to build a brighter future

School Connect Summit Speakers

Master of Ceremonies

Kristy Siefkin

Kristy Siefkin Communications


Morning Keynote

Richard "Rick" Miller

The Intersection Construct


Chief Treasure Hunter

Afternoon Keynote

Dr. Rob Murray

Transformed Leader

CEO and Co-founder

Teacher of the Year Panel


Dr. Jacqui Clay

Cochise County

County Superintendent of Cochise County


Nancy Parra-Quinlin

Mesa School District

STEM Teacher at Kino Junior High School, 2022 Teacher of the Year


Sara Wyffels

Chandler School Disctrict

Spanish Teacher at Chandler High School, 2021 Teacher of the Year


Ty White

Willcox School District

Chemistry Teacher at Willcox High School, Teacher of the Year 2023

Superintendent Panel


Dr. Roger Freeman

Littleton School District

Superintendent of Littleton Elementary, Superintendent of the Year For Arizona


Dr. Paul Stanton

Washington Elementary School District

Superintendent of Washington Elementary School District, Superintendent of the Year for a large district.


Karin Ward

Beaver Creek School District

Superintendent of Beaver Creek School District, Superintendent of the Year for a small district.


Slade Morgan

Round Valley School District

Superintendent of Round Valley School District, Superintendent of the year for a medium district.

Superintendent Panel Facilitator

Dr. Quintin Boyce

Arizona State University

Associate Vice President Educational Outreach

Student Performance

Folklorico Dancers

Sunland STEAM Academy Lion King Cast

Presenting Sponsor

Michael Groeger


VP Commercial Group & Specialty Sales

Titan Solar & Phoenix Suns Partnership Story

Eric Jung

Titan Solar Power


Tom Fletcher

Global Partnerships Phoenix Suns

Senior VP

Keynote Sponsor

Dalton Abbitt


Chief Political Officer

Michael Wilson



Champion Sponsor

Jason Law

Mental Health Center of America


Holbrook Café Story

Dr. Robbie Koerperich

Holbrook Unified School District

Superintendent Holbrook Unified School District

Cheri Grau

Holbrook Unified School District

Principal Holbrook Junior High School

Faith and Business Champion Story

Arthur Brown

Pure Heart Church

Pastor of Community Engagement

Tarrah Bernabe

Harold W. Smith Elementary School, Glendale Elementary School District


Alex Becker

Fullerton Financial

Ten Year Anniversary Celebration

Dan Steffen

Pure Heart Church

Senior Pastor

Gary Gillespie

Phoenix Suns

Vice President of Facility Management

Tracey Beal

School Connect

Founder and CEO

Stem Cafe Story

Amanda Hicks

Roosevelt Elementary School District

Principal Sunland STEAM Academy

John Dowds

Core Construction

Dr. Joe Roselle

Urban Farming Education

Haley Elementary School Story

Nicole McMillian

Chandler Unified School District

Principal Haley Elementary School

Vendor Showcase Emcee

Jill Hicks


Manager, Global IoT Partner Program & Ecosystem

Join Our Village

Doing this alone is impossible; it takes all of us working together to make a difference.

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Latest Podcast

News & Events

Celebrate the Champions of Education who have made a significant impact on Arizona's youth!

The School Connect Champions of Education Awards event honors those who lead with heart and help us to build a brighter future for Arizona youth.

Congratulations to Litchfield Elementary School and Principal Sabine Hopper for winning the 2024 Because It Takes A Village Award. Your school leads the way as a shining example of what it means to collaborate for the benefit of the entire community! In the words of Principal Sabine Hopper, 

“I could not run this school and do what I do without the beautiful work of the people that I work with. It is about community; it’s not about one person. The volunteers that we get at our school are incredible. The parents are incredible. They are part of our family; so, when they walk in, we know them by name. They come in, they help get chills when you walk out there and see all the people and the love from the community.” 

@litchfield_esd thank you for showing us the value of #community!

Congratulations to Samuel Granado, 5th grade student from Pendergast Elementary School District, and recipient of the 2024 Student Champion of the Year Award for grades K-6.

Samuel strives to be a leader for his community just like his ancestors in the Lakota tribe and says we should always advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. Thank you for leading by example, Samuel! We cannot wait to see your Dreamscape Lab and know that you will keep advocating for other students to have the best educational pathway forward! 

@pesd92 full video:
#studentchampions #schoolconnectawards #villadepazelementary #kidsvoice #dreamscapelab
Congratulations to Taylor Perkins, recipient of the 2024 School Champion of the Year Award. Watch as Taylor shares how gardens can become a welcoming place for every person to build community and help Arizona youth see a glimpse of all the amazing careers that are right at their fingertips. 
In Taylor’s words,
“It’s really awesome to see students plant a seed in the ground and watch it grow. They just have this appreciation for life. You get in the dirt; you plant something and it’s like dancing – everyone can do it! And no matter what stage of life you are in? You belong.”  #CHASSEBuildingTeam #schoolchampionoftheyearaward  #BuildingToMakeADifference 

 #schoolconnectawards #ittakesavillage
Congratulations to Deb Lupnacca, Achievement Interventionist from the Washington Elementary School District @wesdschools and recipient of the Founder’s Heart Award. Honored for her work as a teacher and school champion, Deb believes that leaders of all ages are just waiting to be discovered. Ms. Lupnacca inspires young and old to be the change they want to see as she embodies the School Connect “Heart of a Founder” who paves the way for the next generation.
Watch Deb’s full video story here: (
#nationalteacherappreciationweek #foundersheartaward #schoolconnectawards #WESDfamily @wesdschools
In celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Week, School Connect invites you to submit your school project now. 

We can't think of a better way to support your teachers and school than inviting your community to come partner with you!

Early bird submissions create time for organizations to put your school project on their calendar! It also allows time to invite parents, community members and student leaders to help lead the charge!
#loveourschool #ittakesavillage #LOSD2024