December 7, 2019 | Phoenix, Arizona

Latino students represent the largest and fastest growing student population in Arizona.  Through effective governance and collaboration, policymakers have a unique opportunity to support school districts and their ability to improve Latino student achievement.  The success of our economic future is intrinsically tied to the success of Latino students.  Today’s children are tomorrow’s workforce.  Public servants can play a key role in helping shape the trajectory of Arizona by creating opportunities for all families and students to succeed.

The NALEO Arizona Statewide Policy Institute on Education Governance brought together policymakers from throughout Arizona to acquire governance strategies that will help them utilize innovative and successful policies and best practices to support student success and career readiness.  Participants had an opportunity to network with their peers and hear from leading experts from the public, private, and non-profit sectors who shared their knowledge on pressing policy matters and governance strategies.  The Policy Institute’s curriculum included:

  • Session I: The State of Latino Students Across Arizona
  • Session II: Out of School Factors on Student Success
  • Preparing Schools and Communities for the 2020 Census
  • Session III: Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practices
  • Session IV: Leveraging Community School Partnerships


This Policy Institute is part of the NALEO Education Leadership Academy (NELA) which aims to provide Arizona education policymakers with the enhanced capacity to strategize toward policy change and strengthen the governance skills they need to improve educational outcomes and narrow achievement gaps for Arizona students.



Title Sponsors

Helios Education Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

State Farm®


  • Saturday, December 7

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Dreamcatcher Gallery, Third Floor




7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Zia Room, Third Floor




9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Dreamcatcher I & II, Third Floor

Welcome Remarks

  • Ms. Callie Kozlak, Associate Superintendent for Policy and Government Relations, Arizona Department of Education



9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Dreamcatcher I & II, Third Floor

Session I:

The State of Latino Students Across Arizona

In Arizona last year, Latino students made up 45% of all students in K-12 education.  With Latinos driving demographic shifts in the state, it is critical that policymakers understand the role of the Latino community in shaping Arizona’s future economic prosperity.  This opening session provided context for the Policy Institute and provided participants with an overview of Latino student academic achievement and opportunities to better support Arizona school districts.

  • Ms. Monica Villalobos, President and Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Presentation | Resource: 1



10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Dreamcatcher I & II, Third Floor

Session II:

Out of School Factors on Student Success

Out-of-school factors prevalent among low-income communities influence the health and learning opportunities of students.  These out-of-school factors are often related to physical and psychological symptoms that affect student success in schools, hindering what school districts can accomplish on their own.  State, county and municipal leaders have the capacity to minimize the negative impact of out-of-school factors on student success.  In this session, participants learned about how out-school- factors influence student success and explored how to address these barriers from their respective governing roles.

Session Chair: Hon. Sarah Benatar, Treasurer, Coconino County; Board Member, NALEO

  • Dr. David Berliner, Regents Professor Emeritus, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University

Presentation | Resource: 1



12:15 p.m. – 1:15p.m.
Zia Room, Third Floor

Luncheon Program:

Preparing Schools and Communities for the 2020 Census

Census 2020 is critical for the success of all students and their families.  Over $13,513 billion in state funding supported various programs for all Arizonans.  Funding for public schools includes Title I grants, head start/early start, the National School Lunch Program and much more.  Local policymakers have a significant role in ensuring a fair and accurate count.  In this session, participants learned about the newest updates to the 2020 Census and were given resources to support local efforts.

  • Mr. Adán Chávez, Deputy Director of National Census Program, NALEO Educational Fund

Presentation | Resource: 1



1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Dreamcatcher I & II, Third Floor

Session III:

Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practices

From the campaign trail to the board room, ethics remains a key factor in ensuring the success and tenure of policymakers.  The transition from campaigning to governing often leads to ethical dilemmas and confusion for both newly elected and veteran policymakers.  In this session, policymakers learned best practices for ethical and effective governance from an ethics and legal expert, and also navigated potential challenges as well as best practices to avoid controversies and pitfalls once in political office.

  • Hon. Chris Thomas, General Counsel and Associate Executive Director, Arizona School Boards Association




3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Dreamcatcher I & II, Third Floor

Session IV:

Leveraging Community School Partnerships

As local governments and agencies find it increasingly difficult to operate and serve under present fiscal constraints, cities and counties in Arizona are joining forces with local education agencies to meet the needs of families and students through intergovernmental agreements. These mutually beneficial agreements support student success and strengthen communities by providing families with effective and efficient services and resources.  This session underscored best practices and highlighted the need for all policymakers to collaborate with key stakeholders to strengthen and support the ability for all families to thrive by offering necessary public services.

  • Hon. Ana Gutierrez, Senior Director, Jobs for the Future


Policy Showcase:
  • Tempe PRE
    • Hon. Randy Keating, Councilmember, City of Tempe
    • Hon. Patrick Morales, Board President, Tempe Elementary School District

Presentation | Resource: 1

  • LAUNCH Flagstaff
    • Hon. Paul Kulpinski, Partnership Director, LAUNCH Flagstaff
    • Dr. Carol Haden, Board President, Flagstaff Unified School District
    • Mr. John Saltonstall, Business Retention and Expansion Manager, City of Flagstaff




4:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Dreamcatcher I & II, Third Floor

Evaluations and Closing Remarks