NASSP and Overcoming Obstacles Join Forces to Promote Life Skills Education Throughout K–12 Continuum

Reston, VA – NASSP and Community for Education Foundation, nonprofit publisher of the Overcoming Obstacles Life Skills Education Program, have created a new strategic partnership to infuse life skills education more consistently throughout the school experience. The announcement comes in anticipation of the summer launch of the Overcoming Obstacles elementary level curriculum to complement its highly regarded middle school and high school level curricula.

Within the partnership, Overcoming Obstacles will serve as the exclusive sponsor of NASSP’s nationally recognized Breakthrough Schools program, which recognizes successful school leaders who have demonstrated real impact on student outcomes. Overcoming Obstacles will work with NASSP to incorporate life skills content and best practices in the newly updated Breaking Ranks framework and create a new learning module focusing on Life Skills for NASSP’s Leading Success web portal and online toolkit for the education field. Overcoming Obstacles will also sponsor the participation of Breakthrough Schools principals in the McKinsey Management Program for School Leaders, an innovative new online executive leadership development program for principals and school leaders.

“With the education community’s tight focus on college and career readiness, we sometimes lose sight of the larger purpose of school to prepare students for the future they will one day lead,” said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. “Overcoming Obstacles leads the industry in purposeful life skills training that leads to greater success not just as measured by achievement, graduation, and college attendance, but to greater success in whatever path the student chooses. We are honored to partner with Overcoming Obstacles to promote those skills more assertively in schools.”

“It is a privilege to sponsor the highly-regarded Breakthrough Schools program and partner with NASSP on recognizing high-achieving schools and advocating for life skills education in the classroom” said Overcoming Obstacles Chief Executive Officer, Susan Dawson. “We believe there is no better place for students to learn life skills than in the classroom, and together we can ensure that students are given every opportunity to succeed in life by learning how to communicate effectively, make good decisions, and set meaningful goals.”

The organizations look forward to the much anticipated release of an elementary life skills school curriculum. The new curriculum will be unveiled at the National Principals Conference, July 9–11, 2017, in Philadelphia, PA.


The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and school leaders from across the United States and 35 countries around the world. The association connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research, education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthens school leadership practices through the design and delivery of high-quality professional learning experiences and through high-profile recognition programs like the Breakthrough Schools Program. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils.

About Overcoming Obstacles

Overcoming Obstacles is an award-winning life skills education program that offers educators curriculum materials, teacher training, and ongoing support at no cost through the Community for Education Foundation. The curriculum is organized into elementary school, middle school, and high school level programs that address the daily behavioral and societal skills that will benefit every member of the student body, no matter their struggles, talents, or circumstances. To date, more than 40,000 educators from around the world have accessed its curriculum, positively impacting the lives of more than 12 million young people. Educators report that grades and graduation rates go up, bullying goes down, and students are better prepared for college, careers, and citizenship when they are taught Overcoming Obstacles. The award-winning curricula as well as training and support are available for free by registering at