NAESP Announces 2023 National Outstanding Assistant Principals

This year, NAESP recognizes 27 assistant principals—19 from elementary schools and eight from the middle level—from across the country.

Alexandria, VA—April 3, 2023— The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) recognizes 27 assistant principals as members of the 2023 class of National Outstanding Assistant Principals. NAESP is committed to supporting elementary and middle-level assistant principals, and part of that commitment is recognizing assistant principals for their contributions to their school communities.

“Assistant principals are uniquely positioned to effect meaningful change in schools, making them a critical piece of a successful school community,” says NAESP Executive Director L. Earl Franks, Ed.D., CAE. “Working closely with principals, these school leaders support faculty and staff—who need it more now than ever amid a national mental health crisis—and build a compassionate school climate that prioritizes student academic and social-emotional success. Their passion for their school communities shines through in everything they do as leaders. Congratulations to this year’s class of assistant principals, whose achievements and impact have earned them the honor of 2023 National Outstanding Assistant Principal.”

Meet the 2023 Class

This year, we are recognizing these 19 elementary school assistant principals and eight middle-level assistant principals from across the country. Recipients have shared best practices that have helped them improve processes at their schools and thrive in their role as assistant principals.

  • Melanie A. Harris, Hibbett Intermediate School, Alabama
  • Elizabeth Kvamme, Kalifornsky Beach Elementary School, Alaska
  • Patricia Athey, J.B. Hunt Elementary School, Arkansas
  • Julie Quast, Lakeside Middle School, Arkansas
  • Amanda Pawelski, Laurel Elementary School of Arts and Technology, Colorado
  • Arlette Johnson, Franklin Elementary School, Connecticut
  • Gina Voges, Laurel Elementary School, Delaware
  • Makeda-Ione Brome, Chester A. Moore Elementary School, Florida
  • Laura Casey, Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy, Georgia
  • Ariel Wilson, Northeast Middle School, Georgia
  • Bebi Davis, Kawananakoa Middle School, Hawaii
  • Colleen Goodrich, Wayne Thomas Elementary School, Illinois
  • Lowell Oyster, Bonny Eagle Middle School, Maine
  • Heather Moraff, Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School, Maryland
  • Katherine Altman, Henry E. Warren Elementary School, Massachusetts
  • Willie Burrel, Mona Shores Middle School, Michigan
  • Nicole Cockrell, Mannsdale Upper Elementary School, Mississippi
  • Erin Nguyen, C.C. Ronnow Elementary School, Nevada
  • Donna McGuire, PS/IS 18 – The Park Terrace School, New York
  • Lisa Brooks, Oakwood Middle School, North Carolina
  • Anna Gawel, Hershey Elementary School, Pennsylvania
  • Rachel Salvatore, North Smithfield Elementary School, Rhode Island
  • Melanie C. Harris, H.E. Corley Elementary School, South Carolina
  • Sommer Reynolds, Little Cypress Elementary School, Texas
  • Janet Lewis, Dominion Trail Elementary School, Virginia
  • Deborah Henderson, Frank Wagner Elementary School, Washington
  • Jacinda Waldrip, Rawlins Middle School, Wyoming

Nominated by peers in their states, recipients of this award are practicing assistant principals with at least two years’ experience in the role who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and have set high standards for students, colleagues, parents and the community. All National Outstanding Assistant Principals are members of NAESP at the time of their nomination.

U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Dick Durbin introduced a resolution declaring this week, April 3-7, 2023, as National Assistant Principals Week to honor and recognize the pivotal role assistant principals play in helping students and teachers succeed in schools across the U.S.

NAESP partner Landscape Structures is the proud sponsor of the 2023 National Outstanding Assistant Principal Program.

This recognition comes as part of the National Assistant Principals Week, from April 3-7, 2023.