National Principal of the Year Winners

Each year, NASSP designates one NASSP National Principal of the Year. The national honoree is announced in October in coordination with National Principals Month. The national honoree is a distinguished guest at the annual conference, receives a crystal award to display at his or her school, and through the generous support of Jostens, receives the full three-course program of the McKinsey Management Program for School Leaders.

2018 National Principal of the Year

Akil E. RossDr. Akil E. Ross

Chapin High School
Chapin, SC

Grades: 9–12
Students: 1,315
Region: Suburban

• Creating positive school culture
• Sustaining academic achievement

We define success as the ability to maximize a student’s potential–mind, body, and spirit. Schools shape our future and we take this responsibility very seriously. Our goal is to continuously improve school culture until all students are able to partner with the school to pursue their passion. As a former college football player, I learned how team performance is determine by the quality of that team’s culture and climate. Culture is what the team does (practices and procedures) and climate is how the team feels (spirit and motivation). As a result, we develop the rally cry, “We are a thousand passions with one heartbeat.” This rally cry reminds us of our responsibility to make our school and community proud by doing our best and helping others. We may by different in many ways, yet our ability to create an environment with love as the central theme is our greatest success.