National principal honor nominations due May 10

The National Association of Elementary School Principals, in partnership with ACSA’s Elementary Education Council, is seeking the best and brightest school leaders.

The deadline is May 10 to submit nominations for California 2017 National Distinguished Principal.

The NDP program was established in 1984 to recognize elementary and middle level principals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, character and climate for the students, families and staffs in their learning communities. The program was based on three fundamental ideas:

  • Children’s attitudes toward learning and their perceptions of themselves as lifelong learners are established in the beginning school years.
  • The scope and quality of children’s educational experiences are determined primarily by the school principal, who establishes, through the important work of teachers and the support of caring parents, the character of a particular school’s program.
  • The dedication and enthusiasm of the outstanding principals who guide children’s early education experiences should be acknowledged to both show appreciation for their work and allow them to serve as models for others in the field.

Nominees must be active principals, have served in the principalship for at least five years, and remain active in the role through the 2016-17 school year. Nominees must display a strong commitment to the principalship through active participation in professional associations and must assume an active role in the community. NDPs are leaders who truly make a difference.

The application is quite comprehensive, must be completed by the nominee, and must include letters of reference and support from the nominee’s superintendent, a fellow principal, a teacher on the nominee’s staff and a parent/community member.

Nomination packets will begin to be reviewed in April by California’s past NDPs, with a selection announced in May. The 2017 National Distinguished principal will be invited to attend honor ceremonies in Washington, D.C. in the fall.

For an application packet, contact ACSA’s Christina Cruz at or call (916) 329-7045 or (800) 608-ACSA.

Each year, NDPs represent Pre-K to eighth grade public schools from all across the country, as well as principals in U.S. private schools and those from the United States Departments of Defense Office of Educational Activity and the United States Department of State Office of Overseas Schools. Public school elementary and middle-level principals are nominated by peers in their state, and final selections are made by committees appointed by each of NAESP’s state affiliate offices. Honorees from private schools and overseas schools are selected by special committees.

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