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

NAESP’s National Distinguished Principals Program

The NAESP National Distinguished Principals Program (NAESP NDP) celebrates outstanding elementary and middle-level administrator winners from each state during an event in October. Each year, NAESP hosts honorees for a two-day celebratory event in Washington, D.C., to recognize these outstanding leaders. During the event, NAESP NDPs have the opportunity to speak about their successes and how they’ve made an impact on their school communities. They also connect and forge lifelong relationships with their class of NAESP NDPs.

NAESP NDPs come from diverse backgrounds–pre-K through grade 8 principals from across the nation, as well as principals in U.S. private schools and those from the U.S. Departments of Defense Office of Educational Activity and the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools. Public school elementary and middle-level principals are nominated by peers in their state, and committees appointed by each of NAESP’s state affiliate offices make the final selections. Special committees select honorees from private schools and overseas schools.

NASSP’s National Principal of the Year

The NASSP National Principal of the Year program stands as a beacon of recognition for exemplary middle and high school principals. This prestigious accolade is reserved for those who, through their exceptional leadership, have kindled the flame of high-quality education and have made significant, influential contributions to the education profession.

Representatives from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools, and the Department of Defense Education Activity converge in this recognition project, each bringing forward one State Principal of the Year. From this pool of exceptional leaders, three standouts emerge as finalists. It’s from these remarkable individuals that a single embodiment of educational leadership is chosen and named the National Principal of the Year.

Each year in Washington, D.C., NASSP rolls out the red carpet for the State Principals of the Year in an exclusive event. This unique gathering not only exalts the role of principals but also establishes a platform for these educational trailblazers to champion education, share their hard-earned wisdom, and disseminate their best practices. This isn’t just an event—it’s a celebration of the power of exceptional leadership in education.