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.


Nominate or Apply for these Honors Today!

NAESP National Distinguished Principal┬« from Minnesota 

Nominations are due January 1, 2021. Applications are due January 29, 2021.

Nominees must be active members of MESPA and belong to NAESP (being in at least their 3rd year of NAESP Active level membership by May of the nomination year); must be a participating principal with at least five years of experience; and must plan to continue as a practicing principal. Click to learn more, apply, and nominate.

Congratulations to our 2020 Minnesota NAESP National Distinguished Principal®. Read more about Bret Domstand.

Applications due November 13, 2020


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. Click here to learn more, apply, and nominate.


Congratulations to our 2020 Minnesota NAESP National Outstanding Assistant PrincipalTM. Read more about Ashley Farrington.

JUST ANNOUNCED: 2020-21 Application is now live!

STEM Innovation Award

Applications due November 13, 2020

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. Click here to learn more.

Congratulations to 2020 STEM Innovation Award Winner Oak Ridge Elementary School of Leadership, Environmental, and Health Sciences! Read more about Oak Ridge Elementary.

MESPA Division Leadership Award

Nominations due to division presidents by October 30, 2020

Applications due November 13, 2020

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. Click here to learn more, apply, and nominate.

Congratulations to our 2020 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

2020-21 Letter of intent due October 30, 2020

2020-21 Application (parts 1 & 2) due June 1, 2021


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. Click here to learn more about this esteemed program!

Congratulations to our 2020-21 validated schools!

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