Inside AWSP

Elementary Principal of the Year Award

The Washington State Elementary Principal of Year award recognizes elementary school principals who show a commitment to excellence through the academic and social programs they foster and the family and community ties they forge. To be eligible for this award, an individual must be currently serving as a principal and have a minimum five years’ experience.

Nominations Are Closed!

A winner for 2019 has been chosen! Watch for details about our 2020 nomination window. If you'd like to be notified when nominations are open again, email David

2019 Elementary Principal of the Year

Alfonso Lopez

Mr. Alfonso Lopez was born and raised in Mexico and immigrated to the United States to instill the value of education to his family. Over the past decade, Mr. Lopez's goal has been to make a difference in his students’ lives regardless of their cultural background, a complete opposite mindset than that of how he was raised. Mr. Lopez sees diversity issues as opportunities to grow. Instead of avoiding cultural diversity issues, he is proactive and seeks school improvement. He takes the opportunity to discuss difficult situations, listen to multiple perspectives, and develop next action steps, in order for his dual-language school to be more successful. He is an agent of continuous improvement to promote each student’s academic success and well-being. He manages uncertainty, risk, competing initiatives, and politics of change with courage and perseverance, providing support and encouragement and openly communicating the need for, process for, and outcomes of improvement efforts.

Watch this great video from iFiber One News about Mr. Lopez.

Alfonso Lopez

Alfonso Lopez
Lewis and Clark Elementary
Wenatchee Public Schools

The Selection Process

Regional and state level

To be eligible for the Elementary School Principal of the Year, an individual must first be selected as a Regional Distinguished Principal. Each year, the Board of Directors of the Elementary School Principals Association of Washington chooses 18 principals as regional winners, one from each of the state’s service areas. 

The regional winners are honored at a breakfast event held in conjunction with the Summer Conference. From this group of 18 principals, the state winner is selected by a panel.

The Washington state winner becomes a National Distinguished Principal as part of a program sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education and VALIC. National Distinguished Principals are recognized at an awards banquet each year in Washington, D.C.

National level

There is no national winner at the elementary level.

Past Winners

View a list of past Elementary Principal of the Year winners.