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Local Principal, Paula Southard-Stevens, Among America’s Best

posted Nov 15, 2015, 9:48 AM by Selena Garrison   [ updated Jan 28, 2016, 7:11 AM ]

School leader is honored for sustaining strong schools during National Principals Month.


ALEXANDRIA, VA–October 14, 2015–Paula Southard-Stevens is among 59 outstanding elementary and middle school principals from across the nation and abroad who have been named as 2015 National Distinguished Principals (NDP) by the National Association of Elementary School Principals(NAESP). Southard-Stevens is principal of Charlestown Middle School in Charlestown, New Hampshire. The NDPs will be honored Oct. 16 at an awards banquet at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., as part of a two-day program. This year marks the 26th year that the program has been generously funded by VALIC. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will deliver opening remarks.


Established in 1984, the two-day NDP celebration program, which will be held at the Capital Hilton Hotel, recognizes public and private school principals who make superior contributions to their schools and communities. The principals will also have the opportunity to share best practices. The 59 principal honorees are selected by NAESP state affiliates and by committees representing private and overseas schools.


NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly congratulated the class of outstanding principals, noting their significant role in successfully leading students, schools, and communities through seismic shifts in education. “Only a school principal can lead a school to success and positively impact an entire learning community,” she said. “That is why I am so pleased to congratulate this year’s class of National Distinguished Principals—they richly deserve this honor and many more.”


“VALIC is very proud of our 26 year partnership with the National Distinguished Principals Award Program,” said Jana Greer, President and CEO, Individual and Group Retirement, AIG. “We recognize the critical role education plays in the lives of our nation’s children, and principals are the key to ensuring the highest quality education. On behalf of VALIC, I warmly congratulate all 59 of this year’s National Distinguished Principals and extend my deepest thanks for all that they do.”