Maricopa County Exemplary Principal Award

The Maricopa County School Superintendent values school leaders that support and empower teachers with providing excellent education opportunities to students. The Superintendent annually announces the Maricopa County Exemplary Principal Award to school leaders that:

  • Exemplify practices and leadership (during the past three school years) that contribute to improved student learning.
  • Involve staff, parents, and community members in developing an effective school culture.
  • Have a history of high teacher retention.

Exemplary Principal Selection Process

  • Phase One:
    • Researchers review the last three years of achievement data for principals working in high-need schools that have a minimum of 50% of their students receiving Free or Reduced Price Lunch. Researchers identify schools with a history of high student achievement and invite superintendents or charter holder representatives to nominate principals based on the Selection Criteria.
  • Phase Two:
    • Superintendent's are invited to nominate principals that meet the initial requirements.
  • Phase Three:
    • Nominated principals are invited to complete an online application. The application asks for evidence of a strong student and community centered culture, and teacher retention data.
    • Applications are reviewed by the selection committee.
  • Phase Four:
    • A teacher survey is sent to the staff of the selected principlas.
    • Surveys are reviwed by the selection committee. Semifinalists are selected.
  • Phase Five:
    • School observations and interviews are arranged with semifinalists to look for evidence of effective leadership practices. The site visits include interviews with the principal and selected staff members, a campus tour, and classroom walkthroughs.
  • Phase Six:
    • The selection committee reviews their observations and narrows the field to a prestigious group of finalists.
    • Finalists are awarded duirng a surprise campus visit.

Exemplary Principal Selection Criteria

  • Have served a minimum of three years as a principal and are currently at a school where 50 percent or more of the students are eligible for participation in the free or reduced-price school lunch program (FRL% of feeder schools may be considered to determine program qualification).
  • Have a documented history of high student achievement, as measured by required summative assessment data, for a minimum of three years.
  • Have a documented history of high teacher retention.
  • Ensure a safe campus environment that supports a respectful culture focused on teaching and learning.
  • Utilize data to guide instruction and decisions regarding staff development.
  • Actively engage parents and the community in the education of their child.
  • Demonstrate the ability to successfully develop and inspire others.


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Contact Natasha Camp

natasha.camp@mcesa.maricopa.gov

602-372-0436