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National Distinguished Principal

The National Distinguished Principals Program is sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP).  This prestigious program, established in 1984, promotes and celebrates excellence in educational leadership for pre-k-8 education, and it highlights the fundamental importance of elementary and middle-level principals as primary catalysts for creating a lasting foundation for learning, driving school and student performance, and for shaping the long-term impact of school improvement. Criteria for selection of the principals, set by MAEMSP and NAESP and the U.S. Department of Education, require that the honorees are active principals of schools where programs are designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students where there are firmly established community ties with parents and local business organizations. 
 
The 2019 National Distinguished Principal Award nomination/application process is now CLOSED and the 2020 NDP nomination process will open again in October of 2019.  The next NDP Award Winner will be announced at the MAEMSP/NASSP Conference in January 2020.  
 
2019 National Distinguished Principal for Montana

Mr. Marlin Lewis, Principal of Hamilton Middle School in Hamilton, was recently named by the Montana Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals (MAEMSP) as the 2019 National Distinguished Principal for Montana at the first ever Montana Principals Conference held January 27-29 in Helena.

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The National Distinguished Principals Program is sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Established in 1984, this prestigious program promotes and celebrates excellence in educational leadership for pre-K-8 education.  It highlights the fundamental importance of elementary and middle-level principals as primary catalysts for creating a lasting foundation for learning, driving school and student performance, and for shaping the long-term impact of school improvement. 

Criteria for selection of the principals, set by MAEMSP and NAESP and the U.S. Department of Education, require that the honorees are active principals of schools where programs are designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students and where there are firmly established community ties with parents and local business organizations. 

Mr. Lewis has been described as uniquely insightful and forward-thinking regarding current trends in education especially the roles of school governance, decision making and representing the principalship.    It is through his visionary leadership and positive influence that reveals a quality person who continues to strive for best practices in administration and curriculum development.  Mr. Lewis has designed a culture in which staff, parents, and students work to attain high educational standards, while targeting each student’s individual instructional needs.  He has fostered an environment at Hamilton Middle School in which students form the critical basis for becoming lifelong learners.  He is excellent at fostering a positive relationship with each child.  Mr. Lewis also serves on both the School Administrators of Montana (SAM) and MAEMSP Board of Directors as the MAEMSP SAM Representative! 

In October, Mr. Lewis will travel to Washington, D.C. for two days of activities planned to honor and bring well-deserved recognition to the elementary and middle-level principals chosen by the states, the District of Columbia, along with private and overseas schools.

Kirk Miller, School Administrators of Montana (SAM) Executive Director stated, “Marlin Lewis is the prime example of outstanding leadership in Montana’s public schools. His character and abilities are commendable as he engages students, staff, colleagues and the community in creating high-quality learning opportunities for all students and a successful school environment. He will be a wonderful representative as Montana’s National Distinguished Principal!” 

MAEMSP is comprised of elementary and middle school principals whose mission is to strengthen student achievement by building and engaging a trusting and involved community.  The MAEMSP and SAM membership congratulate Mr. Marlin Lewis for receiving this prestigious award.