Minnesota NAESP National Distinguished Principal® Award
The NAESP National Distinguished Principal® (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.
Eligible Candidates for the Award: Candidate must be an active member of MESPA and belong to NAESP (being in at least their 3rd year of NAESP Active level membership by May of the nomination year) and must maintain membership through the conclusion of the NAESP Award Ceremony; must be a participating principal with at least five years of experience; and must plan to continue as a practicing principal.
NDP nominations are due to MESPA by September 25, 2023
2023 NDP Nomination Form Return completed Nomination Application to your state principals’ organization (MESPA.)
NDP application materials are due to NAESP by May 5, 2023
2023 NDP Application Form Return your completed Application Form to email@example.com
Congratulations to Ariana Wright, Minnesota's 2022 NAESP National Distinguished Principal®!
“I am humbled and honored to represent the hundreds of passionate, dedicated and student-centered elementary principals from around the state as the 2022 National Distinguished Principal of Minnesota. Serving students, families, staff, and the communities of Kasson and Mantorville is my passion and being recognized for doing what I love is something I will treasure as a highlight of my career! I am genuinely grateful to the Minnesota Elementary School Principals' Association for providing a strong foundation of support and leadership development opportunities.” - Ariana WrightAriana Wright, principal of Kasson-Mantorville Elementary in the Kasson-Mantorville Schools District, and a member of the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association (MESPA), is Minnesota’s 2022 NAESP National Distinguished Principal (NDP). MESPA and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) present the prestigious award.
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2022, Ariana Wright, Kasson-Mantorville
2020, Bret Domstrand, Lakeville
2008, Dr. Gail M. Swor, Bloomington
2007, Jolene Jans Landwer, Coleraine
2006, Diane M. Moeller, St. Cloud
1996, Jeffrey Raison, Minneapolis
1995, Janet Pladson, Bloomington