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President's Perspective: Membership Helps You “Make It Happen”
By Nancy Flatt Meador
September 2013, Volume 37, Issue 1
Classrooms are ready. Students are excited. The bell sounds. And the 2013-2014 school year begins! Welcome back for another exciting year that will no doubt bring opportunity, challenges, and success for your learning community.
As I meet and speak with principals across America this year, four action-packed words will be included in my message: Principals make it happen! Stop and think about what our job entails—we make things happen every day for students, parents, faculty, and staff. We do it through leadership, inspiration, and achievement.
As you begin this new school year, and prepare to make it happen for your school community, think about how NAESP membership supports your leadership. Membership is truly an unbeatable value, providing you with thousands of dollars’ worth of benefits, resources, and support you can use all year long. In fact, marketing research estimates that an Active NAESP membership is valued at over $3,000 per year!
Membership helps principals positively impact schools. I know it’s been an invaluable resource for me. NAESP supports elementary and middle-level principals in a variety of ways, including:
- A legal benefits program;
- Advocacy and representation on Capitol Hill;
- Professional development through webinars, online learning, and the annual conference;
- Print and electronic resources, including Principal magazine and Communicator monthly e-newsletter;
- Connections through networking; and
- Discounts on resources such as books from the National Principals Resource Center, membership in the American Student Council Association, and registration for the annual conference.
Not only does NAESP membership enrich principals’ performance, but involvement in state associations will also deepen the experience. Involvement, at both the state or national level, may come in the form of attending or presenting at a conference, serving on a committee, writing for publication, advocating for principals as educational legislation is crafted, becoming a member of the Board of Directors, running and serving as an elected officer, or mentoring a new principal. The list is almost endless on how to serve and lead within your profession.
Another way NAESP members can get involved is to encourage and recruit early career principals as members. Reaching out to early career principals continues to be a priority for NAESP. Professional organizations need a “balance of experience” within their membership in order to provide needed support and resources across the board. Invite a new or aspiring principal to join; personal communication is the best way to connect.
Many principals believe the most valuable benefit of membership comes through networking and building connections with other principals. By spending quality time with other professionals, conversations lend themselves to problem-solving, brainstorming, planning for the future, and building relationships that can literally last a lifetime. Membership value at this level can be priceless!
I hope you will become an active, involved member in your state and national professional associations. Let’s work together to elevate the voice of elementary and middle-level principals across our great nation.
Nancy Flatt Meador is president of NAESP and recently served as principal of Madison Middle School in Madison, Tennessee.
Copyright © 2013. National Association of Elementary School Principals. No part of the articles in NAESP magazines, newsletters, or website may be reproduced in any medium without the permission of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. For more information, view NAESP's reprint policy
Copyright © 2013 National Association of Elementary School Principals. No part of the articles in NAESP magazines, newsletters, or website may be reproduced in any medium without the permission of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. For more information, view NAESP's reprint policy.