School leaders tirelessly devote their time, energy, and passion to furthering the principalship, as well as providing the best education possible for their learning communities. Through a variety of recognition programs, NASSP seeks to honor and distinguish these exemplary school leaders—and their staff and students—for their dedicated work in education.

But NASSP offers more than recognition—we are also a fierce advocate for educators and are continually involved at the policy level, leading to legislative successes that support principals in their roles. 

The NASSP National Principal of the Year program recognizes outstanding middle level and high school principals who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession.

The NASSP National Assistant Principal of the Year program annually recognizes outstanding middle level and high school assistant principals who have succeeded in providing high quality learning opportunities for students. These assistant principals are acknowledged by their peers for the exemplary contributions they have made to the profession.

Whether you’re an aspiring school leader or a seasoned principal, NASSP offers a range of in-person and virtual events that will help take your leadership to the next level.

The Advocacy Champion of the Year Award annually recognizes an individual who has worked to elevate the voice and influence of school leaders in federal, state, and local policy and public discourse. The award honoree embodies the mission of NASSP and is committed to advocating on behalf of education and the school leaders within it.

NASSP is committed to connecting and engaging school leaders, and in doing so, improving and strengthening education. Recipients of the following two awards contribute work of national prominence and/or work that significantly impacts a sector, community, or NASSP’s goals in key ways.

Since 1946, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) has awarded more than $21 million in scholarships to outstanding NHS seniors.

The National Junior Honor Society’s Outstanding Achievement Award recognizes middle-level students’ for their commitment to the five pillars of NJHS.

NCOE recognizes student councils that meet a strict set of criteria, demonstrating evidence of meaningful student service, leadership, voice, and engagement.

The Digital Principal of the Year program honored principals who exhibited bold, creative leadership in their drive to harness the potential of new technologies to further learning goals. Applications were submitted directly to NASSP, from which three winners were selected and announced each year. While the Principal of the Year and Assistant Principal of the Year programs recognize school leader success more broadly, Digital Principal of the Year winners specifically demonstrated excellence in the use of technology.

Each October, National Principals Month recognizes the essential role that principals play in making a school great. Principals are among the hardest working, yet often least recognized individuals in education. Principals set the academic tone for their schools, and it is their vision, dedication, and determination that provide the mobilizing force for achieving student success. Each October, NASSP, NAESP, and AFSA seek to honor these unsung heroes for their tireless efforts in pursuit of excellence in education.

Join NASSP, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the American Federation of School Administrators in honoring the enormous contributions of assistant principals to student success.

These past few years have pushed us all to discover new ways to keep moving forward. But nobody has demonstrated innovation and adaptability like our student leaders. They’ve navigated online learning and changing health protocols. They’ve pioneered new service project ideas and virtual spirit rallies to keep our school communities connected. And they’ve done it all by charting their own path. Today’s student leaders are the trailblazers we need, so let’s celebrate them this week and every week for all that they do.

The award honors any student in elementary, middle, or high school who has shown by their words and actions that they possess the qualities and characteristics we hope to instill in all our students.

The President’s Education Awards Program recognizes and honors students who have achieved high academic goals by their hard work and dedication to learning.