Flour Bluff ISD Educator Named 2023 NAESP National Distinguished Principal for Texas
Flour Bluff Primary and Elementary Principal Nikol Youngberg has been named the 2023 NAESP National Distinguished Principal for Texas. Youngberg will be recognized at the TEPSA Awards Reception Wednesday, June 7, at the Round Rock Kalahari Resort during the TEPSA Summer Conference.
Guided by the belief that academic growth happens best when a child is cared for as a “whole individual,” Nikol Youngberg, EdD, has created holistic and innovative learning environments for students at Flour Bluff Primary and Elementary schools in Flour Bluff ISD. Under Dr. Youngberg’s leadership, the two schools have been successfully integrated into a shared school to increase student achievement and improve the alignment of curriculum and services. In addition to serving as principal of the two schools, Dr. Youngberg is also the district’s Curriculum and Instruction Director for PK–4th grades. Dr. Youngberg’s exceptional leadership and commitment to learners on her campuses and in her district have led her to be named the 2023 NAESP National Distinguished Principal of the Year for Texas by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA).
“Dr. Youngberg’s knowledge of curriculum and instructional practices has been instrumental in the academic success of her campuses and our district,” Flour Bluff ISD Superintendent Velma Soliz-Garcia wrote in her recommendation letter. “She strongly advocates for the educators she leads and the students she serves.”
Dr. Youngberg and her staff use a Multi-Tiered Systems Support Approach to help students stay safe and healthy while growing socially, emotionally, physically, and academically. The schools are part of the Meadow Center Tiered Interventions Using Evidence-Based Research which focuses on creating, and continuously improving, educational practices and programs that enrich, and when needed, intervene in the growth and well-being of students. Staff collaboration and professional development, curriculum design, parent engagement and school-community partnerships all play a critical role in ensuring each student has what they need to grow and thrive.
“Nikol is a dedicated and highly knowledgeable instructional leader who is focused on what matters most—her students,” TEPSA Executive Director Harley Eckhart said. “Ensuring each child has access to highly effective teachers and has every opportunity to succeed drives every decision she makes on her campuses and in her district.”
As an instructional leader, Dr. Youngberg is intentional about visiting classrooms, being present with students, and investing in teachers to provide an engaging and creative educational experience for students. Besides the rigorous core curriculum, students are provided opportunities to explore the arts, leadership, and service to others. The school also provides various supports for students and families in need. Dr. Youngberg works closely with the school counselor and social worker to help connect families to resources, and the campus has earned the Purple Star Designation from the Texas Education Agency for its support of military students and families.
Dr. Youngberg and her school will receive $2,500 each courtesy of long-time TEPSA partner Curriculum Associates. She will also be recognized throughout the year, including at the NAESP awards gala in Washington, DC.
“We are proud to help TEPSA recognize such a deserving leader,” said Claudia Salinas, Vice President of English Learning at Curriculum Associates. “Dr. Youngberg is committed to her students and the greater community. Her deep knowledge of best practices in curriculum and instruction is supporting meaningful gains for students in Flour Bluff.”
Sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the National Distinguished Principals program honors outstanding elementary and middle-level administrators who ensure that America’s children acquire a sound foundation for lifelong learning and achievement. The program was established in 1984 to recognize and celebrate elementary and middle-level principals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, character, and climate for the students, families, and staff in their learning communities. Learn more at naesp.org.
Founded in 1969, Curriculum Associates, LLC designs research-based print and online instructional materials, screens and assessments, and data management tools. The company’s products and outstanding customer service provide teachers and administrators with the resources necessary for teaching diverse student populations and fostering learning for all students.
TEPSA, whose hallmark is educational leaders learning with and from each other, has served Texas PK-8 school leaders since 1917. Member-owned and member-governed, TEPSA represents more than 6,000 members who direct the activities of more than 3 million PK-8 schoolchildren.