NAESP and AASA Honor 2022 National Aspiring Principals Academy Graduates

Fourteen emerging leaders from across the nation have acquired the essential skills needed to advance to the next level of school leadership.

Alexandria, VA—June 13, 2022—The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, are pleased to announce 14 emerging leaders completed the National Aspiring Principals Academy (NAPA). NAESP and AASA designed this professional learning program to support aspiring principals in learning the essential knowledge, skills, and practices they need to advance to the next leadership level.

Highly skilled and nationally recognized educational leaders and mentors led the year-long, standards-based professional learning opportunity. Topics of focus included building professional learning communities, leading for equity, understanding governance, and addressing critical issues and trends.

“The pandemic has forever changed the landscape of U.S. education and the principalship, making the need for strong, capable principals more urgent than any other time in our history,” said NAESP Executive Director L. Earl Franks, Ed.D., CAE. “NAESP is proud to partner with AASA to support aspiring school leaders who must shift along with the profession to meet new and emerging needs for schools, students, and faculty and staff. It’s our hope that together we can strengthen the principal pipeline and continue to prepare transformational leaders to ensure strong, safe, and equitable school communities in which all students can thrive. Congratulations to the 2022 graduating class for their outstanding work and commitment to changing education for the better.”

“School systems need principals who are going to take bold, actionable steps to invoke future-focused best practices and equitable learning environments in their school buildings on behalf of the students and staff they serve,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “Congratulations to the 2022 graduates of the prestigious National Aspiring Principal Academy. We are proud to partner with NAESP on this critical initiative because we’re preparing passionate and committed individuals who are striving to reshape and redesign the future of the principalship. We are proud of our graduates who have worked diligently to take positive steps in their own leadership lifecycle.”

NAESP and AASA congratulate these NAPA graduates:

  • Terra Allen, Vice Principal, Garapan Elementary, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Mary Ancinec, Assistant Principal, Graceland Park/O’Donnell Heights Elementary/Middle School, Baltimore, MD
  • Nicole Elaine Avery, Educator, New York City Department of Education, Bronx, NY
  • Charles Bottorff, Assistant Principal, Scottsburg Elementary, Scottsburg, IN
  • Ross Cohen, Assistant Principal, Hewlett Elementary, Hewlett, NY
  • Tanya Elliott, Assistant Principal, Tussing Elementary, Colonial Heights, VA
  • Timothy Hicks, Assistant Principal, Sandy Springs Charter Middle School, Atlanta, GA
  • Megan Hopper, Assistant Principal, Target Range School, Missoula, MT
  • Equetta Jones, Assistant Principal, H.O. Brittingham Elementary, Milton, DE
  • Cynthia Law, Year 6 teacher, SBW International School Westpfalz, Germany
  • Anthony Peddle, Leadership Intern, Avondale Elementary, Columbus, OH
  • Nolan Pratt, Principal, Lanesborough Elementary, Lanesborough, MA
  • Allen Richardson, Assistant Principal, Randle Highlands Elementary, Washington, D.C.
  • Hilary Tompkins Adamson, Assistant Principal, Sunfield Elementary, Buda, TX

Eric Cardwell, an elementary school principal and past NAESP president, and Dr. Gail Pletnick, a retired superintendent and past AASA president, facilitated NAPA, and program mentors included:

  • Patricia Buck, AASA
  • Jessica Gomez, Principal, Alice Birney Elementary, Colton, CA
  • Tracy Hilliard, Principal, Urbana Elementary, Frederick, MD
  • Rick Varney, Principal, John Cline Elementary, Decorah, IA

NAESP and AASA are recruiting participants for the next cohort, which will run from October 2022 to June 2023. The academy registration form, dates, and other details are available at

For more information about NAPA, contact Dr. Gracie Branch, NAESP associate executive director, Professional Learning, at