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Past Events

Virtual Meeting

November 30, 2021
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm MST

Early Childhood Learning Environments
Early Childhood Learning Environments
Early childhood is a time of exponential growth in all facets of a child’s development and sets the stage for future learning. Unfortunately, “almost 60 percent of American children start kindergarten unprepared, lagging behind their peers in critical language, math, and social-emotional skills. Research shows that simple, everyday interactions with young children […] can build their vocabularies, prepare them for school, and lay a strong foundation for lifelong learning” – Clinton Foundation.

Therefore, early interventions have the potential to change the trajectory of a child’s future. However, the role of the built environment in a child’s early development is less explored. In this session, we will discuss key learning objectives that are critical for the success of early learning environments.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Discuss elements that are critical to the development of a good early learning foundation.
  2. Identify key features of the built environment that support early learning.
  3. Discuss desired changes in both instruction and the physical environment that could improve outcomes.

Panel Speakers
Diane Salazar, M.Ed, pHCLE, Principal
Faith North Early Learning Center in Phoenix

Melanie Maez, Education Technology Specialist + STEAM Teacher
Rio Rancho Public Schools

Mindy Zapata, M.Ed, Human Development Director
Southwest Early Head Start and Head Start

Kate Wells, President & CEO
Children’s Museum of Phoenix

This event is FREE! Virtual link will be sent prior to the meeting.

Event Sponsor

Virtual Meeting

October 26, 2021
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm MST

Healthy Buildings
Bringing together health + environmental goals for successful educational buildings.
Healthy Buildings

Learning Objectives:
  1. Talking about the importance of goal setting and planning in successful projects.
  2. Designing for mental and emotional health, respect for health and wellbeing of all.
  3. The role of programs such as WELL, Living Building Challenge and LEED on healthy buildings.

Panel Speakers
Meha Sharma, DLR Group
Building Performance Analyst specializing in building performance modeling and working with teams to best align projects with owner sustainability goals.

Terry Wohlgenant, DLR Group
High Performance Design Leader with an engineering background and focus on sustainability.

Darlene Cadman, AAA, LEED AP, REFP, SPS+ Architects
Project Manager with a passion for designing educational environments, particularly learner-centered, 21st-Century schools that are LEED certified.

Cory Beal, Canyon View High School
Instructional Coach.

This event is FREE!

Virtual Meeting

September 28, 2021
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm MST

Inspiring CTE & STEM Students Through Space
The Moonshot challenged and inspired us. The Mars exploration intrigues us. Private Space travel allows us to discover more of the universe and provides new career opportunities and industry partnerships. In all scales of CTE, STEM and maker programs, tapping into students' passion for exploration will inspire learners to push the boundaries of what is possible.

In this session, actionable steps and tools to foster a passion for exploration of all kinds into CTE and maker programs and their physical spaces will be presented. Attendees will learn how immersive technologies can enhance the learning experience, explore partnership opportunities with colleges and businesses, and delve into spaceport workforce training that can be provided to students, opening a new world of opportunities for generations to come!

Learning Objectives:
  1. Discover how space exploration inspires the design of STEM and maker spaces
  2. Budget-conscious strategies for the programmatic and physical design of CTE programs
  3. Learn how collegiate and industry collaboration provides real-world experiences/opportunities for students
  4. Explore how digital immersive technologies strengthen remote learning and enhance student experiences

Panel Speakers:
Russ Federico, Executive Director of Bond & C.I., Marana Unified School District
Greg Wilson, Dean of Applied Technology, Pima Community College
Chloe Hosid, Design Researcher, Corgan
Paul Winslow, FAIA (Moderator), Partner + CEO, Winslow + Partners

This event is FREE!
Sponsorships: $250

Virtual Seminar

May 25, 2021
12:00 pm

Healthy Building
Focusing Infrastructure Projects on Student Health and Wellness
School Health and Wellness teams are deluged with information on how best to deal with the current crisis. This presentation will focus on cost-effective methods to help students be successful in multiple learning environments. Attendees will become familiar with the WELL certification, gain useful knowledge of how analytics can aid in maintenance, and be able to ask questions of facilities professionals. The seminar will also include an analysis of challenges with equity in funding infrastructure.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Learn Cost effective ways to improve Air Quality and Safety
  2. Acquaint themselves with other Districts’ needs and challenges
  3. Learn about the WELL Building Solutions Certification
  4. Implement Equity in funding and solutions

David Empey, Technology + Design Department Head, Energy Systems Design, Inc.
Paul Bakalis, ALEP, AIA, JEDI and VP A4LE AZ Chapter, Proteus West
Carina Clark, RID, EDAC, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, Well Faculty, Corgan
Mike Kramer, Director of Capital Projects and Maintenance, Washington Elementary School District

Mark Carvis, Director of Facilities and Community School, Roosevelt School District
Russell Federico, Marana Unified School District, Director of Operations, Safety, Bond and Capital Projects
Healthy Buildings

