Big Apple Principal Award

The Big Apple Principal Award celebrates exemplary educational leadership of New York City school principals. This is demonstrated through initiatives that have a significant and positive impact on teaching and learning.

The award is a citywide-recognition opportunity for traditional and charter school principals who are:

  • Transformational
  • Collaborative
  • Data-driven
  • Reflective

By honoring these leaders, we recognize those who positively impact our students and families!

Receiving the Big Apple Principal Award

In addition to recognition for their leadership, recipients serve on the Chancellor’s Principal Cabinet. The Principal Cabinet meets monthly to discuss citywide policies, programs, and practices.

Award Criteria

Award criteria are based on alignment to DOE priorities and initiatives. Criteria include:

  • Transformational: Leadership that is equity-focused, and results in a positive change in teacher practice and student outcomes.
  • Collaborative: Leadership that embraces collaboration within the school community, inclusive of parents and families, and partnerships with external stakeholders.
  • Data-driven: Leadership that establishes a vision with specific and measurable goals regularly monitored for progress
  • Reflective: Leadership that embodies personal accountability and advances impact by embracing and participating in opportunities for reflection and personal professional development.


Nominees for the Big Apple Principal Award MUST have served in as a principal for at least three years. 

Selection Process

The Big Apple Principal Award selection process takes several months. It includes:

  1. Nominations: Students, families, administrators, and community representatives nominate a school leader from their school district.
  2. Nomination Review: The selection committee reviews all nominations and identifies nominees to invite to apply.
  3. Application Review: A DOE committee reviews the eligible applications.
  4. Finalist Selection: Approximately 30 applicants are selected as finalists.
  5. Board of Judges Review: the Board of Judges reviews the finalists and recommends final recipients for the Chancellor's approval.

Nominate a Principal

Nominate a principal through the Big Apple Principal Award Nomination form. You must submit your nomination by March 20, 2020.

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