From the Field: 100 Year Anniversary

NAESP is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021. What have been some of your best memories with NAESP, and why?

Principal, March/April 2021. Volume 100, Number 4.

Question: NAESP is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021. What have been some of your best memories with NAESP, and why?

Making connections. I have enjoyed attending NAESP conferences for their excellent opportunities to learn and meet administrators from other states. I’ve developed relationships and made connections that have lasted for years.

—Tim Lowe (@TaftElem), Taft Elementary School, Boise, Idaho

Pandemic best practices. The support provided through the current pandemic. NAESP helped connect me with others, provided support when I was needing it most, and offered scholarly information about best practices and opportunities to continue to grow as an administrator.

—Amy Denney (@AmyADenney), Perry Creek Elementary School, Sioux City, Iowa

Mutual support. The Spokane NAESP Conference, National Leadership in D.C., and I love that networking! We are here to support each other from the national to the state level, and then to personal learning networks. We advocate and support on behalf of all kids.

—Stacey Green (@usd271sgs), Stockton Grade School, Stockton, Kansas

The events. Being recognized as a 2017 National Distinguished Principal and the D.C. event; the National Principals Conference in Philadelphia; zone meetings and relationships with colleagues; and the National Leaders Conference.

—Scott Borba (@lgesupt), Le Grand Elementary School, Le Grand, California

Putting faces with names. My first NAESP conference and meeting [people] who previously only existed on social media. Also, serving on the Coronavirus Task Force and connecting with others when life felt so distant renewed my sense of purpose in the field.

—Jessica Hutchison (@jesshutchisonAW), Avoca West Elementary School, Glenview, Illinois

Daily briefings. Watching my principal be named National Distinguished Principal and following in her footsteps, and waking up to NAESP email briefing topics that hit just the right spot. It’s like you can read my mind and know what I am being challenged with as a principal!

—Dilhani Uswatte (@DilUswatte), Rocky Ridge Elementary School, Hoover, Alabama

The welcoming spirit. I attended the [2019 Spokane] conference and loved how welcoming everyone was. I was a little nervous attending for the first time solo. However, the NAESP convention was filled with great networking, collaboration, and new learning.

—Amie McCaw (@TLiMPrincipal), Sunset Lake Elementary, Vicksburg, Michigan

Getting practical advice. My best memory of NAESP is the current support and networking, along with practical advice I receive through my membership.

—Rachel Roberts (@robertsleads), Columbia Elementary School, Palm Bay, Florida

On-site advocacy. The annual summer conferences—I love the time to collaborate and refresh. [The] Advocacy Conference in D.C.—[it forges] collaborative and important connections with our state leaders.

—Jane P. Stork, Etna-Dixmont School, Etna, Maine

Reading the stories. I enjoy reading Principal magazine for best practices, new ideas, and inspiring stories.

—Christian J. Paskalides (@CJayP12), Middle Township Elementary School No. 1, Cape May Court House, New Jersey

Teaching moments. Hearing Todd Whitaker speak at the 2016 NAESP conference in Baltimore. His advice was for principals to “make decisions based on their best teachers.” After listening to him, I became even more committed to being a “teachers’ principal.”

—Christopher Wooleyhand (@principal64), Pershing Hill Elementary, Fort Meade, Maryland

Positivity and progress. There is so much positivity in our organization. We are always growing and looking to get better. We never settle for the status quo and rely on each other for creative ideas and leadership.

—Susan K. Danielson (@susan_danielson), Rosa Parks Elementary School, Woodbridge, Virginia

Winning recognition. Being a National Distinguished Principal and participating in the celebration of this recognition [is] by far one of my [biggest] professional and personal highlights. NAESP has equipped me with the tools, knowledge, and resources to be a voice for all students.

—Rhonda Rhodes (@RhondaRRhodes), Taylors Elementary School, Taylors, South Carolina

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