What Is National Principals Month?

Through visionary leadership and tireless pursuit of success for each student, principals guide and support their schools in ways large and small every day. And as we faced new challenges presented by COVID-19, our principals came through when it mattered most. National Principals Month is our way of honoring their dedication and thanking them for all they’ve done.

Once again throughout the entire month of October, American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)—as well as district leaders, policymakers, parents, students, teachers, and school leaders—come together to not only celebrate these heroes of education, but also to advocate for school leaders everywhere. Together, we can inform local, state, and federal governments about the harsh reality of what principals are experiencing and garner support for legislation that benefits these school leaders and the students they serve.

Through nationwide efforts at local, state, and federal levels; evidence-based research initiatives; and appreciation events of every size, National Principals Month seeks to honor our principals for their significant impact on the success and well-being of our nation’s students.

And this is no small-scale occurrence: our event has made its way to the Senate and House of Representatives to officially recognize October as National Principals Month.

Recognition Programs

The celebrations don’t stop there! The following recognition programs for principals are also celebrated during National Principals Month.

National Principal of the Year (NASSP)

The NASSP National Principal of the Year is announced in October and recognizes an outstanding middle level or high school leader.

National Distinguished Principals Program (NAESP)

The NAESP National Distinguished Principals Program celebrates outstanding elementary and middle level administrator winners from each state during an event in October.

About the Organizations

The American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA)

AFSA promotes the professional, occupational, and economic interests of public school principals, administrators, and supervisors nationwide. As the only national education union for school administrators, it provides labor relations and professional services along with other support for its members.

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)

NAESP advocates for the support that elementary and middle school principals need to be successful leaders—to achieve the highest results for children, families, and communities.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)

NASSP is the leading organization of and voice for principals and other school leaders across the United States. NASSP seeks to transform education through school leadership, recognizing that the fulfillment of each student’s potential relies on great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student.