NASSP is proud to award the 2012 Digital Principal Award to three progressive school leaders who exhibit bold, creative leadership in their drive to harness the potential of new technologies to further learning goals. The winners were honored during the 2012 NASSP Breaking Ranks K–12 Conference in Tampa, FL.

NASSP announced the recipients in recognition of the first Digital Learning Day, a nationwide initiative that celebrates the many ways digital media are improving learning. NASSP is a core partner in the initiative.

Michael King, Principal, Dodge City (KS) Middle School

During Mike King’s 32 years in education, his schools have been recognized with an Oklahoma Medal of Excellence and National Blue Ribbon, among other honors. He has also been individually recognized as the 2005 finalist for the Oklahoma Medal of Excellence Award Educational Administration and was a finalist for the 2005 Association of Professional Oklahoma Educators Foundation Award in Educational Administration. This success is inseparable from his commitment to advancing learning with technology and his firm belief that digital tools can help students unleash their creativity and construct knowledge. This belief provides the foundation for the Creating the Classrooms without Walls program, in which students participate in a universal learning experience, utilizing mobile tools to continually access and create multidimensional patterns of explanations of the world around them.

Patrick Larkin, Principal, Burlington (MA) High School

The hallmark of Patrick Larkin’s success as a principal is his commitment to sharing learning, and he has created numerous platforms for that sharing that have caught on across the globe. He is a cofounder of the Connected Principals blog, a group blog that promotes discussion among school leaders, and the corresponding #cpchat hashtag on Twitter. He has also directed the EdCamp Admin unconference to gather school leaders in person to discuss the use of digital tools. Larkin conducts regular Parent Tech Nights to assist parents in working with their students to maintain a healthy online profile. In 2012, he led the launch of a 1-to-1 iPad initiative, the journey of which can be found on his blog,

Eric Sheninger, Principal, New Milford (NJ) High School

Eric Sheninger is a rockstar among educators on Twitter, with more than 17,000 followers in his professional learning network. On that network, he shares a passion for fostering learning environments that are student-centered, collaborative, flexible, and prepare all learners to succeed in the 21st Century. Sheninger has emerged as an innovative leader in the use of social media and web 2.0 technology as tools to engage students, improve communications with stakeholders, and help educators grow professionally. Named one of the "20 to Watch" by the National School Boards Association, Sheninger is coauthor of Communicating and Connecting With Social Media: Essentials for Principals, and he blogs regularly at Huffington Post, Connected Principals, and A Principal’s Reflections. A current focus of Sheninger’s efforts is a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiative at New Milford High School.