Peggy Walter, Fairview Elementary School Principal, has been recognized as a 2012 National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Walter is one of only 60 elementary and middle school principals from across the nation to receive the honor. The distinguished principals are selected by NAESP state affiliates, including the District of Columbia, and by committees representing private and overseas schools.
Peggy Walter has served as the principal at Fairview Elementary School in Fort Smith since 1996. Prior to her appointment as principal at Fairview, Walter served as assistant principal at Woods and Tilles Elementary Schools, and as a Title I reading teacher at Spradling Elementary School, all in Fort Smith. She began her teaching career as a Title I reading teacher at Alma Middle School in Alma, Arkansas.
Earlier this year, Walter was also selected as the 2012 Principal of the Year by the Arkansas Association of Elementary School Principals (AAESP). In 2010, she earned the prestigious designation as an Arkansas Master Principal. This is a credential acknowledged and approved by the Arkansas State Board of Education.
Walter’s motto is simply “Whatever it takes.” She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a master’s degree in Elementary Education and a specialist’s degree in Educational Leadership from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville. Walter is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Phi Delta Kappa, National Association of Elementary School Principals, Arkansas Association of Elementary School Principals, Arkansas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Fort Smith Principals Association and Fort Smith Elementary Principals Association.
Walter is the recipient of these additional awards: 2004-2005 Principal of the Year Finalist, 2005 Kappan of the Year, 2005, Lifetime PTA Membership Award, and 2005 Mayor’s Good Neighbor Award.
NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly commended the 60 principals for being exemplars of successful school leadership. “For more than 25 years, our National Distinguished Principals program has recognized the nation’s most accomplished principals—front-line champions for children—who vastly impact individual lives and strengthen schools,” she said. “We congratulate the NDPs for nurturing positive school culture that meets children’s social, emotional, and academic needs.”
Walter and her fellow distinguished principals were honored at an awards banquet in Washington, D.C., on October 19. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan delivered the opening address, honoring the educators during National Principals Month.