Starting this week, NAESP is saluting top-notch principals across the nation for National Principals Month.

The celebration of National Principals Month continues a five-year tradition launched by NAESP and NASSP in 2009. A resolution from the U.S. Senate has officially recognized the celebration, which honors principals’ hard work and dedication to America’s schools. NAESP’s festivities will culminate with the National Distinguished Principals program, which recognizes outstanding school leaders from around the country. October is also the third annual Connected Educator Month, an initiative to stimulate and support tech innovation for educators.

Here’s a round-up of the festivities.

1. 31 Days of Bright Ideas and Best Practices

Every day during October, we’ll share strategies, inspiration, and ideas from the 2014 class of National Distinguished Principals. Learn these exceptional leaders’ tricks of the trade by liking us on Facebook and following updates there all month.  

2. National “Thank a Principal Day”

NAESP is calling on fellow education organizations, educators, and supporters to recognize Friday, October 17 as Thank a Principal Day. Let a colleague know that he or she is doing a great job, and don’t forgive to give yourself a pat on the back.

3. Strategy-Packed Twitter Chats

NAESP has partnered with several organizations to host a series of Twitter chats in October for National Principals Month and Connected Educator Month. First, every Thursday at 8 p.m. (Eastern), join #CPchat, discussions hosted by NAESP, NASSP, and Connected Principals on a variety of leadership topics. Find the schedule and topics here. The hashtag is #cpchat.

Next, NAESP has teamed up with the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA) for a bonus tweetchat on a very hot topic: school branding. Join the “Social Media and School Branding” chat on Tuesday, October 28 at 8 p.m. Eastern for a discussion on the ins and outs of school branding—from logos to mottos to messaging. The hashtag for the chat, and for all the National Principals Month celebrations, is #prinmonth. Follow NAESP and TEPSA on Twitter for the latest updates.

4. Annual Principal Shadowing Day

A centerpiece of NAESP’s National Principals Month is the annual principal shadowing program, a joint initiative with NASSP and the Department of Education. Senior officials from the Department of Education have the opportunity to walk a mile in principals’ shoes for a day. The program wraps up with a briefing session with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Read one principal’s first-hand account of last year’s shadowing program here.

5. Celebrating National Distinguished Principals

A highlight of National Principals Month is NAESP’s National Distinguished Principals (NDP) award program. On October 16-17, the 2014 class of NDPs will be honored in Washington, D.C., for their outstanding contributions to their school communities. Established in 1984, the program honors principals from both public and private schools and schools from the United States Departments of Defense Office of Educational Activity and the United States Department of State Office of Overseas Schools for their exemplary achievements. Meet the 2014 class of NDPs, and congratulate the honoree from your state.

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