National Distinguished Principal

The National Association of Elementary School Principals and the United States Department of Education have developed a program to recognize the important role of elementary school principals. In Connecticut the program is administered by the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS). The program recognizes an outstanding principal in each state who has truly made a difference and brought about positive change in his/her school. These principals must demonstrate leadership and organizational skills that have reached beyond their buildings. They must instill in others a sense of purpose and move all in the school community close to fulfilling the school’s mission. These principals must demonstrate exceptional skills in communicating with others in an effective and open manner. They must recognize the importance of helping others to realize their potential. They must facilitate creating a school community. They must exercise resources available to them. A National Distinguished Principal serves as a symbol of the work of all elementary principals who pursue excellence and exceed the requirements of their jobs.

Nominations are solicited from school districts throughout Connecticut. Nomination packets must include two letters of recommendation and a copy of the nominee’s resume.

  • Nominations may be made by superintendents, fellow administrators, teachers and parents.
  • All nominees must be members of CAS and have five years of experience as a school principal. The individual selected for the award must be an active principal in Connecticut during the year in which he or she will receive the award.

Finalists will be chosen from the pool nominees by the CAS National Distinguished Principal Committee. All finalists will be asked to complete an award application packet and to submit a portfolio.

The CAS National Distinguished Principal Award Committee will select the state honoree after a review of the finalists’ applications and site visits. Honorees will be recognized locally by CAS and nationally by NAESP. [heading style=”1″]Criteria for Selection[/heading]

The selected principal:

  • is an active principal of a school in which a commitment is clearly evident through programs designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students, and through firmly established community ties with parents and local business organizations;
  • has been an active principal for at least five years;
  • will be an active principal during the year in which he/she will receive the award;
  • shows a strong commitment to the principalship through active membership in professional associations;
  • is respected by students, colleagues, parents, and the community at large;
  • assumes an active role in his/her community, distinguishing himself/herself as a leader in civic, religious, or humanitarian activities;
  • shows strong educational leadership by setting high expectations for
  • school staff and students;
  • maintains an orderly, purposeful learning environment.

Evidence of outstanding contributions to the well-being of the educational community include:

  • ways in which the principal’s leadership has benefitted curriculum, staff morale, community support, student interest, and the learning environment;
  • ways in which the principal provides creative leadership to inspire teachers and others to achieve and contribute to the school environment;
  • examples of service or achievements above and beyond what is expected in the usual school program;
  • ways in which others have acknowledged the principal as a force for positive change.