Washington Post Principal of the Year Award

The Washington Post Principal of the Year Award recognizes principals who go beyond the day-to-day demands of their position to create an exceptional educational environment.

One regional winner will be selected for Principal of the Year. The awardee will receive a signature trophy and a $7,500 monetary award as well as a ½ page feature spot in the Washington Post Newspaper.


The FCPS Public Affairs Department coordinates the nomination and selection process before forwarding materials to the Washington Post.

Principals must first be nominated and one finalist selected to represent FCPS. We welcome nominations from current and former students, teachers, support staff, parents, community members, administrators and supervisors. Principals may not nominate themselves. Nominations are now closed.


Tiana Haile
Community Engagement Coordinator

Public Affairs Department
191 South East Street
Frederick, MD  21701
(301) 696-6902

Nominations are now closed.

Past Finalists and Winners


Nominees must be full-time principals. Each nominee must have a minimum of five years’ experience as a principal, three of which must be in the school or school system in which the principal is currently serving. Nominees must serve as an administrator for the 2023-24 school year.

Nomination Criteria

Nominees must be principals who:

  • Manage effectively.
  • Demonstrate and encourage creativity and innovation.
  • Foster cooperation between the school and the community.
  • Maintain a continuing dialogue with students and parents as well as faculty and staff.
  • Keep abreast of developments in the field of education.
  • Encourage team spirit.
  • Demonstrate leadership and exemplify commitment.
  • Continue to play an active role in the classroom.
  • Maintain their position as principal throughout the 2021-22 school year.

Nomination Process

The following, excluding the color photograph, must be submitted as one PDF:

  • A description of contributions for each of the nomination criteria of approximately 400 words.
  • 4-5 statements of support, one of which must be by a professional educator.
  • A résumé.
  • A 200-word biography, written to highlight specific accomplishments for which the awardee was nominated.
    Sample Bio: John Doe is the principal at [a great school in Frederick County, Maryland.] [This great school] serves a unique population, and it takes exceptional leadership to successfully manage the school and its community. “Each child has individual and specific requirements, and John makes sure that each need is met with an innovative and caring approach,” wrote a parent, whose daughter attends the school. “The safety and security of the students as well as their individual educational goals are paramount in how John supports the children, their families and his staff. I have complete confidence and comfort knowing that John has provided an environment where my daughter’s needs can be met and all her abilities nurtured and encouraged as best possible.” Mr. Doe began his career in education as a speech pathologist in the Prince George’s County Public Schools system in 1993. There he developed and implemented communication-based programs for students with autism, learning, and physical disabilities. Mr. Doe earned his MEd and BS in speech/language pathology from Keene University in Keene, NH.
  • One vertical color photograph. Headshot only. The image must be a JPG file, and at least 2 MB.

A screening committee of FCPS administrators and other staff will review the nominations and select a local finalist using a rubric evaluation system. The Washington Post will announce the regional winner in March 2023.