Letters From the President 

Hello AALL members!

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and is well rested as we start the New Year!

It has been a very busy year so far as your state association works hard to help bring COABE 2018 to Phoenix in March.  A special thanks to Kelly Stewart of the AALL Board and Miriam Kroeger for leading this effort and making great progress! More information about COABE 2018 can be found in this newsletter.  I hope to see you all there March 25th

Another great news to share is the recognition of the Ambassadors program this year through COABE!  Thank you to our Awareness Committee Chair, Laura Porfirio for working hard to promote and help give this program the national recognition it deserves.  COABE is now promoting the Ambassadors program on their own web site as well as offering related student scholarships.  Arizona and AALL leading the way!  I would also like to thank the AALL Board which is now staffed at 16 members from 9 adult education programs from around the state.  A lot of talent and professionals ready to lead the association forward!

Another increase made this year to AALL is in our member base.  A membership which stayed about 150 members has grown to about 300 this year thanks in part to the membership drive at the ADE Institute.  Thank you to AES for your support!

A change that also recently took place is to the AALL Executive Board.  I recently accepted the position of President-Elect for Mountain Plains Adult Education Association and due to the added responsibility to this association and continuing with AALL through a third term, I have stepped down as President of AALL effective January 1st.  I would like to welcome Diane Jackson, who was our President-Elect to the position of AALL President.  Diane Jackson has been on the AALL Board for several years and I know will do a great job representing the association.

On behalf of AALL as we start this New Year, I would like to thank all our members again for the work they do in supporting adult education students in Arizona.  Please remember to also continue sharing your ideas and thoughts with AALL as we move forward so we can better serve you in the future.

Thank you!

Philip Suriano

AALL President



Hello AALL members

Last fiscal year marked the 50th anniversary of the Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning.  Though the association has seen several transformations throughout the years, our start was as the Arizona Adult Education Association (AAEA), one thing has stayed the same, a commitment to improve opportunities for educational growth by promoting and inspiring lifelong learning and adult literacy in Arizona.  In support of our mission, this year AALL hosted a fall and spring conference with themes, Transformative Learning and The Education – Vocation Connection.  We also continue to sponsor Arizona Adult Literacy Week and the awards event which recognizes student learning and contributions made by adult education. 

AALL also represented the state of Arizona at the COABE Capitol Hill days in the fall and spring.  These were opportunities for two of our own board members, Laura Porfirio and Kelly Stewart, to represent Arizona at Washington, talking to legislators and their staff on the importance of adult literacy and education.  Arizona and AALL led the way with this event by being the first state to bring a student on the trip to give our representatives a firsthand account of the difference that adult education is making in their lives.  Our students made a great impression and now COABE is sponsoring students to attend each year through scholarships.

This year also saw the beginning of the ALAN network to help increase awareness and advocate for adult education and literacy within and outside of our member base.  Our awareness committee is working hard to help maintain state and federal funding levels by reaching out to as many people as they can to spread the word on the importance of the work we do and the difference it makes in the lives of so many of our students.

An upcoming event AALL is very excited to be a part of is the 2018 COABE Conference which we will help to host in Phoenix this March 25-28 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel.  AALL is working hard to help make this national conference a great opportunity for relevant and timely professional learning to our adult education stakeholders and students.  This will also be a great opportunity to network with programs from across the nation and share our best practices and successes in serving our students.

To help make this conference a success as well as contribute their knowledge and talent to the many other projects AALL is working on, AALL has added 8 new members to its Board.  I would like to introduce them to you now!

Marybelle Aguilar                            ARIZONA CALL- A - TEEN

Bridget Blixt                                    PHOENIX INDIAN CENTER

Wendy Finlayson                             MESA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Lynanne Lasota                                RIO SALADO

Craig Lefever                                    YAVAPAI COLLEGE BASIC ADULT ED

Elizabeth Martin                               RIO SALADO

Marcela Reed                                    FRIENDLY HOUSE INC.

Patricia Urdialez                                MESA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

They join our current Board members

Lily Beth Brazones                           RIO SALADO

Katy Brown                                       PIMA ADULT EDUCATION

Gail Campbell                                   NORTHLAND PIONEER COLLEGE

Diane Jackson                                   QUEEN CREEK ADULT EDUCATION

Blair Liddicoat                                   RIO SALADO

Laura Porfirio                                     PIMA ADULT EDUCATION

Kelly Stewart                                     RIO SALADO

Philip Suriano                                    RIO SALADO

If you would like to contribute to the support and projects AALL works on to help advance adult education and literacy in the state of Arizona, I would encourage you to consider becoming a member of the Board next year.  Additional representation from other programs is also very welcome!

As I begin my third term as AALL president this year, I look forward to the many contributions our members will make in helping promote adult education and literacy in Arizona.  The work you do for our students and the need for this work is the reason AALL strives to support your efforts.  I hope you will share your feedback and suggestions as to how we can support you better and I look forward to the next year.

