NAESP Celebrates Principals in October

Communicator
September 2012, Volume 36, Issue 1

Last week, Congress declared October 2012 “National Principals Month,” continuing a three-year tradition launched by NAESP and the National Association of Secondary School Principals in 2009. The resolutions encourage the nation to observe the month with appropriate ceremonies and activities that promote an awareness of the role of school leaders in ensuring that every child has access to a high-quality education.

The declaration was made official by both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. S. Res 552, which was unanimously agreed to by the Senate on September 12, honors elementary, middle, and high school principals, and recognizes their importance in creating school environments that facilitate continuous school improvement through effective teaching and learning. The resolution was sponsored by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), along with Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Mark Begich (D-AK), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Carl Levin (D-MI), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Jim Webb (D-VA).

The U.S. House of Representatives introduced a companion resolution, H. Res 781, which similarly recognizes and honors the contributions of school principals and assistant principals to the success of students in the nation’s elementary and secondary schools. The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) along with Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO), and Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ), encourages national recognition of principals and awareness of school leadership.

In another show of national support for principals, NAESP and NASSP are collaborating with the U.S. Department of Education to implement a “shadow” program with elementary, middle, and high school principals. During the month of October, over a dozen schools will host senior U.S. Department of Education staff in their schools, including Assistant Secretary Deb Delisle. Department staff will witness first-hand princpals’ complex and demanding work days to better understand their roles and responsibilities. The shadow program will culminate in a briefing with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan the afternoon of October 12 to discuss what was learned during the shadow experiences and how policy can better support principals in their service to all students.

During the month of October, NAESP encourages state affiliates and principals’ organizations to work with governors and state legislators to adopt similar resolutions (suggested language can be found here) to promote awareness of the role of principals and honor their service and contributions to the success of all students. NAESP also encourages principals to conduct local “shadow” initiatives by inviting school board members, state legislators, mayors, community council members, and other local leaders to visit schools throughout the month of October in an effort to raise awareness about the critical role of principals in local communities.

NAESP will spotlight principals and exemplary school leadership throughout National Principals Month. Beginning in October, visit www.naesp.org to learn how the Association will show its appreciation for the principalship. 

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