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Minnesota NAESP National Outstanding Assistant Principal AwardTM

The National Association of Elementary School Principals and MESPA are committed to preparing assistant principals to step into the principal role. We honor PreK-8 assistant principals who are doing a superb job in their roles. This program promotes educational excellence for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade (PreK-8) schooling and calls attention to the fundamental importance of the assistant principal. The award recipient will receive a FREE registration to NAESP's annual national conference in July and be recognized at the conference. 

Eligible Candidates for the Award: Candidate is a member of MESPA and NAESP and must maintain membership through June 30, 2023, be an active assistant principal, has been an active assistant principal for at least two years, and will be an active assistant principal at time of nomination. Applicant must contribute to the well-being of the educational community. Applicant must contribute to a positive and motivating environment for others. Applicant must have a strong record of service (in both school and community) and be recognized as a leader. Applicant must exhibit exceptional leadership in a particular school program and/or is heavily involved in finding a solution to a problem faced by the school.

Congratulations to the 2022 Minnesota NAESP National Outstanding Assistant PrincipalTM, Dr. Heidi Miller!

Lynn ShereĆ© Lesmeister, a kindergarten teacher at Rum River Elementary, singled out Dr. Miller’s dedication and attitude as some of her greatest strengths. Lesmeister said, “I have been an educator for over 30 years and I have never experienced someone in her position with such a combination of professionalism, drive, and warmth. She radiates positivity.”

Dr. Miller considers collaboration to be one of her best practices as an educator. She explained that staff groups meet weekly to analyze student data and have open conversations about what is working, what needs to change, and create an action plan. She said, “Establishing vulnerable and supportive teams throughout our school sets the tone of our school’s positive culture and happy staff morale.” Dr. Miller attributes improvements in academic achievement, staff morale, and decreases in undesirable behaviors at Rum River to this collaborative practice.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Dr. Miller recognized the major shift taking place in her school and took the opportunity to build practices that would support the entire school community. She explained, “I worked with my teachers to ensure that their needs were met, that they felt supported and cared about and that we were able to successfully move forward as a united team.” She considers shifting the educational practices at Rum River while protecting their vibrant school atmosphere to be one of her greatest accomplishments.

Click here to read Dr. Miller's full press release.


Previous recipients of the award were Keisha Davis (2021), Ashley Farrington (2020), John Awsumb (2019), Tracy Sexton-Oliver (2018), Sara Schmidt (2017), Margo Kleven (2016), Christen Hull (2015), Michelle Rosen (2014), Toni Beckler (2013), and Frank Catchings, Jr. (2012).

MESPA is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization

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Roseville, Minnesota, 55113
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