Del Palacio Finally Out As Executive Director Of Arizona School Boards Association

del palacio
Former ASBA executive director Devin Del Palacio in better times with Governor Katie Hobbs. [Photo courtesy Governor's Office]

In October, school boards across the state officially opposed the new Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) executive director, Devin Del Palacio, due to his falsified resume and attempts by ASBA to move past it. They were largely ignored by ASBA leadership.

A whole two months later, the ASBA finally accepted the resignation of Del Palacio.
Board members across the state received the following statement on Monday:

Joint Statement of ASBA Board of Directors and Mr. Devin Del Palacio

Dear ASBA Members,

Mr. Devin Del Palacio has announced his resignation, effective Dec. 15, 2023, as Executive Director of the Arizona School Boards Association. A mutual agreement has been reached, which allows Mr. Del Palacio the ability to pursue other interests and time-sensitive opportunities for growth that have presented themselves on his professional path and permits the Board to pursue hiring another Executive Director. To effectuate a smooth transition in this amicable parting, the Board and Mr. Del Palacio have entered into an agreement believing it is in their respective best interests and in the best interests of ASBA for moving forward.

On behalf of the entire ASBA, the Board of Directors expresses its sincere appreciation to Mr. Del Palacio for his efforts while serving as Executive Director of this great organization and its wonderful members, staff, and administrators, as well as for the many achievements and accomplishments of Mr. Del Palacio during his short tenure some of the most notable of which are:

• Expanded Conference Participation: Successfully recorded heightened attendance at both the Law and Annual ASBA-ASA conferences, showcasing increased engagement and interest in our initiatives.
• Innovative Program Development: Pioneered the creation of new, impactful programs, including the 1st Annual ASBA Women’s Leadership Summit and the 1st Annual Student Art Contest, broadening our outreach and diversifying our offerings.
• Strategic Organizational Growth: Led ASBA through a transformative rebranding process, significantly reinforcing its financial stability and positioning it for future growth and success.

Mr. Del Palacio thanks the Board of Directors for providing him with the opportunity to serve ASBA as Executive Director and would also like to express his heartfelt appreciation to the staff and the Arizona school community for their support of ASBA’s programs and services during his term as Executive Director.

Success requires hard work, dedication, leadership, and vision. The Board and Mr. Del Palacio wish to acknowledge and recognize the teachers, principals, administrators, staff, students, members, vendors and patrons who have all contributed to ASBA’s success and are the purpose of its existence.

The Board extends its best wishes to Mr. Del Palacio in his future endeavors. On its part, the Board will soon begin its search for a new Executive Director so as not to disrupt ASBA’s operations.

School Boards Oppose New ASBA Executive Director Over Falsified Resume

In October, the Flowing Wells Unified School District and Vail School District issued resolutions declaring Del Palacio’s falsified resume to be a “serious breach of trust and violation of ethical standards” and a cause of serious doubt for the credibility and efficacy of ASBA leadership. The resolution also noted concern over ASBA leadership’s response to discovery of Del Palacio falsifying his resume.

“[T]he response of ASBA’s executive board leadership to criticism from constituent members regarding the executive director appointment, thus far, has been to wholly stifle and dismiss the members’ legitimate and understandable concerns — even going so far as to suggest that such members resign from their rightly held positions to the organization,” stated the resolution.

Other districts joined in the effort calling on the ASBA to conduct another independent investigation into Del Palacio and take actions to correct the situation.

One school board member, who asked for anonymity due to the hostility the Del Palacio “saga” has created, told the Arizona Daily Independent, “I am vey disappointed that the ASBA refuses to be candid with and responsive to its members. This statement shows clearly that they have not, and will not accept responsibility for their poor judgment. I am disgusted and urge my fellow board members to withdraw their support for the ASBA ASAP.”

“I hope ASBA member governing boards question the “mutual” “amicable” parting agreement at the upcoming annual meeting,” said former Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas. “As we’ve seen district superintendents receive very significant contract buyouts even when they resign, amicably. One can’t help but wonder if a similar clause is written into ASBA executive director’s contracts. In either case the money originates from the taxpayers.”

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