April D. Knight

April D. Knight

Principal, Avondale Elementary School
Columbus, Ohio

Candidate Statement

What is your Why?
Have you ever stopped to really think about why you are a principal?  Everyone has an answer, but how accurate is it?  Does your answer really get at the core of your Why?  Growing up, I was taught that regardless of what my profession was or what path I chose, it was my responsibility to help make the world a better place.  Marian Wright Edelman said, “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better that you found it.”  This fully encompasses what I was taught long ago and what I still believe today.

Every day, as educators we help mold the future by ensuring our students are highly educated, prepared for leadership and service, and empowered for success.  As principals, we do this by providing encouragement, inspiration and leadership for our students, our staff, and our community.  We often do this by urgently advocating for the needs of students, families, teachers, and other school personnel.  Yet, there is a strong need in our profession for principals to be provided with encouragement, inspiration and support.

If elected to serve as the Vice-President of NAESP, I will work diligently to effectively represent all NAESP members as we work to build upon the forward-thinking ideas of administrators and to advocate for the children and youth we serve.  It would be my pleasure to support NAESP as we move forward and focus on some key issues that are relevant to our profession:

  • Focus on barriers to student success that are greatly impacting schools across the United States, such as poverty, mental health challenges, and lack of resources
  • Advocate for change in educational policy and public funding at the local, state, and federal levels
  • Support principals as we work to ensure students have access to the best possible education
  • Develop and maintain high professional standards and leadership among administrators
  • Increase diversity within NAESP and across schools throughout the United States to better reflect the diversity in our communities

While the responsibilities of administrators are ever-changing, our commitment to education remains steadfast.  NAESP and our state affiliates seek to provide guidance and support, within our profession, as well as promoting the professional growth, status and welfare of administrators.  Based on the highest standards of knowledge, expertise, and trust, NAESP focuses on understanding, improvement, growth and cooperation to best benefit our members.  After a total of 30 years in our chosen profession, being a member of both NAESP and the Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators and being provided opportunities to be directly on the pulse of our nation’s dedication to educating children has been one of the most meaningful and impactful decisions I have ever made.  It is my pleasure and my mission to continue to work towards my goal of improving lives through education and leaving the world better than I found it.

It would be my distinct honor and privilege to serve and advocate for our profession as the next Vice-President of the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Additional Information

Professional Preparation

  • B.S.E., Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Otterbein College, 1989
  • M.A., Master of Arts in Children’s Literature, The Ohio State University, 1996
  • Administrative License, Principal License PK-6, The Ohio State University, 2004

Professional Experience

  • Principal, Avondale Elementary, Columbus, OH, 2011-present
  • Principal, Arlington Park Elementary, Columbus, OH, 2004-2011
  • Leadership Intern, A.G. Bell ES/Cedarwood ES/Olde Orchard ES/Arlington Park ES, Columbus, OH, 2002-2004
  • Literacy Facilitator, Hubbard Elementary, Columbus, OH, 2000-2002
  • 2nd/3rd grade Teacher, Hubbard Elementary, Columbus, OH, 1998-2000
  • Curriculum Facilitator, Dana Elementary, Columbus, OH 1996-1998
  • 1st/2nd and 3rd/4th grade Teacher, Dana Elementary, Columbus, OH, 1991-1996

Professional Affiliations

  • NAESP Zone 3 Director, 2019-2022
  • Columbus District Presentative on Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators (OAESA) Board of Directors, 2013-2019
  • Columbus City Schools (CCS) President of Columbus Administrators Association, 2013-2019
  • CCS Vice-President of Columbus Administrators Association, 2010-2013
  • CCS Member of Superintendent’s Advisory Committee, 2013-present
  • CCS Member of Finance and Appropriations Committee, 2016-present
  • CCS Member of Innovation and Reform Committee, 2016-present
  • OAESA Urban Concerns Committee, 2015-2016
  • Co-Chair of OAESA Recognition Awards Service Team, 2015-present

Professional Accomplishments

  • Trained NAESP Principal Mentor, 2015-2018
  • Recertified NAESP Principal Mentor, 2018-2024
  • Mentor for Beginning Administrator Mentoring Academy (BAMA), sponsored by OAESA/OASSA and ODE, 2018-2020