Phenomenal Out-of-School Time Conference & Awards of Excellence Luncheon!

Thanks to all of our supporters, this past Saturday the 2014 Arizona Statewide Out-of-School Time Conference, School’s Out, Make It Count – Engaging Youth in Life and Learning was the largest Out-of-School Time Conference that Arizona has seen.

We started off this history-making day with the Global Education Evangelist for Google Inc., Jamie Casap. His engaging keynote, Iteration and Innovation in Education, where he inspired the morning crowd with passion and purpose in our field for our youth.

In our three sessions throughout the day, over 700 attendees from 101 programs across the state engaged in our 36 workshops, expanding their repertoire of skills, leadership, knowledge, and activities that they bring to their programs.

Highlights of our sessions were all workshops that aligned with our Arizona Quality Standards!

Stacey Jay Cavaliere of one n ten’s “The Rainbow Connection” workshop aligned with two standards—II. Positive Relationships and IV. Equity and Inclusion!

And by far the most important standard showed itself to be Quality Standard III. Intentional Programming & Activities, which was sought after in

  • Manny Padia’s “Intentional Programming is Quality Programming”
  • Harold Gordon of Nature-Watch’s “Hands-on STEM”
  • Kaci Heins and Jennifer Cheesman’s “Go for Launch! Blast off for Rocketry!”

It is telling that there was such interest and such high-quality produced and shared in the workshops that develop these areas! It’s probably no surprise that two of these highest rated and sought-after workshops were also on our STEM track!

Superior Exhibitors, Advertisers, and Sponsors Were Engaged!

Not only was there phenomenal professional development in our workshop rooms, the exhibit hall was packed with a record-breaking amount of exhibitors on a matching tier of the best, most diverse group of organizations that we have been able to bring together for our attendees. Forty-seven exhibitors were regaling the attendees with best practices, superior products and services, and more.

Grand Canyon University, Wells Fargo, AT&T, and COX Communications enabled the Conference to be the best professional development opportunity and networking that could be provided!

The Awards of Excellence Luncheon was an Emotional Affair!

At the Award of Excellence Luncheon, we recognized Dr. Kent Scribner as the 2014 Out-of-School Time Champion for his state-of-the-art work with high school out-of-school time programs as superintendent of Phoenix Union High School District.

Outstanding Out-of-School Time Professional Melissa Jimro, Outstanding Out-of-School Time Program NACA Pathways, and Jane Romatzke Leadership Award Winner Dr. Lupita Hightower were also recognized for their devotion to Out-of-School Time Programming and their achievements. Congratulations to you all and it was moving to listen to your stories and hear your commitment to the youth in your programs and schools! Finalists were selected by an independent panel of judges. Winners received a cash award, certificate of recognition from Governor Jan Brewer and paid admission to the Arizona Center for Afterschool professional development conference.

We appreciate and celebrate the finalists of the awards as well: Michelle Gayles and Jay Molberger for the Jane Romatzke Leadership Award, who are also fantastic leaders in the OST field; Kate Meyer and Elizabeth Sparks for Outstanding Professional, who devote so much to the youth and others that they serve; and Junior Leadership Academy and Pima County JTED 21st CCLC for Oustanding Programs, who change so many lives.


We will see you all at next year’s conference and luncheon! Thank you to our sponsors, exhibitors, presenters, and generous benefactors for bringing such high quality to the Conference. And, of course, thank you, attendees, for your dedicated engagement in the workshops. Let’s all continue to make history and be one of the top states for Out-of-School Time programs and development!