National Principals Month — October 2016

Celebrating Principals Across the Country

Join the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the American Federation of School Administrators next October as we honor the hard work and dedication of America’s principals all month long.

National Principals Month is your opportunity to say “thank you” to principals everywhere and to share with the community all the great things that principals do.

The key to student success is a great school, and the key to a great school is a great principal.

The 2016 #ThankAPrincipal Video Contest winners have been announced! Click here to view the winning videos.

Thank you to all of the schools that submitted a video this year. They all were great and the judges had a tough time picking the winners.

See what happened during National Principals Month 2016!

Make plans to join the celebration next October.

Calendar of Events


October 1

October 2

October 4

October 5

October 6

  • NAESP National Distinguished Principals Event, Day 1
  • NASSP Principal Expert of the Week
  • Webinar #1: School Safety

    Challenges That Test Your School Safety Plan

    October 6 |3:30–4:30 p.m. Presenters: Jana Frieler, NASSP Professional Development Faculty; Dr. Bill Ziegler, principal of Pottsgrove High School; Dr. Kevin Lein, principal of Harrisburg High School View the archived webinar! School administrators know that great things happen every day in schools, but are aware that unplanned events occur and that having an effective safety plan is paramount when responding to such events. During the webinar the presenters will discuss events that happened in their schools, how they responded, and their reflections afterward. Tune in to learn what great administrators do when faced with safety challenges and how you can better prepare your staff, students and community. Jana Frieler is a retired high school administrator and a past NASSP president. She currently is the owner of JLF Consulting and a NASSP Professional Development Faculty. Dr. Bill Ziegler is the principal of Pottsgrove High School in Pennsylvania and a 2015 NASSP Digital Principal of the Year. Dr. Kevin Lein is the principal of Harrisburg High School in South Dakota. Prior to this position, Lein worked as an athletic director and coached basketball at the high school and college level.

October 8

October 9

October 10

October 11

October 12

  • Speak Up Survey Open
    To participate in the survey and learn more, visit
  • Webinar: Promoting Safety, Inclusion, and Well-being for LGBTQ Students

    Promoting Safety, Inclusion and Well-Being for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Gender Expansive Students

    Presenters: Dr. Vincent Pompei, Director, Youth Well-Being Project, and Chair, Time to THRIVE; Amanda Karhuse, NASSP Director of Advocacy Register Now! The LGBTQ community is making steady progress toward legal equality, yet the deck continues to be stacked against young people growing up LGBTQ in America and facing family rejection, bullying and daily concern for safety. Presented by Dr. Vinnie Pompei and Amanda Karhuse, this interactive, impactful and timely webinar will particularly benefit those administrators who want to learn more about supporting transgender and gender non-conforming students, including questions about transitioning, bathrooms, locker rooms, overnight field trips, name and pronoun changes and more. Research has found that when LGBTQ students feel safe and supported, they are more likely to learn, attendance increases and graduation rates rise.

October 13

  • Hill Event: Revolutionizing School Leadership Under ESSA
    Watch the archived National Principals Month Capitol Hill Event, Revolutionizing School Leadership under ESSA, where panelists discussed the impact of ESSA and how school districts, principals, and other school leaders can leverage the new law.
    Remarks from: Jayne Ellspermann, NASSP President Steven Geis, NAESP President Moderator: Alyson Klein, Education Week Politics K–12 Panelists: Carol Hahn, Principal at Bellows Spring Elementary, Ellicott City, MD 2015 Maryland National NAESP Distinguished Principal Robert Motley, Principal of Glenwood Middle School, Glenwood, MD 2006 Maryland NASSP Principal of the Year Ernest Logan, former principal of I.S. 55, D-23, Brooklyn, NY President of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, New York Lee-Ann Stephens, Teacher and equity coach on special assignment with the St. Louis Park School District 2007 Minnesota Teacher of the Year View photos from the event. 
  • NASSP Principal Expert of the Week

October 14

October 15

October 16

October 17

October 18

October 19

  • Webinar: College and Career Ready

    Preparing Students to be College and Career Ready

    October 19, 2016 • 3:30–4:30 p.m. ET Presenters: Patte Barth, Director, Center for Public Education Register Now! This Learning First Alliance (LFA)-sponsored webinar will highlight the Get It Right Communications Toolkit, a collaborative effort by NASSP, LFA, and the National School Boards Association. Speaker Patte Barth will discuss how school board members, superintendents, and administrators can use the toolkit to jumpstart conversations in their communities about college and career readiness.

