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 2017 National Distinguished Principal Award nomination/application process is now CLOSED and the 2018 NDP nomination process will open again in October of 2017.  The next NDP Award Winner will be announced at the MAEMSP/NASSP Conference in April of 2018.  
2017 National Distinguished Principal for Montana
Ms. Sue Sweeney, Principal of Broadwater Elementary School in Helena, was recently named by the Montana Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals (MAEMSP) as the 2017 National Distinguished Principal for Montana at the 66th annual MAEMSP Winter Conference held January 25-27, in Great Falls. 

Ms. Sue Sweeney is a devoted educator whose commitment to excellence is apparent to students, staff, and community members.  She graduated with an elementary education degree from Montana State University and taught for several years before earning her Masters of Educational Leadership degree from the University of Montana.  She has been a principal for the past 17 years.  Ms. Sweeney is admired by her colleagues as forward thinking and innovative in her leadership approach. She loves to trail blaze new territory in Montana’s educational community and thrives on implementing new approaches to education.  Under her leadership, Broadwater Elementary has been recognized as a Montana Behavior Institute platinum award winning school and has maintained that standard of achievement for the past two years.  As a result of her efforts and the inclusion of her staff in collaborative decision making, her school’s math and reading scores have risen dramatically.  Ms. Sweeney is loved and respected by her staff and her zest for life brings out the best in those around her.  She has an uncanny knack for inspiring people of all walks of life to live and work together toward common goals. 

In October, Ms. Sweeney 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, “Sue Sweeney is an excellent example of the outstanding leadership in Montana’s public schools. She possesses the skills necessary to be an outstanding leader with the ability to engage students, staff, colleagues and the community to create a great school environment.  She will represent the principal profession very well as Montana’s National Distinguished Principal!”