Arizona Rural
Schools Association
who we are

ARSA Executive Board

Please meet our executive officers for the 2020–2021 term:

Wes Brownfield
Executive Director
Arizona Rural Schools Association
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About Wes Brownfield

Wes Brownfield is a retired principal. He and his wife Cristina, Program Specialist of OELSA at the Arizona Department of Education, have been active in Arizona Rural Schools Association for years and are deeply committed to helping in any way they can to support rural schools and teachers. 

Wes began his career teaching in Ajo, AZ and Saint Johns, AZ. He became the principal at Coronado Elementary in St. Johns in 2000 where he remained until 2006. He became Educational Services Director at Lake Havasu USD then principal at Chino Valley High School in 2011. Wes will tell anyone who listens that CVHS and ARSA are the two best experiences he has had in education. He and Cristina have five children and four cats!


Kristin Turner
Paloma Elementary School District

About Kristin Turner

Kristin Turner is the Superintendent of Paloma School District near Gila Bend, Arizona. She received her masters of education in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University and her bachelors of science in elementary education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During her time as Superintendent of Paloma, she started a grant-funded preschool, won two blended learning grants, increased school enrollment, student achievement, developed community space on campus, and has started construction of a new school. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, pets, and tackling home remodeling projects.


Melissa Sadorf
President Elect
Stanfield Elementary School District

About Melissa Sadorf

Dr. Melissa Sadorf has been an educator for 30 years and is currently the superintendent of the Stanfield Elementary School District. Previously she worked as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, and principal in the Sierra Vista Unified School District. She is an adjunct instructor for Northern Arizona University and for Central Arizona College. She serves on the Arizona State Board of Education’s Professional Practices Advisory Committee and has held various leadership positions in a variety of organizations: Arizona Schools Administrators, AZ ASCD, Western Heritage Educational Program, and the Pinal County Schools Administration Association. Recently, Dr. Sadorf has begun to produce the Rural Scoop podcast highlighting what is working in rural schools and communities. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and spending time with her three grandchildren.


John Warren
Past President
Topock Elementary School District

About John Warren

John has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northern Arizona University. He has been in his current position as superintendent/principal of Topock ESD #12 for eleven years. John has coached football, cross country, basketball, and track.

Awards: News Channel 3 Silver Apple Award 1997-98, VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award 1199-2000, ARSA Mohave County Teacher of the Year 2002, Honoring Education Administrator of the Year 2011, Arizona Game and Fish Educator of the Year 2015.

John’s hobbies include being an avid outdoorsman, playing sports, CrossFit, exploring our nation's National Parks and Baja, Mexico.


Kevin Imes
Treasurer & SW Representative
Southwest Technical Education District of Yuma (STEDY)

About Kevin Imes

Kevin has served in public education for 31 years. He began his professional career as a science teacher in the Phoenix Union High School District. While there, he served as a technology grant facilitator and co-originated the Alhambra Center for Medical and Health Studies.

In 2001, he was selected to open the alternative education program in the Deer Valley Unified School District, Deer Valley Crossroads, and later was the founding principal for Boulder Creek High School.

Kevin was selected as the director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment in the Agua Fria Union High School in 2009 and later went on to serve as the assistant superintendent for educational services.

In June of 2015, he was selected as the superintendent of the Southwest Technical Education District of Yuma (STEDY), a career and technical education public high school district.

He is a native of Arizona having received his under graduate degree from Arizona State University and graduate degree from Northern Arizona University.


Patty Horn
Higher Education
Northern Arizona University

About Patty Horn

Dr. Patty J. Horn is currently a Professor at Northern Arizona University. She served as an elementary teacher for ten years in grades 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th. While at Grand Canyon University, Dr. Horn served in many positions and she was the first dean of the College of Education. She was the first executive director of the Arizona K-12 Center, and was the first appointed associate dean at Northern Arizona University. Serving over fifty years in education, Patty has served on many state and national committees, given presentations internationally, nationally, and the state level. Dr. Horn also published a book, Toolkit for Mentor Practice, and held many other positions educationally. 

Dr. Horn created master level degree programs as well as co-created the Teacher Induction Program. Some of her awards include; an Inductee Hall of Fame for the Arizona Rural Schools Association, Distinguished Higher Education Administrator for the Arizona School Administrators Association, Outstanding Contributor to Teacher Education in Arizona, The Arizona Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and Environmental Educator of the Year—Arizona Association for Learning In and About the Environment.

Among her many memberships, she has also served as the president, secretary and board member in the following organizations; Staff Development Council of Arizona, The Arizona Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, The Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education, Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education, National Science Teachers Association Arizona Science Teachers Association, and Arizona Rural Schools Association. She is the only higher education professor to serve as the president of the Arizona School Administrators.