Philip Suriano

AALL President




Hello AALL members!

It has been a busy year so far and as your Arizona adult education association, AALL looks forward to continuing the pace in offering quality professional learning and adult education advocacy and awareness! Some of the events AALL was proud to be a part of this year include our fall conference held at Northland Pioneer College, The Ambassadors Training at Queen Creek Adult Education and the recent Adult Literacy Week contest which had a theme this year of College and Career Crossroads!

I would like to thank all of our members for their professional contribution, time and support to help make each of these events a success. I would also like to give thanks to the AALL board who made an extra effort behind the scenes with planning, coordinating and putting a lot of this together.

As the saying goes, “an association is only as strong as its members”, and in recognizing the many talents and experiences our members bring to AALL, I would like to ask you to consider contributing to the association as a board member. A call for nominations to the board just went out and this would be a perfect opportunity to put yourself or another member forward to take a greater part in being involved in Arizona’s adult education and literacy efforts. The ideas, talents, experiences and passion our members have for putting forth adult education in the state is the real success in everything that AALL does and we greatly look forward to having that contribution at the board level! Please consider joining the AALL board and helping us make a difference. Just in case you have any questions about being a board member with AALL or some of the committees you can be a part of, I would like to introduce to you our current AALL board members and officers. Feel free to reach out to us with questions any time.

Philip Suriano: President   Philip.suriano@riosalado.edu

Kelly Stewart: Past President   kes.education2013@gmail.com

Christine Niven: Treasurer   clniven@mpsaz.org

Aliza Dodell: Secretary   aliza.dodell@riosalado.edu

Gail Campbell   gail.campbell@npc.edu

Blair Liddicoat   blair.liddicoat@riosalado.edu

Lily Beth Brazones   lilybeth.brazones@riosalado.edu

Katy Brown   Kbrown@pima.edu

Laura Porfirio   lporfirio@pima.edu

Diane Jackson   djackson@qcusd.org

An event we are currently putting together and are proud to present is our annual spring conference which will be held in Tucson on May 6th at the El Rio Learning Center, 1390 W. Speedway, 85745. Our conference theme this year is “Skills for Success through Student Engagement” and our keynote speaker will be Cynthia Peters - Editor of The Change Agent - from World Ed / NELRC. The Change Agent has been providing student writing, CCR-aligned lesson plans and content in support of adult education for over 20 years and we welcome Cynthia to our state conference!

Another event AALL is looking forward to and working hard to bring in 2018 is the national COABE conference. We are proud to have Arizona host the 2018 COABE conference and AALL will be helping to provide the theme, presentations, conference volunteers and marketing among other opportunities. AALL looks forward to help bring Arizona adult educators this opportunity for exposer and to network at the national level!

As we move forward in our efforts to promote, support and develop adult education and literacy in Arizona, I hope you will send us your feedback, suggestions, ideas, and maybe provide some of your time on the board. These efforts are what will guide us as your state adult education association and we look forward to hearing from you!


Philip Suriano

2015-16 AALL Board President




Dear AALL Members and Adult Educators in Arizona

AALL is pleased to serve as Arizona’s adult education association in 2014, and we are dedicated to supporting advocacy, communication networks and professional learning that you can rely on this year.

In 2014, AALL maintains their commitment to lifelong learning by:

1) Tackling the rigors of the new College and Career Readiness Standards and the 2014 GED exam,

2) Promoting basic education to college transitions

3) Developing partnerships that promote thriving families and an educated workforce in our state

We know that as long as there are opportunities for continued education, then Arizona can decrease our drop-out rate, unemployment rate and low literacy rate, and increase our college success rate. We know that parents are a child’s first teacher. We know that individuals with a high school diploma earn on average $9,000 more per year than those without an equivalent credential, and we know that annual income continues to increase with post-secondary education. Sustainable families and a stable community are dependent on educated community members.

AALL is dedicated to bringing our membership together so that adult education professionals can give Arizona’s adult learners a voice. We want to advocate for sustained program opportunities and to operate with the best practices in our field today.

As a membership association, our success depends on you. Our board of directors is made up of AALL members who want to support lifelong learning goals in our state, and our membership is made up of educators and program administrators who want to move our state goals forward. Thank you for your commitment to what we do, and for your participation.

We hope you will take advantage of our membership opportunities like bi-annual state professional learning conferences, scholarships for educators and students, adult literacy week grant opportunities, and more. Our website and list-serve offers updates, newsletters and resources to keep you up-to-date on state advocacy issues, professional learning tools and current events in our field. We hope you enjoy your membership!

Good luck in 2014. Please visit our website often for more information about how you can get involved in your state association AALL (Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning).


Kelly Stewart

2014 AALL Board President



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