Green Valley Principal Named as Finalist for Texas National Distinguished Principal

Houston, Texas: Eight Texas principals were recently selected as Texas National Distinguished Principal (NDP) finalists by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA). The award recipient will be announced in May at a surprise school visit. That principal will receive $10,000 and represent Texas in Washington, D.C. as the 2017 NDP.

The 2017 National Distinguished Principal Finalists are:

  • Rosa Chavez-Avedician, Butler Elementary, Socorro ISD
  • Annette Dailey, Crenshaw Elementary and Middle School, Galveston ISD
  • Grace Devost, Green Valley Elementary, Galena Park ISD
  • Serita Dodson, Isbell Elementary, Frisco ISD
  • Lori Gallegos, Kuentz Elementary, Northside ISD
  • Dr. Kwabena Mensah, McRoberts Elementary, Katy ISD
  • Lynn Musel, Capistrano Elementary, Ysleta ISD
  • Gwen Sandles, Youngblood Intermediate, Alief ISD

“The school principal is critical to student and teacher success,” TEPSA Executive Director Harley Eckhart said. “These exemplary principals are making a difference in the lives of students across Texas.”

TEPSA received 123 nominations for the 2017 NDP award. After a rigorous reading process, in which applicants shared their educational philosophies and accomplishments both in and out of the classroom, a peer-review committee selected eight finalists. These outstanding leaders then showcased their achievements during a school visit by a team of educators. Finalists will be recognized at the TEPSA Awards Reception June 14 in Austin.

The NDP program promotes PreK-8 educational excellence and focuses on the fundamental importance of the school principal. The program honors principals who exhibit extraordinary leadership, commitment to their students and staff, service to their communities and contributions to the profession, including their professional associations. The
National Association of Elementary School Principals sets award criteria. The Texas award is sponsored by TEPSA, and the program is supported with a generous donation from Mentoring Minds.

“We could not be more proud to partner with TEPSA in supporting the Texas educators who work tirelessly to help their students thrive. Together, our goal is the same: to give students a quality education rooted in critical thinking so that they succeed, not just in the classroom, but in life,” said Robert L. Bush, CEO of Mentoring Minds. Recognized as a
critical thinking expert for over a decade, Mentoring Minds is a K-12 publisher with a mission to support student achievement and empower educators to teach to higher standards. Learn more at

TEPSA, whose hallmark is educational leaders learning with and from each other, has served Texas PreK-8 school leaders since 1917. Member owned and member governed, TEPSA has more than 5,800 members who direct the activities of more than 3 million PreK-8 school children. Learn more


Grace Devost

Pictured: Grace Devost





Media Contact:

Terri Moore | Assistant Superintendent for Communication Services and Professional Development | | 832.386.1231