Why Assistant Principal Recognition Matters

A congressional resolution celebrating National Assistant Principals Week demonstrates the strong bond between policymakers and school administrators.

Assistant principals (APs) are integral to the success of a school community, working in partnership with the school principal to ensure students, faculty and staff, and families remain engaged, supported, and successful. At NAESP, we know APs need support, too. In part, that means recognizing them for their hard work and making sure others—especially policymakers—understand the critical work they do every day as leaders of school communities.

Why Recognition Matters

Every April, in partnership with NASSP and the American Federation of School Administrators, NAESP recognizes this important role during National Assistant Principal Week (AP Week). Joining our celebration this year are members of Congress, who introduced a resolution to honor APs during AP Week. This recognition sends a powerful message to APs that policymakers appreciate them and their commitment to students.

Ensuring legislators recognize principals and APs is something participants in our Leaders We Need New (LWNN) research series noted was key in supporting the future of the profession and a strong principal pipeline. One of five themes in the third brief in the LWNN series, “honoring, recognizing, and listening” to school leaders means legislators must understand how the role is evolving and how much hard work principals and APs put into their in school communities every day. It also means that policymakers must actively seek out this special constituent group with a vested interest in education and student success when they make decisions on policies that will affect the lives of educators and students moving forward. Gathering feedback from principals on legislation improves policy ideas, increase buy-in from educators, and provide more justification for new policies. It’s a win for education all around.

How to Share Your Story

Join us in celebrating AP Week April 4-8 by sharing your story about what it’s like to be an AP in schools today. It’s one of the most powerful and effective ways to teach stakeholders—from your school families and community members to local officials and federal policymakers—what goes on in your school and why you need their support. These ideas are just a starting point for you to make meaningful connections with policymakers to positively affect the future of education.

  • Invite policymakers into your school building. Either in-person or virtually, school visits with policymakers—district administrators, local elected officials, state-level legislators, and your members of Congress—ensure the people who make decisions that directly affect your school understand exactly what your school needs for its students and staff to thrive.
  • Harness the power of social media. Principals and APs are highly trusted in their communities, so build on that trust by using social media to share your school’s story. No one knows better than you what your school needs, so get creative by sharing the bright spots and the challenges that come with leading schools today.
  • Reach out directly to policymakers. Use NAESP’s Find Your Legislators tool to search for the contact information for your senators and representatives. Use our Advocacy Action Center to send them messages that you can tailor to tell your school’s unique story on top topics of interest in schools today. You can even sign up for NAESP Advocacy Text Alerts to add your voice to NAESP’s advocacy efforts on behalf of our members.

Learn more about AP Week. Find graphics to download to share your story as an AP—or for principals to use to recognize APs for their contributions—as well as resources and events to celebrate APs this week and year-round. Follow #APWeek22 on social media, too.