Media Advisory                                                             
Kaylen Tucker, NAESP


Alexandria, VA—May 23, 2011—Jillayne Flanders, principal of Plains Elementary School in South Hadley, Massachusetts, was recently elected to the board of directors of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Gail Connelly, NAESP’s executive director, announced the election results from the Association’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

Flanders begins her three-year term as director of Zone 1on July 1. She will represent principals in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

“I am thrilled to be representing the dedicated elementary and middle school principals of Zone 1,” Flanders said. “Throughout my 23 years as a principal, my focus has always been on providing for the social and academic growth of children by linking people, ideas, and resources together to create a nurturing yet challenging learning environment filled with excitement, enthusiasm, and humor.”

Flanders has been a member of NAESP since 1990, serving as a State Representative from 2001 to 2008 and participating on both the Nominating Committee in 2006 and the Resolutions Committee from 2008 to 2011. In 2010, Flanders was honored as both an NAESP National Distinguished Principal and the Thomas Passios Outstanding Principal of the Year.

She has also been a member of the Massachusetts Elementary School Principals’ Association since 1985, serving twice as president of the organization. She has been a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma International Society for Key Women Educators since 1993, the South Hadley Network for Children since 2000, and from 2002 to 2005, Flanders served on the board of directors of the Girls Scouts of Western Massachusetts.

Flanders began her education career in 1979 as an elementary teacher in Goshen and Chesterfield, Massachusetts.  After serving as head teacher in Goshen, she became the principal of Hadley Elementary School from 1988 to 2000. Flanders began her current position as principal of Plains Elementary in 2000. She has been an adjunct professor in education administration at Westfield State University since 1999 and a mentor to many aspiring principals in western Massachusetts.

Flanders earned a B.A. in elementary and environmental education and an M.A. and C.A.G.S. in elementary school administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


Established in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) serves elementary and middle school principals in the United States, Canada, and overseas. NAESP leads in the advocacy and support for elementary and middle-level principals and other education leaders in their commitment to all children.