General Program Information

Being recognized as a National Distinguished Principal is the highest praise a principal can receive from his or her peers in the profession. The National Distinguished Principals (NDP) program honors exemplary elementary and middle-level principals who set the pace, character, and quality of the education children receive during their early school years. National Distinguished Principals are honored in Washington, D.C., each fall.

2022 NDP Application

Application deadline extended to February 25.

National Distinguished Principal

Ben Perez
Taylor Ray Elementary
Lamar CISD

Sponsored by:


PK-8 principals may be nominated by their peers, their employers, their faculty members, or members of their communities. Nominees for this prestigious award must meet all criteria for selection as a National Distinguished Principal. The selected principal:

  • Is an active principal of a school in which a commitment to excellence is clearly evident through programs designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students, and through firmly established community ties with parents and local business organizations;
  • Has been an active principal for at least five years;
  • Will be an active principal during the year in which he/she will receive the award;
  • Shows a strong commitment to the principalship through active membership in professional associations (must be a TEPSA and NAESP member for three consecutive years in order to apply);
  • Is respected by students, colleagues, parents, and the community at large;
  • Assumes an active role in his/her community, distinguishing himself/herself as a leader in civic, religious, or humanitarian activities;
  • Shows strong educational leadership by setting high expectations for school staff and students;
  • Maintains an orderly, purposeful learning environment.

Evidence of outstanding contributions to the well-being of the educational community include:

  • Ways in which the principal’s leadership has benefited curriculum, staff morale, community support, student interest, and the learning environment;
  • Ways in which the principal provides creative leadership to inspire teachers and others to achieve and contribute to the school environment;
  • Examples of service or achievements above and beyond what is expected in the usual school program;
  • Ways in which others have acknowledged the principal as a force for positive change.



  • Anyone currently holding a position on the TEPSA Executive Committee, or the NAESP Board of Directors, including its officers, during the official nomination time period or during the year of NDP service, is ineligible for NDP selection.



Contact Sharon Wright.

Year Name ISD District
1976 Frank Mullican Lubbock 17
1977 Sandra Shenkir Katy 4
1978 Myrtice Larson Arlington 11
1979 Ted Dockery Wilson 17
1980 Martha Bair Spring Branch 4
1981 Larry Parkerson Galena Park 4
1982 Dorothy Harryman Humble 4
1983 Dr. Velma Ruth Shambeck Lubbock 17
1984 Anna Brodie Temple 12
1985 David Walvoord Amarillo 16
1986 Joe M. Cummins Midland 18
1987 Nancy Sampson Cypress-Fairbanks 4
1988 Jean Sykes Temple 12
1989 Anne Stephens Kiehle Ft. Sam Houston 20
1990 Dianne Lazarine Humble 4
1991 Carolyn Hood Round Rock 13
1992 Lee Means Harlingen 1
1993 Ann “Pope” Crook North East 20
1994 Dr. Marla McGhee Round Rock 13
1994 Sara Eggleston Katy 4
1996 Julia Lyda Grapevine-Colleyville 11
1997 Alda Benavides La Joya 1
1997 Bill Broderick (private school category) River Oaks Baptist School 4
1998 Dr. Sandra Love Tyler 7
1999 Dr. Josie rivera Victoria 3
2000 Nellie Morales Ysleta 19
2001 Dr. Karen Holt Pasadena 4
2002 Galen Hoffstadt Corpus Christi 2
2003 Dr. Scott Hollinger McAllen 1
2004 Cynthia Luna Northside – San Antonio 20
2005 Karen Hickman Pasadena 4
2006 Phillys Hill Killeen 12
2007 Diane Parks Lamar 4
2008 Michelle Aubé-Barton Socorro 19
2009 Ken Davis (elementary) Lamar CISD 4
2009 Gabe Trujillo (middle) Duncanville 10
2010 Rhonda Parmer Pasadena 4
2011 Marlene Lindsay (elementary) Conroe 6
2011 Dawn Smith (middle) Duncanville 10
2012 Pam Mitchell Coppell 10
2013 Cristi Parsons Hallsville 7
2014 Kimmie Etheredge Northwest 11
2015 Diane Gough Midway 12
2016 Dana Boyd Ysleta 19
2017 Annette Dailey Galveston 3
2018 Jennifer Parker Socorro 19
2019 Christal Calhoun Malakoff 7
2020 Irma Davis Harlingen CISD 1

The Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (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 has more than 5,900 members who direct the activities of 3 million PK-8 school children. TEPSA is an affiliate of the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

© Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association

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