October Celebration of National Principals Month to highlight the role of school leaders

Lauren Williams's picture
Monday, October 7, 2013

To recognize and applaud principals for their vital contributions to our nation’s schools, the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the National Association of Elementary School Principals are leading the October 2013 celebration of National Principals Month. Congressional resolutions to support the designation will be introduced in the US House of Representatives by Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) and in the US Senate by Sens. Al Franken (D-MN) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

National Principals Month is a time to celebrate the role of principals in raising student achievement and improving schools, while also reminding the public of the need for greater support in leadership development to ensure principals have the resources they need to be successful.

“NASSP and NAESP know great schools can’t exist without great principals, and this month is about spreading that message and celebrating all the vital work principals do on a daily basis in our schools,” said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. “It’s also a time to remind all stakeholders that high-quality, strong leadership needs to be prioritized when trying to improve school success.”

“If we want our schools – and students – to thrive, we must invest in and support the nation’s principals,” said NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly. “Principal leadership has never been more significant, especially for the schools with the greatest needs. It’s important that the nation salute principals’ unwavering support to helping every child succeed.”

A number of high-ranking officials from the US Department of Education (ED) will mark the occasion by shadowing principals in the Washington, DC, area. The visits will be followed by a briefing facilitated by US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. ED staffers participated in a similar activity last year, which led to the creation of the Principal Ambassador Fellowship program.

NASSP and NAESP are urging state principal associations to encourage state elected officials to proclaim October as National Principals Month. Principals are also encouraged to invite a member of Congress or state legislator to shadow them for a day to witness first-hand the work that they do. Students are encouraged to put their multimedia skills to good use and enter a video contest sponsored by NASSP and SchoolTube. Students should create one- to two- minute videos that explain why they love their principal, what their principal means to them, their school and their community or anything else that gives their principals props for their outstanding commitment to education.

Students, educators and parents are also invited to participate in NAESP’s Hats Off to Principals Facebook Contest to show how much their principal means to them. Participants should draw a picture, snap a photo or create a video, song, poem or other form of artwork that celebrates their principal and upload it to NAESP’s Facebook page.

For more ideas on how to celebrate principals in October, including sending electronic greeting cards to your local principals, visit the National Principals month website.


NASSP is the leading organization of and national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and all school leaders from across the United States and more than 45 countries around the world. The association provides research-based professional development and resources, networking, and advocacy to build the capacity of middle level and high school leaders to continually improve student performance. Reflecting its longstanding commitment to student leadership development as well, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils. For more information about NASSP, please visit www.nassp.org.


Established in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) serves elementary and middle school principals in the United States, Canada, and overseas. NAESP supports principals as the primary catalysts for creating lasting foundations for learning through policy development, advocacy, and resources for effective instructional leadership. NAESP seeks to advance the principalship and address issues in pre-K–3 alignment, principal preparation and evaluation, and building the capacity of new principals. For more information about NAESP, please visit www.naesp.org.