Media Advisory
Contact: Kaylen Tucker, NAESP

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will provide congratulatory remarks to K-8 principal honorees

ALEXANDRIA, VA–October 17, 2012–Sixty outstanding elementary and middle school principals from across the nation and abroad have been named 2012 National Distinguished Principals (NDPs) by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). They will be honored Oct. 19 at an awards banquet, which has been generously funded by VALIC for nearly 25 years. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will deliver the opening address, honoring principals during National Principals Month.

Established in 1984, the two-day program, which will be held at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., recognizes public and private school principals who make superior contributions to their schools and communities. The distinguished principals are selected by NAESP state affiliates, including the District of Columbia, and by committees representing private and overseas schools.

NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly commended the 60 principals for being exemplars of successful school leadership. “For more than 25 years, our National Distinguished Principals program has recognized the nation’s most accomplished principals—front-line champions for children—who vastly impact individual lives and strengthen schools,” she said. “We congratulate the NDPs for nurturing positive school culture that meets children’s social, emotional, and academic needs.”

“As the sole sponsor of the National Distinguished Principals program for nearly 25 years, VALIC is proud to continue our unwavering support of our nation’s principals,” said Bruce R. Adams, president and CEO of VALIC. “Programs like this allow us to recognize the contributions that principals make to our teachers, our schools and our communities. On behalf of VALIC, I would like to congratulate all of this year’s distinguished principals and offer our utmost thanks for their commitment and dedication to educating our nation’s children.”

It is particularly fitting to acknowledge the work of principals in October because Congress declared it National Principals Month through two separate measures. The U.S. Senate’s S. Res 552, and the U.S. House of Representatives companion resolution, H. Res 781, recognize and honor the contributions of school principals and assistant principals toward the success of students in the nation’s elementary and secondary schools, and encourage awareness throughout the month. 

NOTE: A list of the 2012 NDPs and their biographical information can be accessed at To request an interview with the honored principals or to cover the Oct. 19 banquet and address by Secretary Duncan, contact Kaylen Tucker at or 703-518-6257.


Established in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) serves elementary and middle school principals in the United States, Canada, and overseas. NAESP leads in the advocacy and support for elementary and middle-level principals and other education leaders in their commitment to all children.

For more than half a century, VALIC has served as a leading retirement plan provider for K-12 schools and school districts, as well as for higher education, healthcare, government and other and not-for-profit institutions. As of June 30, 2012 VALIC has more than $67 billion in total assets under management and manages plans for nearly 25,000 groups serving nearly 2 million plan participants. VALIC represents The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, VALIC Financial Advisors, Inc. and VALIC Retirement Services Company.