Mark J. White
Hintgen Elementary School
La Crosse, WI

Making a Positive Difference

Beginning my career as a principal 25 years ago, I was probably a little naïve about many aspects of the important work we do. During my first year, I quickly realized I needed resources and the support of other principals to be successful. Being the best principal possible was my goal then, just as it is today. Support from my state association and NAESP continues to be the bedrock that helps me succeed as a principal.

The position of building principal is complex, and the demands are great. Leadership encompasses many dimensions as we work to improve the lives and learning of our students and staff. Principals put in endless hours and rarely stop thinking about what should be done next about instruction, school climate, school safety, assessment, and other concerns. Perhaps the position is worthy of a superhero to do it all! NAESP is there to help with making the job manageable for all of us mere mortals. That assistance comes in the form of resources and information, advocacy to push for legislation, and networking opportunities to learn from each other. A major goal of mine will be to keep NAESP relevant to the changing needs of our members, both experienced and those new to the position.

I have benefitted from my experiences as an elementary school principal in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and in several roles with the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators, including President. I have held the positions of NAESP State Representative and Federal Relations Coordinator. I am currently in my third year on the Board of Directors representing Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

I have worked with my fellow NAESP board members to solve difficult issues and have contributed guidance on programming, advocacy, and NAESP policy. Opportunities for NAESP have resulted from our decisions. I am ready to give back to the Association by playing a larger role in NAESP’s governance. I would look forward, as a humble servant leader, to working with colleagues from across the United States to let anyone who will listen know that the role of building principal is difficult work that is done in heroic fashion by 20,000 NAESP members.

I believe the next several years will be an exciting time as NAESP moves forward. I am passionate about the principalship and will work diligently to make sure that others hear about our successes, challenges, students, hard-working teachers, and what is needed for principals to reach high standards.

Each day we have the tremendous opportunity to influence the future and make a positive difference in the lives of our students. I see this candidacy for NAESP President-Elect similarly; it is the opportunity of a lifetime and an honor. Therefore, it will be my mission to do all I can to make a positive difference for elementary and middle school principals and their students.

Mark J. White
Principal, Hintgen Elementary School
La Crosse, Wisconsin

Professional Experience: Principal, Hintgen Elementary School, 1990-present — Director of PreK Programming, School District of La Crosse, 2009-present — Principal, Alma Center Elementary, Alma Center, WI, 1988-1990 — Teacher, Longfellow Middle School, La Crosse, WI, 1984-1988 — Teacher, Ripon Middle School, Ripon, WI, 1982-1984

Professional Affiliations: NAESP, 1988-present (Board of Directors, Zone 6 Director, 2010-2013; Wisconsin State Representative, 2006-2010; Resolutions Committee Alternate, 2008-2009; No Child Left Behind Task Force, 2005-2006; Wisconsin Federal Relations Coordinator, 2004-2006) — Association of Wisconsin School Adminstrators, 1988-present (President, 2003-2004; Region 4 Director, 1999-2002) — Association of La Crosse School Administrators, President, 1994-1995 and 2011-2012 — ASCD, 1988-present

Professional Honors: University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Distinguished Alumni Award, 2012 — Participant in Wisconsin-China Principal Exchange, 2010

Civic/Community Honors: LaCrescent-Hokah, MN School District Board of Education, 2000-2003 and 2006-2010 — LaCrescent-Hokah School District Treasurer, 2006-2010 — Sunday School Teacher, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, LaCrescent, MN, 1999-2000 and 2003-2005

Education: M.Ed., Educational Administration, Winona State University, Winona, MN, 1988; B.S., Elementary Education, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI, 1982