Patty traveled internationally as a team member in collaboration with Cooperative Services International Education Consortium with the University of Tibet, Hong Kong, Guilin, Chengdu, China; in collaboration with Business and Educational Institutions and Cooperative Services International Education Consortium, Tunisia and Africa; and in collaboration with Cooperative Services International Education Consortium and the University of Kazakhstan, Alma Alta, and Kazakhstan.            

Personal travels include the Amazon, the Galapagos, Machu Picchu, Ecuador, Peru, Kenya, Tanzania, Mongolia, Beijing, and Xian.


Jaime Festa-Daigle
Secretary & Northwest Representative
Lake Havasu High School

About Jaime Festa-Daigle

Jaime is a native Arizonan. She has 14 years of experience educating students in Lake Havasu Unified School District. She is currently an assistant principal at Lake Havasu High School. She has taught civics, economics, American History, English, and been an advisor for student council. Jaime has her bachelor’s degree in secondary education, social studies and English as a second language from Grand Canyon University. She received her master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University and holds K-12 endorsements in English as a second language, career and technical education, and speech.

Jaime is a National Board Certified Teacher, an AZ Master Teacher, a past Teacher of the Year/Ambassador and has achieved many awards including the American Civic Educator of the Year Award, Lake Havasu Most Influential Teacher Award and the Arizona We the People Scholarship Teacher of the Year. She is a member of the Arizona Teacher Solutions Team and has spent the past year researching and writing about teacher recruitment and retention, especially as it pertains to rural Arizona.  Jaime has led accreditation efforts at her school for the past decade and volunteers with AdvancEd to conduct external school and systems reviews. 

In Jaime’s free time she enjoys Crossfit, paddle boarding, and spending time with her two children and husband.


Robbie Koerperich
Northeast Area Rep
Holbrook Unified School Distict

About Robbie Koerperich

Robbie Koerperich has been an educator for twenty-five years.  Ten years was as an elementary teacher in Kansas; five years as a Principal at Indian Wells Elementary, Holbrook School District and two years as Assistant Superintendent of Holbrook USD #3. Robbie has been the Superintendent of HUSD #3 for seven years. Robbie has been President of the Arizona Impact Aid Association since 2014. Robbie also serves on the Education Certification Advisory Board. Robbie is a member of the Navapache Superintendent Association and Arizona School Administrators Association. Robbie has been married for twenty-five years, has three children and is an avid golfer and basketball coach.


Sean Rickert
Southeast Region Rep & Advocacy Representative
Pima Unified School District

About Sean Rickert

Sean is the superintendent of the Pima Unified School District and has been very active in ARSA for many years. He brings strength, leadership, and the perspective of Eastern Rural Arizona to the table. Sean’s whole life has been about finding ways to help others learn. As a teenager, Sean started teaching swim lessons to toddlers. He would later teach youth to sail and adults to drive horses. It comes as no surprise that he found many ways to develop his love for education; first, he developed it as a teacher, later as an alternative school director, and now as a superintendent. Nothing gives Sean greater pleasure than watching others grasp new ideas that will help them become successful.


Jacqui Clay
AACSS Representative
Cochise County Superintendent

About Jacqui Clay

Jacqui Clay, a native of Queens, New York, is a retired Army Command Sergeant Major of 25 years and has lived in Arizona for 20 years. Ms. Clay has been married to Dale Clay for 31 years and has 7 children and 20 grandchildren. She has been an educator for 15 years, serving as Teacher, Assistant Principal, and Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE). Ms. Clay currently serves as the Superintendent of Schools in Cochise County.

Ms. Clay has a B.S. in Information Technology/Business Management, a M.ET. in Educational Technology, an ED. S. in Educational Leadership, and is now pursuing a Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership.


Stephanie Miller
Central Area Rep
Congress Elementary School District

About Stephanie Miller

Dr. Stephanie Miller has been the Superintendent of Congress Elementary School District, an A for Arizona School, for over eight years. Her degrees include a Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership; Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership; and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction for Creative Arts. Dr. Miller’s professional experience ranges from being: an adjunct professor for Northern Arizona University, a private school administrator, a national school improvement specialist; and a classroom educator. In June 2017, Dr. Miller was awarded by the Phoenix Arizona Chamber of Commerce for her outstanding leadership. She has presented nationally on education at conferences for the National Science Teachers Association, and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Her school district has been highlighted in various national publications for its accomplishments in science, technology, engineering, and math. With over 20 years of education experience, Dr. Miller works to support the development of the art of teaching and the craft of leadership.