VT Principal Wins National Advocacy Award

VT Principal Wins National Advocacy Award

This morning the 2024 NASSP Advocacy Champion of the Year was announced: Chris Young, Principal of North Country Union High School in Newport, VT. Below is more information.

The NASSP Advocacy Champion of the Year Award is given annually to a school leader. This award is given to elevate school leaders’ voices and influence in federal, state, and local policy decisions. Young has worked to give principals a voice in decisions that most affect them and their students. He leverages his platforms as the 2023 Vermont Principal of the Year, the NASSP Vermont State Coordinator, and the President-Elect of the Vermont Principals’ Association.

Young has tirelessly advocated for policies to address student mental health and substance abuse. The educator has been featured in several interviews and op-eds in national outlets. His unwavering commitment to his students, staff, and colleagues brought him to DC to ask his representatives to support policies that create safer, more inclusive learning environments.  

After learning he won the award, Young shared the message he’ll share with Congress tomorrow: “If you see us wearing these bracelets, they are ‘Nora beads.’ Started by her mother, they honor a student at my school who died by suicide. Vermont’s delegates to Congress will wear these, and our representatives will get a bracelet. I don’t think they can ignore her story. Not only will they see that bracelet on our wrists, they’ll have it on their desks as they deliberate mental health policies.” 

Thanks, and stay tuned for the press release on tomorrow’s Hill Day. Nearly 400 school leaders will meet with Congress to ask for their support for policies to address the mental health and educator shortage crises during the National School Leaders Advocacy Conference, hosted jointly by the National Associations of Elementary (NAESP) and Secondary (NASSP) School Principals.