As an organization, NASSP’s primary goal and vision is to have great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student. To achieve our mission, NASSP needs support from federal legislators who are willing to introduce, support, and pass legislation aimed at benefiting school leaders and the students and faculty in their schools. NASSP presents its Congressional Champion Award to policymakers who have gone above and beyond in supporting policies that support this vision and are making it a reality. Congressional Champion Award recipients have shown themselves to be exceptional allies of principals and public education during their tenure as elected officials.
During National Principals Month in October, NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti presented Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) with NASSP’s 2019 Congressional Champion Award. Bartoletti was joined at the award presentation by two principals whose schools are located in Rep. DeLauro’s congressional district: Dana Paredes of West Haven High School and Anna Mahon of Amity Regional High School.
Rep. DeLauro has long viewed the principalship as an essential role in student achievement and success and has a long history with NASSP and our leadership. She told the story of being hired as a substitute teacher for a special education class at a school in New Haven, CT, led at the time by NASSP’s former executive director, Gerald Tirozzi. Although the details are a bit fuzzy, the class project to make Christmas tree ornaments from macaroni ended with pasta all over the classroom, and DeLauro was counseled by Tirozzi to find another career in public service.
Rep. DeLauro worked closely with NASSP to introduce legislation and support policies aimed at benefiting educators and students. As the chairwoman and former ranking member of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. DeLauro has been a long-standing champion of public education and advocate for increased federal funding for several of NASSP’s priority programs, including Title II, Title IV, and Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants in the Every Student Succeeds Act. In the most recent FY 2020 House appropriations bill, Rep. DeLauro secured a substantial increase in investment for education programs, including a $500 million increase for Title II, a critical program that supports professional development for teachers and school leaders. Representative DeLauro is also a longtime advocate and champion for equitable learning environments and educational opportunities for all students, with a specific focus on policies aimed at protecting LGBTQ students.
“We are proud to recognize Representative DeLauro with the 2019 NASSP Congressional Champion Award and are grateful for her continued efforts to advance legislation that has a positive impact on education, school leaders, teachers, and students,” stated Bartoletti. “She is an exceptional ally of school leaders and public education, and we look forward to working with her in the future to help elevate our vision of ensuring the academic success and well-being of every student.”
NASSP thanks Rep. DeLauro for a career of dedication to principals, teachers, and students. We look forward to continuing to work with the congresswoman and her office to fully achieve our shared vision of great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student.