NAESP Honors Top Principals For National Principals Month

50 principals have been named 2020 National Distinguished Principals.

Alexandria, VA—October 20, 2020–Talented elementary and middle-level principals from across the nation and abroad have been named 2020 NAESP National Distinguished Principals® (NDPs) by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Established in 1984, the NDP program recognizes public and private school principals who make superior contributions to their schools and communities.

“Principals have rightly earned the reputation as the most trusted group of leaders,” said NAESP Executive Director L. Earl Franks, Ed.D., CAE. “It is because even during times of uncertainty and challenges, such as sudden school closures due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, principals are on the front lines, relentlessly striving toward educational excellence and wellbeing for each child in their care. On behalf of the NAESP Board of Directors, I salute the 2020 NAESP National Distinguished Principals and principals everywhere.”

Due to the uncertainty of in-person gatherings this fall, the 2020 honorees will be recognized during NAESP’s centennial celebration at the Pre-K–8 Principals Conference in Chicago in July 2021. The principals, who were selected by NAESP state affiliates and by committees representing private and overseas schools, will also have the opportunity to share best practices with their fellow recipients as part of their recognition program in Chicago.

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 2020 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