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.

2020 National Principal of the Year


Kerensa Wing

Kerensa Wing

Collins Hill High School
Suwanee, GA

Grades: 9–12
Students: 2,065
Region: Suburban

Kerensa Wing believes that every student deserves a great teacher, which is why she embodies human capital management as well as strategic management to make a concerted effort to hire teachers who are content experts and student-focused in their approach. She believes the classroom teacher has an enormous impact on student growth and views her job of hiring, retaining, and training the best teachers as the most efficient path toward equity for students. She implemented a professional learning community structure among her team, incorporating scheduling changes to accommodate common planning and collaboration time using research-based practices for students. As a result, student performance on state assessments rose between 3 percent and 13 percent in proficient and distinguished levels on all tests.

Kerensa has also chartered 27-minute advisement periods, where students have a standing appointment with a teacher who is responsible for connecting with and advocating for every student in their group. The weekly advisement schedule includes time for reading, goal-setting, lessons, special interests, and more. Kerensa also gives herself time with students through an open door policy and meets with students whenever they make a request.

Additionally, she harnesses the Building Ranks™ dimension of innovation and promotes it within her school in both her staff and her students. For example, a group of teachers approached her about starting a STEM program in 2014. She assisted them with training and planning time to create an innovative and academically integrated program that uses project-based learning to provide students with experiences where they have the opportunity to demonstrate their learning of our curriculum. In developing the program, the teachers and students worked together to develop a vision and mission for their learning, and Wing provided resources and structures to encourage their innovation and creativity. Now, students are able to complete Advanced Academic Pathways and Career Pathways in computer science, engineering, and video/film with either dual enrollment, a capstone project, or internship in a STEM field their senior year.