School of Thought Blog

With content from practicing school leaders and education experts, our School of Thought Blog offers a wealth of information and research on emergent education issues.

Growing as a Leader at LEAD

Joining a leadership program might just be the perfect opportunity for you to explore your potential, develop essential skills, and embark on an exhilarating adventure filled with fun and growth. At last month’s LEAD Conference, I not only got to embark on an amazing experience in Washington, D.C., but I also got the chance to bond with students from around the world.

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Boise High School’s Museum Honors a Rich History and Native Peoples

In a move to create a new school mascot that stopped appropriating Native culture while honoring their original mascot’s legacy, Boise High School transitioned from “The Braves” to “The B.R.A.V.E.,” an acronym for the values of their student body. We contacted former Boise High School Principal Robb Thompson and current Principal Deborah Watts to discuss the transition and how they continue to use it as a learning experience for students and adults alike.

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Three Podcasts for School Leaders on the Go

Finding time to gather insights and inspiration can be a challenge. For your convenience, we’ve curated a selection of podcasts sure to be of interest featuring NASSP Board Member Marcus Belin and State Principals of the Year. Whether you want to learn something new on your morning commute or take a well-deserved break, take a listen to the podcasts below.

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A Weekend to Celebrate School Leaders—and College Football

The 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship weekend earlier this month in Houston, TX, was the experience of a lifetime. A weekend where educators were celebrated for their distinguished achievements. A weekend of learning, networking, and collaboration with leaders in their field. A weekend that I will never forget.

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Getting the Right Grant Begins With Early Groundwork

The Alaska Council of School Administrators (ACSA) recently secured a Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education. For Alaskan educators, that means improved professional development, higher compensation, and a better chance of staying in the classroom. We talked with ACSA Grant Director Sam Jordan to discuss this achievement and the strategies behind securing grants like this one.

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How I Helped Spread the Word as an NASSP Ambassador

Five months ago, I joined the NHS + NatStuCo Marketing Advisory Council. Why? To be a part of something bigger than myself. The Council is part of NASSP’s Ambassador program, which engages principals, advisers, and students to support NASSP’s mission of lifting school and student leader voices and empowering school leaders and students to lead the organization’s work.

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What Being an NASSP Ambassador Means to Me

When I applied to be an NASSP Ambassador, I was focused on what I could contribute to the group and on being fully committed to the experience. I knew there would be regular meetings over many months, and I wanted to make sure that I arranged my schedule to participate, which—as all principals know—is sometimes quite the feat. I knew to expect focused sessions where I’d collaborate with other Ambassadors to help NASSP design professional learning experiences that were meaningful to the membership. What I didn’t anticipate is all that I would get out of the experience and how incredibly meaningful it would turn out to be. Here are three unexpectedly meaningful things that have come from being an Ambassador. 

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NASSP Principal Recovery Network Resources to Enhance School Safety

Established in April 2019, the NASSP Principal Recovery Network (PRN) is a national network of current and former school leaders who have faced gun violence tragedies. Their mission is twofold: providing immediate and long-term support to school leaders post-crisis, and advocating for national school safety enhancements, violence prevention, and recovery assistance to schools that have endured tragedy.  

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Four Free Safety Resources for Schools and Districts 

As we enter the winter season, the safety and well-being of students and staff in our schools and districts remain paramount. But while there are extensive resources out there that address school safety, it can often be overwhelming to find and easily use this information in an organized and meaningful way. To simplify this, here are four key resources, tailored to address potential winter safety challenges, ensuring a secure and nurturing environment for all. 

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Why I’m Part of the Student Leadership Network on Mental Health

Trevor Wazzan

Throughout my time in high school, I have learned that mental health is not a goal, object, or buzzword but rather an active practice. Taking care of your mental well-being requires self-awareness, patience, and reflection. It may sound daunting, but there are plenty of tools that can help.  

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Thinking Inside the Box: Because Boxes Are Reality

Recalling the many times in my career that principals and peers challenged me to think outside the box, and then in turn me sharing the same advice with my student leaders, the idea of “thinking inside the box” seems counterintuitive. After all, we want our students to think about the possibilities when faced with hurdles and then focus on ways to overcome them instead of lamenting the constraints.  

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Gaining Perspective From the LEADership Community

Life is a cumulation of the moments we’ve had, with some moments more significant than others. As we accumulate experiences, our lives can transform from just one moment. My life-changing experience involves 500+ student leaders from 50+ states and U.S. territories, all in the heart of Washington, D.C. NASSP’s LEAD Conference held earlier this month allowed me to strengthen my skills, alter my perspective, and dream bigger, shaping my leadership experience forever. 

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A Season of Giving

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we spoke with Lynnette Hollis, an instructor in the Freshman Transition Academy at Delcastle High School in Wilmington, DE, about the school’s inspiring service project, the Soul to Sole Sock Drive. Hollis is also the adviser of the school club Leading Ladies Empowerment Group and the heart behind the service project. Below, she shares her insights on the club’s sock drive, its impact, and empowering student voices. 

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Encourage Your NJHS Students to Apply for the Outstanding Achievement Award

Are your NJHS students living out the core pillars of the National Junior Honor Society: scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship? If so, it’s time to recognize them for their hard work and dedication. The NJHS Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) offers a remarkable opportunity for students to celebrate their accomplishments and further their educational aspirations, with the top 500 being awarded a $500 college savings plan. But the January 24 application deadline is fast approaching. 

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Four Podcasts for School Leaders on the Go

Finding time to gather insights and inspiration can be a challenge. For your convenience, we’ve curated a selection of podcasts sure to be of interest. They feature NASSP CEO Ronn Nozoe and State Principals of the Year. Whether you want to learn something new on your morning commute or take a well-deserved ten-minute working break, take a listen to the podcasts below. 

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Instructional Benefits May Be the #1 Reason to Implement AP Precalculus

Every year, thousands of students pay for college math courses that duplicate the math they mastered in their high school precalculus courses. That’s because they didn’t earn college credit for the college-level math that they learned. AP® Precalculus helps solve that problem by addressing some of the greatest challenges students face in achieving their bachelor’s degree.   

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Five Critical Skill Sets and Their Instructional Implications

From major societal and technological shifts to climate change, AI, and more, students today live in a rapidly transforming world.  

In addition to metacognitive skills, I believe there are five key “learning to learn” skill sets that will increase school success and better prepare students for a lifetime of change. 

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Transforming Schools Into Communities

School leaders want students to succeed and become their best selves, within schools bursting with positivity. However, the reality is that educators are dealing with some hard challenges. Amidst a trifecta of concerns at schools around the country—student learning loss, low student engagement, and a rise in student behavior problems—how can school leaders like yourself transform schools into thriving communities?  

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