NAESP Welcomes New Leaders

April 2017, Volume 40, Issue 8

April has been an exciting and eventful month for the future leadership of NAESP. The Board of Directors selected a new executive director to succeed Gail Connelly, who announced her retirement last fall. In addition, the 2017 Election concluded, adding four new members to NAESP’s Board of Directors. The Association is excited to welcome these leaders as they provide critical leadership in advocacy and support for the nation’s Pre-K-8 principals and the students they serve.

New Executive Director

Dr. L. Earl Franks, CAE, has been selected by the NAESP Board to assume the role of executive director effective July 1, 2017. Franks currently serves as executive director of the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS), Alabama’s leading umbrella organization for principals and school administrators.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to be selected for this opportunity of a lifetime—to lead one of America’s most important and iconic organizations for education: NAESP,” said Franks. “This position will allow me the opportunity to take my experiences—which include over 31 years in education as a teacher, principal, and state association executive director—to the national and international level. I will build on the tradition of this great organization and expand the reach of my passion for education and helping school leaders improve,” he continued.

NAESP’s current executive director, Gail Connelly, announced her retirement in August 2016, and established a planned transition and search for a new executive director. Connelly served as executive director for 10 years, and in recognition of her 32 years of service to NAESP, she will serve as NAESP Executive Director Emeritus upon her retirement.

Election Results

David N. Wick, principal of Columbia Falls Junior High School in Columbia, Montana, has been elected Vice President of NAESP’s Board of Directors, and will assume that role on August 1 for one year.

“I believe that professional organizations need to listen and respond to their members.” Wick said. “The members are the Association, and the positive vision for the future of the principalship should be a direct reflection of the principals in the field.”

The following principals were also elected to the Board as Zone Directors. (Click here to see what zone you fall under):

Director for Zone 1:

Victoria A. Reed
Principal of Highland Elementary School
Wallingford, Connecticut

“Strong school leadership begins with the principal. I hope to be a voice for the principals who are working hard each and every day to help all students learn and achieve at the highest levels.”

Director for Zone 2:

Angelina Martino Finnegan
Principal of Lake Hiawatha School
Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey

“I am honored to represent our nation’s principals and serve as an advocate for our students, our schools, and our profession.”

Director for Zone 8:

Kasandra Nelson
Principal of Vici Elementary School
Vici, Oklahoma

“I believe that our children are our most valuable resources, and it is they who will be the future citizens of our country. Educating them should be a priority for our states and our country. Effective schools have strong leaders who provide direction and initiative for their respective schools.”

New board members will begin three-year terms on August 1. Also starting new terms on August 1 are Brian K. Partin, of Kingsport, Tennessee, who will begin his tenure as NAESP President, and Eric S. Cardwell, of Alpena, Michigan, who will begin his tenure as NAESP President-Elect.

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