Thank You to Our Sponsor


This event is FREE!
Sponsorships: $250

Speaker Bios
David Empey David Empey, Technology + Design Department Head, Energy Systems Design, Inc.
With 25 years designing all types of low voltage systems, Mr. Empey leads ESD’s Technology + Design Department. It is David’s mission to create smart buildings in the most buildable and cost-effective way while making paying attention to aesthetics and community presence. To this end, he has adopted unified system architecture examples from performing arts centers into smart building design. Having represented several manufacturers before transitioning to engineering, he has a deep understanding of the products and technologies involved with AV, Integrated Security, Network, Lighting and AV designs. David primarily focuses on positive user experiences and the long-term operation of a building.
Carina Clark Carina Clark, RID, EDAC, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, Well Faculty, Corgan
Carina is an interior designer who is passionate about research, technology, and responsible design. She became a WELL Faculty shortly after achieving her WELL AP in 2017 and has since presented on topics of wellness in building design and hosting study groups for accreditation. Shortly after COVID-19 forced many to work from home, Carina became involved in working with a team of healthcare and education designers, architects, and engineers to create a hypothetical Temporary Hospital Center as the pandemic surged. This exercise produced a case study, found on the Corgan website, that showed the possibility and requirements for temporarily converting an elementary school into a health center for non-COVID patients while ensuring safety in space and air quality once in-person schooling resumed.

Speakers are subject to change

Inaugural Launch Meeting

March 23, 2021
12:00 – 1:00 pm


Outdoor / Hybrid Learning Environments for Schools
Schools are at the heart of our communities, and while their primary focus is to educate, their importance extends far beyond this fundamental responsibility to support the full spectrum of health and wellbeing for students. This requires educational facilities to be designed with multifunctionality and density of function in mind so that every space plays a part in contributing to student success. However, outdoor spaces on school campuses are often underutilized, one-dimensional, and sterile due to cost and maintenance concerns and limited connections to curriculum and learning goals. Sidelining outdoor learning spaces represents a critical, missed opportunity to engage and excite students with meaningful, real-world, hands-on learning experiences in a learning environment that can also provide important benefits for their health, wellbeing, and academic performance. Research in environmental psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, and education has found compelling evidence for the benefits of engaging with nature for learning and overall health. Distilling this research into key design strategies can support the integration of outdoor learning spaces into educational facilities for students of all ages.

In partnership with ASU and Creighton Elementary School District, this presentation will include a panel discussion about outdoor learning environments and their positive effects on student health and wellness. The panel includes educators and their perspective on the evolution of outdoors paces, their impact on education, and the mental health and well-being of students.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Benefits of engaging with nature
  2. Research on outdoor learning
  3. Design strategies for outdoor learning
  4. Panel discussion with Q's and A's

Invited Speakers
Ed Soltero, Assistant Vice President FMG, ASU
Barbara Halden, Creighton Machan Elementary
Steve Zuiker, ASU Teacher College
Darlene Cadman, SPS +
Molly Smith, ThinkSmart Planners
Nick Salmon, Collaborative Learning Network
Sangeetha Karthik, Corgan

This event is FREE!
Sponsorships: $250

Thank You to Our Sponsor

Chapter Meeting

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

WELL Building Standard

PRESENTERS: Dustin Heiler, Global Sustainability Strategy – Steelcase

The time has come to elevate human health and comfort to the forefront of building practices and reinvent educational buildings that are not only better for the planet—but also for the students and instructors who use them. This presentation will introduce how to do this using the WELL Building Standard as a framework, including the medical basis for the concept categories, and construction strategies to create healthy buildings.

  1. Articulate the financial, societal, and environmental benefits of WELL certification
  2. Recognize the structure of the WELL Building Standard
  3. Explain the 7 concepts of WELL Building standard, the strategies to achieve them, and the health impacts they address

DATE: style="padding: 6px;"Wednesday, February 15, 2017
TIME: 4:00 – 6:30 pm
LOCATION: Atmosphere Commercial Interiors
815 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004
PARKING: Free parking on-site
CHECK-IN: Members and guests must check-in


School Tours – Join us for a tour of 2 NEW school projects!

July 15, 2016
10:00 am
Lunch included!

Gladden Farms Elementary and Valley View Early Learning Center, Tucson

Meet at Gladden Farms Elementary at 10:00 AM
11745 W. Gladden Farms Drive, Tucson, AZ

Lunch provided at 12:30 pm
Blanco @ La Encatada

Tour Valley View Early Learning Center after lunch.

FREE to Members of the Association
FREE to School District / Government Agency (member and non-member)
$10.00 to Non-members in a Private Firm

Chapter Tour

January 11, 2016

11:00 AM
Meet at the main entrance
Great Hearts Cicero Prep
7205 N.. Pima Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85250

3:45 PM
Meet at the main entrance
Rancho Solano Preparatory School
9180 E. Via De Ventura, Scottsdale, AZ 85258

Become a Member


ALEP / Certificate Programs


Comprehensive industry education: ALEP, Advanced Academy and Vibrant Learning Environments


LEsolutions Online Awards


Visit our showcase of past online entry submissions


LearningSCAPES 2021


January 6-8, 2022
Washington Hilton, Washington DC