MN National Distinguished Principal Program
The National Distinguished Principals (NDP) Program was established in 1984 as an annual event to honor exemplary elementary and middle school principals who set the pace, character, and quality of the education children receive during their early school years.
The program is sponsored by MESPA and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), in corporate sponsorship with VALIC. The program highlights the fundamental importance of the school principal in achieving educational excellence for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students.
One principal is chosen annually from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Public school principals are nominated by peers in their home states, and the final selection (based on applications submitted by each nominee) are made by each state's NAESP affiliate. (MESPA selects the Minnesota NDP.) NDP awards ceremonies take place in Washington, D.C., each fall.
Congratulations to our 2017 National Distinguished Principal Candidates! Read more about each of these amazing principals in their individual press releases:
Lisa Carlson, Woodland Elementary, Rosemont-Apple Valley-Eagan, Click Here for press release
Nancy Antoine, Bridgewater Elementary, Northfield: Click Here for press release
Jessica Cabeen, Woodson Kindergarten Center, Austin: Click Here for press release
NDP Process Timeline:
Read the full NDP process timeline here.
February 1, 2017 - Three Finalists SelectedMay 5, 2017 - Finalists Interviewed and MN NDP is selected
Congratulations to our 2016 NDP: Brad Gustafson
“I try to balance leadership and management duties with a servant-mindset,” said Dr. Gustafson in his NDP leadership statement. “This provides perspective, vision, and balance. I ask for help when experiencing difficulty, and create conditions where our team is empowered to manage a safe and productive learning environment. By cultivating a sense of shared responsibility, those who are closest to the work become key contributors to the collective effort.” He describes the foundation of a positive school climate by saying, “Building climate starts with people. I approach my work with passion and positivity because I’m thoroughly in love with our students and staff. Modeling what it looks like to be grateful for the opportunity to serve is one way to cultivate a child-centered climate.”
Click here to read Brad's full press release!
2016, Brad Gustafson, Wayzata
2005, John Ahem, Roseville
1994, Teresa (Teri) Edwards, Minneapolis