeth Francis, R.N., M.S., Health Care Professions Manger; Kelly Oursler, R.N., Licensed Nursing Assistant Program Coordinator; Joyce Stout, R.N. Nursing Services InstructorGrand Sonoran F
3:30-4:30ASBA Hispanic-Native American Caucus Business MeetingDesert Suite 2
4:30-6:30Reception, Entertainment & Prizes in the Exhibit Hall
PLUS Corn Hole Tournament
Sponsored by Varitec Solutions and Schneider Electric
Grand Saguaro Ballroom
7:30-10:00Retirement Celebration & Reception for Dr. Timothy Ogle, ASBA Executive Director
Grand Sonoran G
Thursday, December 19th
7:00-8:15ARSA MeetingDesert Suite 1
8:00-8:30Coffee & EntertainmentLobby,
Grand Sonoran A-F Foyer
8:30-9:45Annual Awards Breakfast
Sponsored by Midstate Energy
Grand Sonoran A-F
10:00-10:50Breakout Sessions
Extend Your Reach: How Podcasting Can Help Rural SchoolsDr. Melissa Sadorf, Stanfield ESD SuperintendentGrand Sonoran H-K
Drop-Out Prevention: It Takes All of UsTim Brienza, Associate Superintendent, Yuma UHSD and Yuma UHSD Drop-Out Prevention Specialists Yescina Cuming, Monique Slaughter, Chris Reese, Rigo Conde, Nancy Dolezal and Brenda SmithPinnacle Peak 1
Staff Retention Strategies to Help Improve Student Educational OutcomesCorina Madruga, Governing Board President, Tolleson UHSD; Nora Gutierrez, Superintendent, TUHSD; Juan M. Ceja, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, TUHSDGrand Sonoran A-D
Preventing an Undercount of AZ Children: How the Census Impacts SchoolsLiz Luna, Regional Census Campaign Manager, NALEO; Monica Trejo, Board Vice President, Tempe Elementary School District; Dr. Lupita Hightower, Superintendent, Tolleson ESD
Pinnacle Peak 2
Closing the Achievement Gap: How AVID in K-12 Can Increase High School Graduation and College-Retention Rates for Underrepresented StudentsMichael Garcia, Director of Opportunity & Achievement, Mesa Public Schools; Lindsay Linoff, AVID District Director, Mesa Public SchoolsGrand Sonoran G
An Evolution of Mexican American Studies in ArizonaMaría C. Federico Brummer, Director, Mexican American Student Services, Tucson USD; Dominique Calza, Program Coordinator, Mexican American Student Services, TUSD; Lorenzo Lopez Jr., Director, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy & Instruction, Tucson USD; Adelita Grijalva, Governing Board President, Tucson USD; Kristel Ann Foster, Governing Board Member, Tucson USDPinnacle Peak 1
Creating an Inclusive School Environment through a Unified Sports ProgramJenda Ballard, Teacher, Chino Valley H.S.; Heidi Wolf, Principal, Chino Valley H.S.Desert Suite 3-5
How an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Supports Staff and Helps Manage RiskKen Downie, Chief Account Executive, Alliance Work Partners (Sponsored by ASBAIT)Desert Suite 4-6
11:00-12:00Keynote Speaker
Bathsheba Smithen, Motivational Speaker, Radio Personality, Performing Artist, Author, Educational Consultant, and the CEO and Founder of Cage Free Voices, LLC
Sponsored by Cognia (formerly AdvancED/Measured Progress)
Grand Sonoran A-F
12:00-12:15Conference Closing & Prize Drawing
Grand Sonoran A-F

View this year’s Annual Conference Guidebook online (a hard copy will be distributed to all attendees). This is a time of learning and growth, networking and celebration.

This year, your conference experience includes:

  • Two nationally renowned keynote speakers and 24 relevant and engaging breakout sessions;
  • More opportunities than ever to connect with governing board members, district administrators and vendors to discuss challenges and share solutions (don’t miss the welcome reception on Tuesday and the corn hole tournament and tailgating on Wednesday!);
  • The chance to meaningfully engage and impact your member-driven associations at our annual business meetings (see page 11 for times and locations); and
  • Celebrations of public school excellence – the exceptional people and programs that contribute to making Arizona’s district public schools the top choice of Arizona families – at the Annual Awards Breakfast and the Golden Bell Luncheon.

View Guidebook

Each year, ASBA honors individual school board members, as well as entire governing boards:

  • for efforts toward improvement;
  • as incentive for voluntary board member in-service training;
  • to promote the idea of better boardsmanship; and
  • for service to public school in the form of advocacy.

Awards are also presented to districts, schools and teachers for excellence in student achievement.

Student scholarships and a student photography contest round out ASBA’s annual awards.

Nominations are now open for ASBA’s 62nd Annual Conference. The deadline to apply for most awards is 5 p.m. on Fri., October 18, 2019.

Learn more here.

For reservations at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge, call 1-800-835-6206 no later than Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019 or book online at https://book.passkey.com/go/AZSchoolBoardsAssociation. The ASBA room rate is $169 single/double. All reservations must be accompanied by a first night room deposit or guaranteed with a major credit card.

We expect our room block to sell out. To be fair to all concerned, we request that our members only reserve those hotel rooms that will indeed be used. We appreciate your cooperation. This will provide as many attendees as possible a chance to enjoy the convenience of staying at the conference hotel.

The deadline for conference cancellations is Monday, December 9, 2019. Cancellations must be in writing and emailed to klink@azsba.org by that date. No shows or cancellations received after Dec. 9 will not be refunded. Those registered are entitled to send substitutes in their place.

Should you require assistance with the registration process, please call the ASBA office at 602-254-1100 or 1-800-238-4701.

MEALS FOR GUESTS OF REGISTERED ATTENDEES (This does not include any award winners)
Registered attendees are welcome to bring guests to meal functions, however, guest meal tickets must be purchased online by Monday, Dec. 9. Award winners attending the conference just to receive their award will be able to purchase tickets in a separate area. Due to advance guarantees required by the hotel, we cannot guarantee the availability of additional meal tickets at the conference.

Win an exclusive presentation for 50 of your district’s students with Shane Feldman, media sensation, motivational speaker, producer, social entrepreneur and “undercover teen” and ASBA’s Annual Conference keynote speaker at Grand Canyon University on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019! A private campus tour will be included. Also, transportation and lunch are provided.

Learn more and enter to win here!

The ASBA/ASA Annual Conference will be Dec. 17-19, 2019, located at J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge.
(Please NOTE: This year’s conference days are: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)

Exhibitor reservation forms and payment must be received in the ASBA office NO LATER than 4p.m. on Friday, Oct.25, 2019.

Sponsors receive priority on booth location. All others are assigned based on the date payment is received.

Learn more here.


December 17 @ 8:30 am
December 19 @ 4:30 pm
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J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge
5350 E Marriott Dr.
Phoenix, AZ 85054 United States
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