By the year 2025, Latino children will make up 25 percent of the school-age population. In the nation’s largest states – California, Texas, Florida, and New York – Latinos already have reached that level. Addressing the needs of the fastest growing community in the United States – the Latino community – is vital to our national interest.

Currently, over 45 percent of public school students in Arizona are Hispanic and at the same time less than 15 percent of administrators are Hispanic. AZALAS works to create and provide professional development and support programs for Hispanic educational leaders. AZALAS is committed to recruiting, preparing and promoting Hispanic School Leaders. AZALAS’s focus is on meeting the needs of Hispanic superintendents, school administrators, and aspiring school leaders. We are committed to providing you with pertinent professional development, quality communications, and unlimited opportunities for peer support and networking.


Ensuring excellence and equity in education.

To promote effective leadership that produces the best outcomes for all Students.

  • We believe in improving the quality of education
  • We believe in actively promoting unity and collaboration among all school educators and administrators throughout Arizona
  • We believe in promoting and retraining professionals who serve Latino students in a professional role
  • We believe in ensuring all students, parents and personnel have equitable access to all educational resources
  • We believe in addressing equity challenges within the educational system
  • To stay informed and educated on state policy and legislation that affects equity challenges of all students
  • To develop and implement a plan to increase professional events for all AZALAS members
  • To develop and implement a marketing plan for sponsorship and recognition of AZALAS members
  • To increase membership by 100 members
  • To provide annual scholarships for students and administrators
  • To conduct and increase attendance at the annual conference by 300 participants
  • To identify and engage all current and aspiring Latino administrators
  • To increase corporate sponsorship by $100,000
  • To influence state policy and legislation that affects equity issues of all students
  • To develop a plan to increase professional opportunities for all Latino administrators
  • To develop a marketing plan
  • To provide networking/social opportunities


The opportunity to become a member of AZALAS offers many benefits. Listed below are a few of those benefits available to you when you join the association.

  • Professional development opportunities
  • Networking with colleagues throughout AZ
  • Job assistance
  • Updated legislative news
  • Mentoring opportunities
  • Access to research
  • Degree advancement information


Ms. Roxanna Rico
Ms. Roxanna RicoPresident - Superintendent, Continental Elementary School District
Mr. Juan Ceja
Mr. Juan CejaPresident Elect - Assistant Superintendent, Tolleson Union High School District
Ms. Gisselle Herrera
Ms. Gisselle HerreraSecretary - Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Tolleson Elementary School District
Mr. Javier Baca
Mr. Javier BacaTreasurer - CIO, Sunnyside Unified School District
Mr. Panfilo Contreras
Mr. Panfilo ContrerasExecutive Director Retiree/Consultant

Board Members

Dr. JoEtta Gonzales
Dr. JoEtta GonzalesBoard Member - Superintendent, Casa Grande Elementary School District
Ms. Nora Gutierrez
Ms. Nora GutierrezBoard Member - Superintendent, Tolleson Union High School District
Dr. Lupita Hightower
Dr. Lupita HightowerBoard Member - Superintendent, Tolleson Elementary School District
Mr. Steven Holmes
Mr. Steven HolmesBoard Member - Superintendent, Sunnyside Unified School District
Ms. Monica Mesa
Ms. Monica MesaBoard Member - Area Assistant Superintendent, Mesa Public Schools
Mr. Fernando Parra
Mr. Fernando ParraBoard Member - Superintendent, Nogales Unified School District
Mr. Marco Ruiz
Mr. Marco RuizBoard Member - Assistant Superintendent of Education Services, Fowler Elementary School District
Mrs. Ana Samaniego
Mrs. Ana SamaniegoBoard Member - Superintendent, Douglas Unified School District
Dr. Gabriel Trujillo
Dr. Gabriel TrujilloBoard Member - Superintendent, Tucson Unified School District
Dr. Mario Ventura
Dr. Mario VenturaBoard Member - Superintendent, Isaac Elementary School District
Mark Yslas
Mark YslasBoard Member - Superintendent, Agua Fria Union High School District