NAESP Recognizes Nation's Top Principals During National Principals Month

NAESP Recognizes Nation's Top Principals During National Principals Month

Sixty-two principals will travel to a Washington, D.C. program to be honored for outstanding leadership.

Alexandria, VA—October 3, 2017—Outstanding elementary and middle school principals from across the nation and abroad have been named 2017 National Distinguished Principals (NDPs) by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). The pre-K–8 principals will be honored October 13 at an awards banquet in Washington, D.C.

Established in 1984, the two-day NDP celebration program, which will be held at the Capital Hilton Hotel, recognizes public and private school principals who make superior contributions to their schools and communities. The principals will also have the opportunity to share best practices. The 62 principal honorees were selected by NAESP state affiliates and by committees representing private and overseas schools.

“Principals create the necessary conditions for providing students with the well-rounded education that they need,” said Dr. L. Earl Franks, CAE, NAESP’s executive director. “NAESP’s National Distinguished Principals program recognizes the outstanding leadership of highly successful principals and their commitment to the children they serve, to their local communities, to their state, and our nation. Working in partnership with classroom teachers and other educators, these principals provide the necessary leadership to improve student achievement and ensure every student has a pathway to success.”

It is particularly fitting to acknowledge the work of principals in October because it is National Principals Month, which was established to recognize and honor the contributions of school principals toward the success of the nation’s students, and encourage awareness of their significance.

Criteria for selection of the principals require that the honorees are active principals of schools where programs are designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students and where there are firmly established community ties with parents and local business organizations.

NOTE: A list of the 2017 NDPs and their biographical information can be accessed at .To request an interview with the honored principals, contact Kaylen Tucker at or 703-518-6257.  


Principals are the primary catalysts for creating lasting foundations for learning. Since 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) has been the leading advocate for elementary and middle-level principals in the United States and worldwide. NAESP advances the profession by developing policy, advancing advocacy, and providing professional development and resources for instructional leadership, including specialized support and mentoring for early career principals. Key focus areas include pre-K–3 education, school safety, technology and digital learning, and effective educator evaluation. For more information about NAESP, please visit NAESP administers the National Principals Resource Center, the American Student Council Association, and the President's Education Awards & American Citizenship Awards Programs.