As our organizations focus on educators and their leadership, we are reminded every day of their excellence in the community. We are also aware that all too often principals, who are key to the success of our students, schools, and teachers around the nation, are not given the appreciation or support they deserve.

That is why our organizations, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), have declared October National Principals Month to ensure that principals and their important work are recognized on a national level.

This year the celebration is especially important, as implementation of the historic Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides principals, assistant principals, and other school leaders

Ignite meeting of NASSP National Association of Secondary School Principals at the Gaylor Palms Resort Hotel Kissimmee/Orlando FL

with an unprecedented opportunity to get involved with their state and district and ensure that the law is implemented effectively.

National Principals Month is officially recognized throughout the country with national and state resolutions supporting the event, as well as acknowledgements from U.S. senators and representatives and other government officials. We also strongly encourage schools and communities to come together to plan events in celebration of their school leaders during this special month.

School and student success depend on the effectiveness of school leaders, and that’s why National Principals Month highlights the essential role that principals play in making a school great. We thank you for your hard work every day as a school leader and all that you do to foster a positive climate and culture for your students and staff.

As we do every year, there are several activities planned to commemorate the month, including e-cards, a student video contest, and more. New this year is a series of special webinars and a live-streamed October 13 Capitol Hill event, “Revolutionizing School Leadership Under ESSA.” Please visit for details and use #ThankAPrincipal on social media to tell us how your school is celebrating.

We hope you take the time this October to join us in celebrating your leadership. The principalship truly merits the spotlight of National Principals Month.

Written by JoAnn Bartoletti, NASSP Executive Director in collaboration with Gail Connelly, NAESP Executive Director; and Diann Woodard, AFSA President.

About the Author

JoAnn Bartoletti is the Executive Director at NASSP.

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