As the principal’s job becomes increasingly complex, so too does the role of the assistant principal. Once a position charged only with discipline and building management, the assistant principalship has evolved into an essential element of a collaborative leadership team focused on the success of each student. I know, because I was an assistant principal.

I learned that I wasn’t an “assistant” to the principal, but the principal’s surrogate and representative. I learned that while order, safety, and structure were important, believing that all students can achieve was more important. The AP’s role is often little understood and usually unsung.

NASSP is proud to sing your praises. Along with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the American Federation of School Administrators, NASSP has designated April 9–13 as Assistant Principals Week (AP Week), an annual celebration honoring and recognizing the contributions assistant principals make in schools each day.  

Among a series of activities that week, we will be announcing the 2018 NASSP National Assistant Principal of the Year (APOY). This annual honor recognizes the accomplishments of 53 APs representing 50 states, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity, and the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools. More important, it occasions us to spotlight the elements of your work-and why it matters.

We hope that you join us in celebrating assistant principals and the critical role they play in school improvement and student success. Find out more about AP Week and the APOY program at and

JoAnn Bartoletti

Executive Director, NASSP