Reston, VA— The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) announced that Beth Houf, principal of Fulton Middle School in Fulton, MO is being recognized as the 2022 NASSP National Principal of the Year (POY). The 2022 POY announcement comes during NASSP’s annual celebration of National Principals Month.

“Principal Houf has built a collaborative school culture focused on supporting academic achievement and social-emotional learning,” said NASSP CEO Ronn Nozoe. “During an extremely challenging time, Beth has prioritized building trust among students and staff and engaging families in their students’ educational experiences so they can succeed and grow.”

Houf has been principal of Fulton Middle School since 2015. As the co-author of Lead Like a Pirate: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff, Houf has focused on collaboration in her leadership. In 2015, she and her team began intensive training in professional learning communities to ensure that best practices, a viable curriculum, quality assessments, and educational interventions were all founded on a collaborative culture. When the pandemic hit, Houf instituted check-ins with families via online surveys, encouraging families to ask for whatever supports they needed. Ultimately, the school’s Return to Learn Plan, which was instrumental in planning and implementation for the 2020–21 school year, showed just how much Fulton’s learning community depends on collaborative leadership.

The NASSP National Principal of the Year program honors outstanding principals who advance their profession and provide top-quality learning opportunities for their students. Each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity, and the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools selected a principal, from which three finalists were named, with one chosen as the National Principal of the Year.

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The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of middle level and high school principals and other school leaders across the United States. NASSP seeks to transform education through school leadership, recognizing that the fulfillment of each student’s potential relies on great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor SocietyNational Junior Honor SocietyNational Elementary Honor Society, and National Student Council.