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MAESP Announces the 2023 National Distinguished Principal

The Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals (MAESP) in collaboration with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) awards Mr. Rodney Walker, principal of Brooklyn Park Elementary School in Anne Arundel County Public Schools as National Distinguished Principal. He is being recognized for the positive impact on his community, his staff, his students and as a role model and mentor to his peers.

The National Distinguished Principal (NDP) program was established in 1984 to recognize elementary and middle-level principals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, character, and climate for students, families and staffs in their learning communities. Each year, NAESP congratulates principals from across the nation, in both public and private schools, and overseas, for their exemplary achievements during a two-day recognition event and ceremony in Washington D.C. during National Principals month. This year’s celebration will be held October 5th and 6th at the Willard Hotel.

Rodney Walker was described by Ms. Smith, a peer, as a ‘beacon of hope, wisdom, and optimism’. Kendra Newton-Bethell, Early Intervention Teacher shared that Principal Walker ‘advocates for all students believing that all students are capable of success’. Mr. Walker was instrumental in establishing a male mentoring group entitled Boys of Distinction with the purpose of supporting African American males providing educational and experiential opportunities to close the achievement gap.

Parent and former student, Verron Cromartie, who contributed a letter of support for Walker’s nomination, wrote “ He made all students feel included, especially our black and brown kids by bringing in more educators that look like them. My daughter was so excited to get a black female teacher this year”.

She goes on to say “I see a difference in the energy surrounding Brooklyn Park Elementary (BPE) since Mr. Walker has become principal. He is approachable and always available…He’s terrific, humble, and a great leader for our school”.

The Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals is proud to celebrate Rodney Walker, principal of Brooklyn Park Elementary, as the 2023 National Distinguished Principal.

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