Where do I begin to tell you about all of the wonderful events that have occurred since I arrived in Washington, D.C. for the National Distinguished Principals (NDP) event of a lifetime? The program began with a slideshow featuring all of the NDPs and two minute speeches given by each NDP—what a challenge to say all we want to about our great staffs, students, and families in two minutes!
Later we dressed up for a welcoming reception at the U.S. Department of State and were greeted by U.S. Department of State Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy. After the reception, I went to Bobby Van’s Steakhouse for dinner with principals from my region. 
Already, I have gleaned so many great ideas from other principals to share back home. Visiting and networking with colleagues is the best. It’s great to have friends across the entire United States! 
We have been treated like royalty since we have been in Washington. After each event, we have received a gift. These gifts include an NDP canvas bag, mug, pin, letter opener, and book mark. I can hardly wait to see what happens today!
What would staff feel like if we could shower them with little gifts and mementos to make them feel special? With something to think about, this is Jackie McNamara, make it a great day or not, the choice is yours! 
  Jackie McNamara, 2009 NDP