NAESP Honors Nation’s Top Principals for National Principals Month

Sixty-one principals will travel to the Washington, D.C., program to be recognized for outstanding leadership.

Alexandria, VA—October 3, 2019–Accomplished elementary and middle-level principals from across the nation and abroad have been named 2019 NAESP National Distinguished Principals® (NDPs) by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). The pre-K–8 principals will be honored Oct. 11 at an awards banquet in Washington, D.C.

“Today’s principals lead dynamic learning communities with high standards and an eye toward equity, all while attending to students’ growing social and emotional needs,” said Dr. L. Earl Franks, CAE, NAESP’s executive director. “NAESP’s National Distinguished Principals program recognizes the exemplary leadership of highly successful principals and is a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to outstanding school leaders.”

Established in 1984, the two-day NAESP NDP celebration program, which will be held at the Capital Hilton, 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 61 principal honorees are selected by NAESP state affiliates and by committees representing private and overseas schools.

It is particularly fitting to acknowledge the work of principals in October during 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 2019 NAESP 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.

Established in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) leads in the advocacy and support for elementary and middle-level principals in the United States and internationally. NAESP supports principals as the primary catalysts for creating lasting foundations for learning through policy and professional learning, advocacy, programs, and resources for effective instructional leadership. NAESP advances the profession on behalf of all principals, providing specialized support and mentoring for early career principals. Key focus areas include pre-K-3 education, school safety, technology and digital learning, and capacity-building educator evaluation. For more information about NAESP, please visit