NAESP Announces the Retirement of its Current Executive Director and its Search for a New Executive Director

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President Steven D. Geis, Ed.D. extends heartfelt thanks to Gail Connelly for 32 years of service.

"It will be exciting to hand the baton to NAESP’s next Executive Director, who ideally will provide expert operational management and superb leadership as the chief advocate for new generations of principals."

Gail Connelly, Executive Director of NAESP since 2007, has announced her retirement following a planned transition and search for a new Executive Director. In recognition of her 32 years of service to NAESP, Connelly will serve as NAESP Executive Director Emeritus upon her retirement.

“The NAESP Board is grateful for Gail Connelly’s years of leadership,” said Geis. “She helped stabilize NAESP during financially challenging times and her implementation of dynamic strategic plans resulted in significant impact on public school policy and practice. Her legacy is one of shared leadership, working closely with the NAESP Board and staff to achieve goals and to position NAESP as the most recognized and respected national leader and advocate on behalf of Pre-K-8 principals. We wish her the very best and we are delighted that she will remain a staunch supporter of NAESP as Executive Director Emeritus upon her retirement.”

Connelly’s announcement comes at a time of significant importance for our nation’s principals with the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the change in Administration with the 2016 Presidential Election. As the only national level organization dedicated solely to our nation’s elementary and middle-level principals and the children they serve, NAESP is poised for continued growth and success in the future.

“It has always been an honor and a privilege to serve principals who are our nation’s unsung heroes,” said Gail Connelly. “I am proud of what our Board, our staff, and our State Leaders have accomplished together over the years, and I am grateful for the support of our many friends and partners. It will be exciting to hand the baton to NAESP’s next Executive Director, who ideally will provide expert operational management and superb leadership as the chief advocate for new generations of principals.”

“Gail has been an outstanding leader whose commitment to succession planning has been most helpful to the Board in developing a smooth and effective transition process. The NAESP Board of Directors plans to appoint a search committee and engage the services of an executive search firm to assist the process in identifying a strong candidate to lead NAESP into the future,” reported Dr. Robyn Conrad Hansen, immediate Past President of NAESP, who will chair the search committee.

The search will begin this fall to hire a new Executive Director by July 1, 2017. The NAESP Executive Director Search Timeline and Process is posted on NAESP’s web site.

All inquiries related to the search should be addressed by mail to: Dr. Robyn Conrad Hansen, Past President and Chair, Search Committee, NAESP, 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 22091; via email: Robyn(dot)Hansen(at)JrHIE(dot)com; or via phone: (602) 999-3486.

About NAESP:
Principals are the primary catalysts for creating lasting foundations for learning. Since 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) has been the leading advocate for elementary and middle level principals in the United States and worldwide. NAESP advances the profession on behalf of all principals by developing policy, advancing advocacy, and providing professional development and resources for instructional leadership, including specialized support and mentoring for early career principals. For more information about NAESP, please visit NAESP administers the National Distinguished Principals Program, the National Principals Resource Center, the American Student Council Association, and the President’s Education Awards & American Citizenship Awards Programs.

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