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.

MAESP along with NAESP is proud to announce its thirty-seventh annual National Distinguished Principals Program, sponsored by NAESP.  The National Distinguished Principals awards program highlights the vital leadership that elementary and middle level principals bring to school communities in our nation and abroad.  Please join us in continuing to make the NAESP NDP program a significant and powerful event in the lives of principals and their communities.  Our 2020 NDP program will be held at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D. C. in October 2020.

For 2021, all nominated principals must be minimally a three year joint MAESP/NAESP member. MAESP will be announcing its 2021 NDP at a time to be determined.   Timing and method will be dependent upon current CoVid-19 restrictions.  All completed applications are due to Sue Myers, Awards Chair, by midnight February 10, 2021.



Send your completed NOMINATON FORM along with an attached recommendation letter to:

Sue Myers, Principal/Awards Chair

2299 Mt. Tabor Road

Gambrills, MD 21054



Send your completed 2021 APPLICATION PACKET along with any required attachments  to:

Sue Myers, Principal/Awards Chair/2014 NDP

2299 Mt. Tabor Road

Gambrills, MD 21054

Any Questions?  Please contact Terry Ball (Mrs.) Executive Director or Susan Myers, Awards Chair/2014 NDP


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. 

Elementary school NDP candidates must be principals of schools with students in either grades pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, or 4, though older students may attend as well.  Middle-level school NDP candidates must be principals of schools with students in grades 4, 5, 6, 7, and/or 8 only.  (In the case of a 4-5 only school it will be at the discretion of the state to decide whether to consider the principal an elementary or middle-level candidate.)


Maryland National Distinguished Principals:

2020- Troy Barnes, Frederick County

2019 - Edward C. Cosentino, Howard County

2018 - Tracy Hilliard, Frederick County

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

2012 - Gary Llewellyn, Allegany 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