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Elementary School Principal, Tim Messick Receives National Distinguished Principal Award

On Friday, October 12th, Elementary School Principal, Tim Messick, was honored as one of 62 exceptional Elementary and Middle School Principals when he received the 2018 National Distinguished Principal award. This prestigious award is sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, who recognize one principal from each of the U.S. states and two from international schools. Tim is therefore one of only two Elementary School Principals from the hundreds of international schools worldwide to receive this prestigious award.

Mr Messick traveled to Washington D.C., for the special award ceremony on Thursday, October 11th and Friday, October 12th. During these days in Washington, he attended a reception at the U.S. Department of State's Harry S. Truman building and attended several social activities culminating in a gala dinner-dance where he was presented with a plaque and honored by high-ranking dignitaries from the U.S. Department of Education. His award will continue to be announced in various global publications, and his recognition brings great honor to the school.

We are immeasurably honored that one of our Principals here at American School of The Hague has received this richly-deserved recognition of his long and impressive career. Mr. Messick’s selection resulted from the input of a great many nominating letters enumerating his achievements at our school, including his interactions with teachers, support staff, leadership team and parents, but most of all for his deep and genuine love of students and their learning.

Interestingly, this is not the first ASH educational administrator to be honored in the past few years. Mary Russman, former Middle School Principal, was honored in the fall of 2008 as a National Distinguished Principal, and Dr. Richard Spradling, former ASH School Director, was the recipient of the Ernest Mannino International Superintendent of the Year Award in 2012. Tim ad Mary reconnected at the award presentation this year, pictured together at the reception. These designations are not just an honor to the well deserving recipients, but also brings prestige to our own ASH community, as their leadership skills, passion for learning and commitment to the education of future generations is recognized at a global level.

For further information on the National Distinguished Principals Awards, please enjoy this article below from the United States Department of State.

United States Department of State (DOS)

Local Principal, Timothy Messick, Among America’s Best
NAESP honors Netherlands school leader during National Principals Month.

ALEXANDRIA, VA–October 4, 2018–Tim Messick is among 62 outstanding elementary and middle school principals from across the nation and abroad who have been named as 2018 National Distinguished Principals (NDP) by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Messick is the Early Childhood Center and Upper Elementary principal at the American School of the Hague in Wassenaar, Netherlands. The NDPs will be honored Oct. 12 at an awards banquet at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., as part of a multi - day program.


Established in 1984, the National Distinguished Principals program recognizes public and private school principals who make superior contributions to their schools and communities. The principals will also have the opportunity to share best practices. The 62 principal honorees are selected by NAESP state affiliates and by committees representing private and overseas schools.
NAESP Executive Director Dr. L. Earl Franks, CAE, congratulated the class of outstanding principals, noting their significant influence on the students, schools, and communities they serve. “Today’s principals are tasked with attending to students’ social and emotional needs at greater levels, even while they give their all to drive academic success in their school communities. NAESP’s National Distinguished Principals program recognizes the outstanding leadership of highly successful principals and is a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to outstanding school leaders.”

It is particularly fitting to acknowledge the work of principals in October because it is National Principals Month, which was established to recognize and honor the contributions of school principals and assistant principals toward the success of the nation’s students, and encourage awareness of their significance.

NOTE: A list of the 2018 NDPs and their biographical information can be accessed here.


Established in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) leads in the advocacy and support for elementary and middle school principals in the United States and internationally. NAESP supports principals as the primary catalysts for creating lasting foundations for learning through policy and professional development, advocacy, programs, and resources for effective instructional leadership. NAESP advances the profession on behalf of all principals, providing specialized support and mentoring for early career principals. Key focus areas include pre-K-3 education, school safety, technology and digital learning, and capacity-building educator evaluation. For more information about NAESP, please visit www.naesp.org.
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University preparatory program for ages 3-18. Fully accredited by the Council of International Schools and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

American School of The Hague