Initiatives

Distinguished Service Award
Since 1982, NAESP has recognized outstanding individuals for their distinguished service to children or to education. This honor is bestowed at the discretion of the NAESP Board of Directors.

Distinguished Service to Children
This award celebrates the work of individuals who have demonstrated dedicated advocacy on behalf of children, greatly improving the lives of children and youth nationally and/or globally.

Distinguished Service to Education
This award honors individuals who have demonstrated outstanding educational contributions, improving the education of children and youth nationally and/or globally.

NAESP Hero in Education Award
During the 2000 National Distinguished Principals program, NAESP proudly presented US Education Secretary Riley with the NAESP Hero in Education Award, in recognition of his lifetime achievement — in improving the quality of life and education for our nation's children and youth, while fostering greater understanding of education internationally.

NAESP's Distinguished Service Award Honorees

2013 Distinguished Service
Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung
Principal, Sandy Hook Elementary School (Newtown, Connecticut)
(posthumously awarded)

2009 Distinguished Service to Education
Senator Edward M. Kennedy

2007 Distinguished Service to Children and the Education Profession
Vincent L. Ferrandino
NAESP Executive Director (1999-2007)

2003 Distinguished Service to Children
Peter Yarrow

2003 Distinguished Service to Children
Fred Rogers
Founder of Operation Respect Mr. Rogers Neighborhood
(posthumously awarded)

2002 Distinguished Service to Children
Dr. Benjamin S. Carson
Surgeon, Author

2001 Distinguished Service to Education
Madeleine Albright
Former U.S. Secretary of State

2000 NAESP Hero in Education
The Honorable Richard W. Riley
U.S. Secretary of Education
1992-2000 (presented for lifetime achievement)

1999 Distinguished Service to Children and the Education Profession
Samuel Sava
NAESP Executive Director Emeritus

1998 Distinguished Service to Children
The Honorable Richard W. Riley
U.S. Secretary of Education

1997 Distinguished Service to Education
Barbara Pierce Bush
Former First Lady

1996 Distinguished Service to Children
Marian Wright Edelman
Children's Defense Fund

1996 Distinguished Service to Children
Hillary Rodham Clinton
First Lady

1995 Distinguished Service to Children
Ernest L. Boyer
President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

1994 Distinguished Service to Education
Edward P. Keller
Deputy Executive Director, NAESP
(presented on his retirement)

1991 Distinguished Service to Children
The Honorable Augustus F. Hawkins
Former Chairman Education and Labor Committee, U.S. House of Representatives

1988 Distinguished Service to Children
C. Everett Koop
U.S. Surgeon General

1987 Distinguished Service to Children
R. Bruce Reinecker
Lifetouch National School Studios

1986 Distinguished Service to Children
Terrel H. Bell
Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Education

1984 Distinguished Service to Children
Phillip Caldwell
Chairman of the Board & CEO, Ford Motor Company

1984 Distinguished Service to Children
Nancy Reagan
First Lady

1984 Distinguished Service to Children
Dr. Frances O. Kelsey
Food & Drug Administration

1983 Distinguished Service to Education
The Honorable Shirley Chisholm

1983 Distinguished Service to Education
David Rockefeller, Jr.

1983 Distinguished Service to Children
Jonas Salk, M.D.

1982 Distinguished Service to Education
Arthur Holden, Jr.
Chairman, Martha Holden Jennings Foundation

1982 Distinguished Service to Children
Theodor Seuss Geisel

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