NASSP Announces 2017 National Principal of the Year

Thomas J. Dodd of Lesher Middle School in the Poudre School District, Fort Collins, CO, has been named the 2017 NASSP National Principal of the Year. During his 12-year tenure as Lesher principal, Dodd has led the reinvention of the school’s climate captured by the motto “Anchor Down.”

Under Dodd’s leadership, the school eliminated de facto academic tracking by opening the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IBMYP). Dodd is a regular presenter at state and national conferences, and has led his school to be named a MetLife Foundation-NASSP Breakthrough School in 2012 and a National School to Watch every year since 2014 by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. Visit to learn more.

2017 National Principals Conference Registration Now Open

What do you get when pre-K through 12 school leaders come together for a first-ever joint national conference? A powerful experience that will connect you with peer practitioners; engage you in thoughtful, school-changing dialogue; and motivate you to collaborate across the continuum and shape the trajectory for student success. Join NASSP and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) in Philadelphia July 9–11, 2017, to turn theory into practice, create opportunities across all grade levels, and make connections that will last far beyond the conference. Register now for the 2017 National Principals Conference at Read more about the conference’s conceptualization and planning here.

What Is This Gold Seal?

Have you ever wondered about the legitimacy of a particular student program, activity, or contest? Every year, NASSP publishes the NASSP List of Approved Contests, Programs, and Activities for Students. It is designed to help principals, teachers, parents, and students in making decisions regarding participation in outside programs. All programs, activities, and contests listed have met specified standards based on educational value, organizational structure, financial support, promotional accuracy, and fair and appropriate adjudication. NASSP provides a gold seal to programs upon approval. This year, the list is in the form of an online database and has been updated for the 2016–17 school year. To browse, visit and sort by program or sponsor name, or filter by school level and discipline/type.