"To The National Distinguished Principals: Thank you for the wonderful work you do every day for our nation's students, teachers, and families. School leadership is so important in education. We must have great principals who lead talented organizational teams that drive improvement in student performance." - U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

The National Distinguished Principals program honors outstanding elementary and middle-level administrators who ensure that America's children acquire a sound foundation for lifelong learning and achievement. The program was established in 1984 to recognize and celebrate 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.

Each year, NAESP congratulates principals from across the nation in both public and private schools and schools from the United States Departments of Defense Office of Educational Activity and the the United States Department of State Office of Overseas Schools for their exemplary achievements.

The 2014 NDP event will be held on October 16 and 17 in Washington, D.C.  Starting in 2011, all National Distinguished Principals must be members of NAESP. For more information about the National Distinguished Principals program, contact your state affiliate. State Executives, click here to access application materials (you will need to login).

VALIC is pleased to sponsor the National Distinguished Principals Program, honoring those principals across the nation whose contributions inspire children to reach farther and higher, to build a brighter future and a better world. We are honored to be the sole sponsor of this program for the last 24 years, underscoring our commitment as a leading national provider of retirement plan services to educators, as well as to healthcare and government organizations. We would like to thank all of the honorees for their commitment to the children of their communities, and we congratulate them on their exemplary success.

2014 Class of National Distinguished Principals

2013 Class of National Distinguished Principals

2012 Class of National Distinguished Principals

2011 Class of National Distiguished Principals 

2010 Class of National Distinguished Principals


Click here to learn more about The National Distinguished Principals Fundraising Challenge.