Since 2019, the Advocacy Champion of the Year Award annually recognizes an individual who has worked to elevate the voice and influence of school leaders in federal, state, and local policy and public discourse. The award honoree embodies the mission of NASSP and is committed to advocating on behalf of education and the school leaders within it.

Congratulations to the 2020 Advocacy Champion of the Year!

The 2020 NASSP Advocacy Champion of the Year is Dr. Erika Burden, principal of Westwood Middle School in Spokane, WA!

Watch the virtual presentation of the 2020 award.

Selection Process

The annual award recipient is recognized for accomplishments and efforts aligned to the policy and advocacy goals of NASSP, including:

  • Increasing the number of advocates taking action on NASSP campaigns in every state to ensure active representation in all 435 congressional districts
  • Expanding NASSP’s direct influence on federal and state lawmakers and policies affecting school leaders and public education
  • Engaging student leaders in advocacy to broaden NASSP’s policy impact

Additional eligibility requirements:

  • Candidates must be a current or former principal or assistant principal who advocates as a volunteer and not in a professional capacity.
  • Candidates may not be currently serving on the NASSP Board of Directors, Steering Committee, or staff.
  • All specific accomplishments, actions, and work described should have taken place in the calendar year prior to their nomination. Nominees are reviewed January through March, and the winner is announced in April or May.

Nominees are selected by NASSP’s state affiliate organizations. If you would like to submit a nominee, please contact your state association to do so.

Past Champions

2019: Dan Richards, principal of Georgetown Middle High School in Georgetown, MA