Inside AWSP

Middle Level Principal of the Year Award

Each year, the Association of Washington Middle Level Principals nominates a Washington state principal who then becomes eligible for the award at the national level. Both the state and national awards recognize superior middle level principals who provide the highest learning experiences for students and demonstrate exceptional contributions to the profession.

Nominations Are Open!

Nominations for the 2018 Secondary Principal of the Year are open!

Nominations are due by April 1st!

2018 Middle Level Principal of the Year

Marc Gallaway

Gallaway makes a powerful impact on the students at Selah Middle School by creating a positive culture within the school. When he started, the staff was fractured, but in the fifteen years as principal, he has created a team full of great morale and strong core values. The teachers and students at Selah call it, “The Viking Way”. Gallaway dedicates his time to build relationships within the school and is continuously empowering his staff to always be their best selves and to do their best work. 

“We appreciate how he is always respectful and hopes the best for all of us. We also like how every morning Mr. Gallaway greets us with a smile on his face,” said a student. Another comment from a teacher said, “The approach Marc takes is teamwork and collaboration. He leads by being the lead learner, and we follow that lead trusting his amazing vision for our school."

Gallaway has been working in education for twenty-one years, fifteen of those years being principal at Selah Middle School. Before becoming a principal, Gallaway worked as a special education teacher at Selah High School. He received his Masters from Heritage University in 2003.



Marc Gallaway
Selah Middle School 
Selah School District

Selection Process

State and regional level

Each year, the AWMLP Board of Directors recognizes outstanding principals in 15 geographic regions located throughout Washington state. The regional winners become Regional Distinguished Principals.

To compete for the state award, regional winners must complete an application and provide supporting documents that include:

  • Essay response to a one-narrative prompt
  • Supporting data that documents the essay response with an emphasis on results
  • Letter of recommendation from immediate supervisor or current superintendent, prepared on district letterhead

The award packet and instructions will be sent to regional winners automatically and the completed application is due in mid-January. The AWMLP board then selects the Middle Level Principal of the Year from this group.

National level

Each year, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity select one secondary principal. From the state winners, three finalists are named, and from this group, the National Secondary Principal of the Year is chosen. The awardee receives a $5,000 grant; each finalist receives a $1,500 grant.

MetLife and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, sponsors of the award program, honor the State Principals of the Year and the national winner at an awards banquet held in Washington, D.C.

Past Winners

View past Middle Level Principal of the Year award winners.