Honors & Awards

Recognition for Outstanding Principals

MESPA strives to share the positive stories and accomplishments of Minnesota principals. We annually honor the exceptional work of colleagues in the profession and in the broader education community. These principals and their stories serve as inspirations to us all. 

Share you accomplishments with MESPA today! We'll highlight you in the weekly e-news. Send your accomplishments to mespa@mespa.net.

Click here to see an overview of all honors/awards and their application due dates for 2018-2019.


Nominate or Apply for these Honors Today!

MN National Distinguished Principal

Nominations are due January 1, 2019. Applications are due January 29, 2019.

Nominees must be active members of MESPA and belong to NAESP; must be a participating principal with at least five years of experience and must plan to continue as a practicing principal. Learn More

Congratulations to 2018 National Distinguished Principal Curtis Slater! Read more about Curtis Slater.


Applications due November 13, 2018.  

Nominees/Applicants must be members of MESPA and NAESP, an active assistant principal, and have been an active assistant principal for at least two years. Learn More

Congratulations to 2018 National Outstanding Assistant Principal Tracy Sexton-Oliver! Read more about Tracy Sexton-Oliver.

STEM Innovation Award

Applications due November 13, 2018. 

The STEM Innovation Award, presented in partnership with MESPA and the Science Museum of Minnesota, gives principals the opportunity to share innovative programs and/or projects in their schools. An “innovation database,” created from entries for the award, is made available to MESPA members, helping schools across the state replicate their colleagues’ successes. The Science Museum of Minnesota will provide $300 of programming to the award winner. Learn More

Congratulations to 2018 STEM Innovation Award Winner Cuyuna Range Elementary School! Read more about Cuyuna Range Elementary School.

MESPA Division Leadership Award

Nominations due to Division Presidents by October 29, 2018
Applications due November 13, 2018

This award is an annual recognition made by each of MESPA's 12 divisions to honor their colleagues' leadership. Any MESPA member may nominate a peer for consideration; Division Presidents then facilitate the selection process within each division. Learn More

Congratulations to our 2018 Division Leadership Award Recipients! To read the press releases, go to the Divisions Page and select the division you would like. The press releases are listed under division news. 

Minnesota School of Excellence Validation

Letter of intent due October 29, 2018
Application (parts 1 & 2) due June 4, 2019


The Minnesota School of Excellence (SOE) program promotes excellence through a rigorous
1 or 2 year-long, self-directed evaluation process that showcases dynamic schools of the 21st century. The schools earn validation by completing a school community self-study, developing a plan to build on evident strengths & address areas needing improvement, and assessing ongoing results from implementing the plan. SOE also enables to principals to earn CEU's. Learn More

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