Inside AWSP



Principals, assistant principals and those who support their efforts are making a difference in the quality of education offered in Washington state. There are several prestigious awards that celebrate individuals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement and community involvement as well as individuals who advocate for education and the principalship.

Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year

Each year, AWSP recognizes an outstanding elementary and secondary principal as our Washington State Elementary Principal of the Year and Washington State Secondary Principal of the Year. We also recognize a Washington State Elementary Assistant Principal of the Year and a Washington State Secondary Principal of the Year. The awards provide significant recognition on the state and national level.

Principals and assistant principals are nominated each year. Nominations can come from anyone, including district staff, school staff, students, parents, or community members. Nominees then fill out an application to be scored by a review panel. In addition to the state award, the four winners chosen represent our state at the national level. Those awards are:

  • National Association of Secondary School Principals | Principal of the Year
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals | Assistant Principal of the Year
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals | National Distinguished Principal
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals | National Outstanding Assistant Principal

NASSP will select one principal and one Assistant Principal to be their respective national winner. In September 2012, Trevor Greene became our state's first National Principal of the Year. NAESP does not select a national winner.

2024 Winners

2024 POY_and_APOY_homepage_rotator

Award Pages

NEW! Washington Schools on the Rise


Introducing the "Washington Schools on the Rise" award by AWSL/AWSP! This award celebrates schools where students and adults collaborate to improve culture and amplify student voice. AWSP and its Foundation support these schools with resources and opportunities. These schools foster inclusive and equitable environments. Know a school on the rise? Nominate them today and honor their commitment to excellence in education!


Torch of Leadership Award

The Torch of Leadership Award honors individuals serving in the Washington state government who have demonstrated outstanding support of principals and the principalship. The award was established in 2009.

Nominations are submitted by members of the AWSP Advocacy Advisory Council, and the final selection is made by committee and AWSP staff members. Recipients are named in the spring after the legislative session and honored in October at the AWSP’s fall meeting of the Legislation Committee.

2023 Winner: Representative Monica Stonier (D–Vancouver)

Each year, AWSP’s Advocacy Advisory Council has the opportunity to select a state-level public servant who has demonstrated support of principals and the principalship in the education of all students. For 2023, the Council selected Representative Monica Stonier as AWSP’s 2023 Torch of Leadership Award winner. Rep. Stonier is a Democrat representing the 49th legislative district in Vancouver, WA.

Rep. Stonier sees public service as a calling and a responsibility. She currently serves as the House Majority Floor Leader and leads her caucus on several key issues like labor and workers’ rights, public education, health care access for children, financial literacy education, and portable benefits for Washington workers of our future. She serves on the House Appropriations, Education, Health Care & Wellness, and Rules Committees and is the first person of color to serve in 17th and the 49th legislative districts in Clark County. 

Professionally, Monica still works as an instructional coach in Evergreen Public Schools. She is currently focused on ensuring students who receive special services also have access to their legally protected experiences in the general education setting, and making sure they have the supports they need to be successful.

Legislative headshot of Monica Stonier against a gray photo background

Representative Monica Stonier

President's Award

The AWSP President’s Award is given to a person outside the association who has advocated on behalf of principals and the principalship in Washington state. Recipients are chosen by the AWSP Board in consultation with the AWSP executive director. The award is presented at the association's annual conference in June.

2023 AWSP President's Award | Ann Gray, Associate Director, Educator Effectiveness, Educator Growth and Development, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

This year, we are excited to present Ann Gray with the 2023 AWSP President's Award. Ann worked hard this year to support many AWSP programs, including the AWSP Framework, our mentoring programs, and the leadership intern grant. In addition to managing those contracts, she also was a member of AWSP's Student Growth Goals Workgroup. 

With the help of Ann and her team, current and future principals and assistant principals will be better equipped. Her work aligns with AWSP's in an effort to grow, support, and sustain principals and the principalship. Thank you, Ann. 

headshot of ann gray

Ann Gray, Associate Director, OSPI

Annalee Braley Membership Award

Created in 2022, the Annalee Braley Membership Award is given to a current or former member who shares the same unwavering and long-term dedication to AWSP, the same commitment to making our organization the strongest in the country, the same passion for supporting our members, the same dedication to advocating for principals, and the same willingness to support AWSP any time and any where.

Annalee started working for AWSP in 1989 at 19 years old. She worked for AWSP for 32 years before passing away suddenly in 2021. This award commemorates her contributions to AWSP and the impact she made to countless members across the state.

Annalee Braley (1969-2021)

2023 Winner

headshot of Carlos Gonzalez against a blue background

Carlos Gonzalez

2023 AWSP Annalee Braley Membership Award | Carlos Gonzalez, Principal, McFarland Middle School, Othello School District

Carlos Gonzalez is the second winner of the Annalee Braley AWSP Membership Award. He  embodies everything that AWSP represents. His passion for being the best leader he can be and serving kids shines through in everything he does. He's humble, he's kind, he puts what is best for others before his own needs, and he has truly dedicated himself to the kids in his school.

United States Senate Youth Program 

Each year, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation sponsors two high school juniors or seniors from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia to attend the United States Senate Youth Program - an all-expense paid, weeklong tour of Washington, DC and to receive a $10,000 scholarship.

In Washington state, the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP) administers the program. Through the AWSL, AWSP sponsors the seven week-long High School Summer Leadership Camps for student body officers, class officers and other student leaders. A selection process is identified and implemented at each camp session, with two students being selected as finalists for the Senate Youth Program scholarships from each camp.

2023-24 Winners

Mahi Malladi USSYP 23-24

Mahi Mahika 
The Overlake School
Redmond, Washington

Gianna Frank USSYP 23-24

Gianna Frank
Pilchuck High School
Marysville School District

For More Information About the Process, Scholarship, and Winners

The Washington State Principals' Scholars Program

This is a recognition award is given to the top 5% of the senior class of each high school. Principals can download the Award for Academic Excellence certificate below. 

For More Information 

David Morrill | Communications & Technology Director | (800) 562-6100

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