#ThankAPrincipal This October

In celebration of National Principals Month this October, AACTE joins the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) in recognizing the important work of principals in making schools great. National and state resolutions, formal awards and recognitions, and acknowledgments from U.S. senators and representatives and other top government officials mark this broad celebration of the principalship. It is an opportunity to say “thank you” to principals across the nation, and to reflect on the roles of school leaders and the importance of preparing them well.

The recognition programs that will be celebrated during this year’s National Principals Month include the following:

  • National Principal of the Year (NASSP)The NASSP National Principal of the Year is announced in October during a surprise ceremony at the winner’s school.
  • Digital Principals of the Year (NASSP)
    In recognition of principals optimizing educational technology, the Digital Principal of the Year program has three winners, announced at the end of October.
  • National Distinguished Principals Program (NAESP)
    Outstanding elementary and middle level administrator winners from each state are celebrated during an event in October.

Research has shown that principal leadership is second only to classroom instruction among school-based factors that affect student achievement. Through a partnership with The Wallace Foundation, AACTE supports members who prepare school leaders by engaging them as well as their PK-12 partners in professional development opportunities and collaborative initiatives focused on strengthening the quality and effectiveness of principal preparation programs. As a communication partner with The Wallace Foundation, AACTE provides members with access to Wallace Knowledge resources and information resulting from key Wallace-funded research initiatives that have identified high-impact innovative and emergent improvements in principal preparation practice. In August, AACTE shared a new study of The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Supervisor Initiative (PSI), which identifies successful ways for principal supervisors’ jobs to be refocused to more effectively support principals’ instructional leadership. In addition, AACTE’s multi-part webinar series on high-quality principal development will return this fall, so stay tuned!

In support of member institutions that prepare school leaders, AACTE also partners with the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) National Collaborative on Inclusive Principal Leadership (NCIPL), the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), and other association and state policy partners focused on the principalship. All of these efforts are designed to develop and share resources that can be used by AACTE members and the field to strengthen principal preparation programs so that new principals can serve as inclusive instructional leaders prepared to meet the needs of each learner.

To learn more, visit principalsmonth.org. Be sure to #ThankAPrincipal this month!

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Jerrica Thurman

Director of Marketing & Communications, AACTE