Seven Ideas for Celebrating Student Leaders

If you’re seeking creative ways to recognize student leaders at your school, “Celebrating Student Leaders,” a recent NatStuCo webinar, is for you. Held on March 15, panelists offered seven tips for establishing a culture where students are consistently celebrated for leadership. “We want it to become almost organic in a school, so that celebration occurs not just during one week but all the time,” says Amy Krueger, NHS adviser at Rockwood South Middle School in Fenton, MO. “We are creating an atmosphere where students can excel.”

(more…)

Learn more 

School Leaders Make Headlines With NASSP Advocacy Conference

After 350 school leaders from across the country visited their legislators on Capitol Hill as part of NASSP’s Advocacy Conference earlier this month, local news outlets took note. Here are six stories that recount these visits, in which school leaders discussed the need to strengthen the educator pipeline, support student and educator mental health, and fund school infrastructure. Since their efforts, Congress passed the FY 2022 appropriations bill with increased funding for education. It was signed into law on Monday.

(more…)

Learn more 

Meeting the Need: Social Emotional Learning for Middle School Students

Early adolescence is a critical developmental period, complete with numerous physical and cognitive changes as well as shifts in social relationships. Students must also navigate academic competition and an increase in social comparison among peers.

These issues can potentially contribute to decreased self-esteem, school connectedness, anxiety, and loneliness. Students during this time are more likely to face emotional and behavioral challenges, become disengaged from school, and experience a decrease in positive peer influences.

(more…)

Learn more 

At NASSP’s Advocacy Conference, Kansas School Leaders Among Those Who Made Their Voices Heard

As part of NASSP’s Advocacy Conference last week, more than 350 school leaders descended on Capitol Hill to advocate for what their students and schools need to succeed.

Among them were three representatives from the Kansas Principals Association: Cara Ledy, its executive director; John Befort, principal of Washington Elementary School in Ellis; and Trevor Goertzen, principal of Spring Hill Middle School in Spring Hill. Representatives from NASSP and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) also joined them.

(more…)

Learn more 

Chris LeGrande of Oklahoma: The 2022 Advocacy Champion of the Year

If an Oklahoma elected leader serving in the state legislature or in Washington, D.C., wants to know what’s happening in our public schools, they should talk to Chris LeGrande. For 10 years, he has served as the principal of Guthrie High School in Guthrie, OK, and he would be happy to show them around his school. In that time, LeGrande has invited many state and federal lawmakers to join him for shadowing visits at Guthrie so they can learn more about his work and the life of a thriving public school.

(more…)

Learn more 

Why SEL? And Why Now?

I speak with educators every day, and the overwhelming message is clear—COVID-19 has changed everything. Students are experiencing a health crisis of unprecedented proportions, with an increase in anxiety, depression, PTSD, and even eating disorders. Educators often feel ill-equipped to address this crisis within standard general education classrooms. Something more needs to be incorporated in the curriculum to help students gain an understanding of emotional intelligence (EQ).

(more…)

Learn more 

Bearing Bad News: A Tough but Necessary Part of the Job

My school, Indio High School in Indio, CA, has faced many challenges over these past two years. Throughout the pandemic, we have lost members of our school community: a beloved student, a coach, a teacher, and a teacher’s spouse. Many of our students live in intergenerational homes, where COVID-19 spread and led to the death of parents and grandparents. In the past two years, I’ve officiated 11 funerals in the community. Beyond these losses, I’ve been communicating messages about school closures, remote learning, and mask mandates, like school leaders across the country.

(more…)

Learn more 

Integrating Digital Technology Within the Classroom: Tips and Tricks to Consider

Today on Digital Learning Day, we celebrate the use of digital technology to meet the diverse needs of children across our nation! In honor of this day, we asked the 2021 NASSP Digital Principals of the Year to offer their thoughts on how school leaders can best integrate digital technology in their schools and curricula.

(more…)

Learn more 

5 U.S. presidents who were also teachers

John Adams
(1797–1801)

After graduating from Harvard at 19, Adams taught in a one-room schoolhouse in Worcester, MA. While he found positive behavior reinforcement more effective than punishment, he probably wouldn’t have gotten away with calling his students “little runtlings” today.

(more…)

Learn more 

My School’s History of Honoring Black History

This year marks the fourth year of my principalship at Atholton High School (AHS) in Columbia, MD, where I began my career as a teacher over 20 years ago. Back then, to celebrate Black History Month (BHM), I remember the whole school would gather for an assembly where students stepped, rapped, danced, and sang to honor Black history. While the assembly was fun, lighthearted, and the Black students had an opportunity to showcase their talents, I thought to myself, “We can do much better than this.” In some ways, this was a turning point for me; I wanted to become a principal so that I had more say in what happened at whichever school that I served.

(more…)

Learn more 

Now Is Not the Time for School Leaders to Give Up

As the 2021 Minnesota High School Principal of the Year, I had the honor of speaking at the recent Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals Winter Conference.

Everyone there already knew firsthand that these have almost certainly been the two hardest years of our careers as school leaders. Let’s face it: Being a principal is a difficult job, but I don’t think any of us could have imagined what the last two years would be like. I know that many principals across the country are considering leaving the profession. But as I told my Minnesota colleagues, this is not the time to quit.

(more…)

Learn more 

Equity and the Educator Pipeline: Making Our Voices Heard

Across the country, staff shortages in schools are leaving children—the beating heart of our profession—in the lurch. School leaders can’t find enough substitutes, bus drivers, and other personnel to staff schools, and many principals are themselves having to teach classes and drive buses. News accounts report almost daily that educators are stretched too thin and that schools can’t offer certain academic courses and extracurricular activities because they lack the professionals to teach and lead them.

(more…)

Learn more 

An Outstanding Award for an Outstanding Student

Each year, National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) awards Outstanding Achievement Awards to 500 outstanding middle level students. This prestigious award comes with $500 to be placed in a college savings account. Below, we hear from AnnMarie Wolfley, a freshman at Snake River High School in Blackfoot, ID, about her experience winning the award.

(more…)

Learn more 

Expanding AP with Impact

It’s that time of year when school leaders reflect on the past several months and plan for what lies ahead. They evaluate master schedules and make decisions about what’s best for their schools. The choices that school leaders make are critical to student outcomes, but such choices are not the only ones that school leaders are managing.

(more…)

Learn more