October 20

  • AMLE Twitter Chat #mschat
    AMLE  Twitter chat October 20 | 8:00–9:00 p.m. Magic of the Middle School Assistant Principal Join in using #mschat Check out this article about the day and the life of an interim assistant principal before the chat.  
  • Webinar #2: Future Ready Schools

    Future-Ready Schools: Leaders Preparing Students For Success

    Presenters: Thomas C. Murray, Director of Innovation, Future Ready Schools, Alliance for Excellent Education, Washington, D.C. Brad Gustafson, 2016 MN Elementary Principal of the Year, Greenwood Elementary School, Minnesota Jared Vance, Principal, Kickemuit Middle School, Rhode Island Moderator: Deborah Tyler, Associate Executive Director, Professional Learning, NAESP View the archived webinar now!

    Future Ready Schools (FRS) is a bold effort to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for success in college, a career, and citizenship.

    Through a systemic planning process, FRS will help any district develop the human and technological capacity needed to personalize learning. With more than 2,000 districts already signing the Future Ready District Pledge, the Alliance for Excellent Education and the U.S. Department of Education are leading this effort alongside a vast coalition of organizations such as NAESP and NASSP. This effort comes at a critical time as districts embrace college and career readiness as the goal for all students and recognize the potential of digital tools to help teachers personalize learning for each student.

    FRS provides districts with resources and support to ensure that local technology and digital learning plans align with instructional best practices, are implemented by highly trained teachers, and lead to personalized learning experiences for all students, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities. FRS believes that every student deserves a rigorous, personalized learning environment filled with caring adults and student agency.

October 21

October 22

October 23

October 24

  • 2017 Digital Principal of the Year winners announced

      Congratulations to the 2017 NASSP Digital Principals of the Year


    David Geurin

    david_geurin @DavidGeurin Bolivar High School Bolivar, MO As a principal of 12 years, Geurin works to implement, promote, and monitor a shared technology-infused vision. He is a passionate advocate for student learning, working closely with his Digital Learning committee to help guide the vision for Bolivar High School (BHS). Last year, BHS partnered with other schools to initiate a campaign, #StartsWithUs, to use social media as a way to promote tolerance and acceptance. The school also launched a 1:1 program where he and his staff were able to see students learning in new, powerful ways. He shares ideas about digital empowerment and learning on his blog,

    Darren Ellwein

    ellwein_darren @DEllwein Harrisburg South Middle School Harrisburg, SD Ellwein has been a principal for eight years, but has always had a passion for technology. He believes technology has transformational potential for growth in learning, for teachers and students. He has made sure every staff member at Harrisburg South Middle School (HSMS) has a Twitter account which has allowed them to communicate with parents through the social media network. In addition to social media, Google Docs and Google Hangouts have played a major role throughout his school. Ellwein has also created technology-based clubs such as the Drone Club, and has even created Twitter Tuesdays and a Genius Hour every Wednesday which has led to the school’s Makerspace being used for prototyping inventions such as an automated dog feeder.

    Nicholas Indeglio

    indeglio-nicholas @DrIndeglio Downingtown Middle School Downingtown, PA Downingtown Middle School (DMS) strives to create a digital synergy between students, teachers, parents, and the community thanks to Nicholas Indeglio. He believes the key to communicating a technology infused vision is establishing defined methods of communication through common technology platforms. Thanks to the school’s 1:1 middle level initiative, every student at DMS is able to have an iPad. Students have access to the school’s learning management system through this device. At any time, parents can see what their child is doing in class, eliminating “blind spots.” Media/Movie Clubs, Minecraft Club, Twitter Chats, Facebook Live videos, and more are just a few ways Indeglio has implemented technology into his school.


  • Shadowing Day

October 25

October 26

October 27

  • Shadowing Day
  • Webinar #3: Education Equity with Jon Bernstein

    State and Federal Efforts to Combat Educational Inequity

    3:30–4:30 p.m. Presenter: Jon Bernstein, President, Bernstein Strategy Group View the archived webinar now! Despite Brown v. Board of Education’s judgment that “separate but equal” schooling is unconstitutional, far too many of our nation’s low-income and minority students still attend underfunded and under-resourced public schools. This webinar will examine four areas of persistent educational inequity: funding, distribution of high quality educators, distribution of resources and staff, and school building infrastructure. We will investigate state and federal efforts to address these issues, delving into state laws and lawsuits over distributing tax revenues to schools, Title I funding, key provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal E-Rate and Lifeline programs, and school modernization initiatives. Attendees will gain an understanding of the broad landscape of funding and resource issues today’s public schools face and some of the state and federal initiatives that have been launched to ameliorate some of these inequities. Jon Bernstein has worked on federal education, education technology and telecommunications issues since 1995 and has led BSG since 2005. Currently, he serves as the Co-chair of the Education & Libraries Networks Coalition and as the Executive Director for the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training. Amongst other clients, Jon is registered to lobby for the American Federation of School Administrators.

October 29

October 30


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