National Distinguished Principal Program

The National Distinguished Principal's Program (NDP) was established in 1984 to recognize elementary and middle level principals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, character, and climate for the students, families and staffs in their learning communities.


A Program to Recognize Excellence Among Elementary and Middle Level Principals:

The National Distinguished Principals Program, begun in 1984, is based on three premises:

·   Children’s attitudes toward learning and perceptions of themselves as lifelong learners are established in the beginning school years. By high school and college, patterns are formed, and interventions may be too late.

·   The scope and quality of children’s educational experiences are determined primarily by the principal who, with the important work of teachers and support of caring parents, establishes the character of a particular school’s program.

·   It is important that the dedication and enthusiasm of principals who guide children’s earliest educational experiences be acknowledged to both reward their accomplishments and allow their work to serve as models of excellence for others to follow.

Public School Selection Procedures

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) is proud to sponsor the annual National Distinguished Principals (NDP) program. The NDP program is designed to recognize the outstanding leadership of active, on-line principals. It is not recognition of service at retirement, nor is it a program to reward current state or national association leaders. The program honors principals who have exhibited extraordinary leadership, commitment to their students and staff, service to their communities, and contributions to the overall profession, including their professional associations. All eligible public school principals are encouraged to participate in the program. 

Nomination forms are due to Terry Ball, Interim Awards Chair by December 15th.  An application packet will be sent to the Qualified Nominee.  

Application packets may be sent to Terry Ball, Interim Awards Chair at or mailed to:

229 E. Main Street, Suite H

Westminster, MD 21157

Application packets must be received by February 1st 2018


Maryland National Distinguished Principals:

2017- Dr. Michael Browne, Worcester County

2016 - Kristen Shields, Cecil County

2015 – Carol Hahn, Howard County

2014 - Susan Myers, Anne Arundel County

2013 - Karen Barnes, Baltimore County


2011 – Robert L. Wagner, Anne Arundel County

2010 – Anne Gold, Baltimore County

2009 - Dana McCauley, Garrett County

2008 – Carol Leveillee, Charles County

2007 – Irma Elizabeth Johnson, Baltimore County