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 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 Middle Level Principal of the Year

Guy Kovacs

Mr. Guy Kovacs was named this year’s Washington State Middle Level Principal of the Year, and was also chosen to move forward as Washington state’s nominee for the National Association of Secondary School Principals  (NASSP) competition for National Principal of the Year. Having been a school administrator for 19 years (with six of those being at Kalles), Mr. Kovacs has a wealth of leadership knowledge and experience. In every building he has served, he has worked to create a culture that is centered on students. Mr. Kovacs believes that one of the best ways to help students is to help teachers. He has focused on providing effective professional development in areas like strong first-instruction, data-based decision-making, effective RTI efforts, and more. Mr. Kovacs believes schools should be fun and that students should have tons of options to be involved.

Guy Kovacs


Guy Kovacs
Kalles Junior High
Puyallup 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.