One of ACSA’s priorities is to ensure that school leaders are recognized for their excellence. Through our annual awards program we honor administrators and community members for their achievements and their dedication to public education. Each year, regions select their regional award winners, whose nominations are then submitted to state ACSA for consideration of the state award.

Awards Overview

2023 award information is now available at

Each year ACSA recognizes a select group of individuals for their significant contributions to education through three prestigious awards named in memory of past ACSA leaders: Ferd. Kiesel Memorial Distinguished Service Award, Marcus Foster Memorial Award for Administrator Excellence and the Robert E. Kelly Award.

In addition, members are honored for outstanding performance and achievement as Administrators of the Year in 21 job-alike categories.

The Valuing Diversity Award is given to the member whose efforts to promote diversity epitomize ACSA’s mission statement.

Programs and businesses that collaborate with administrators in support of education are recognized though the Partners in Educational Excellence Award.

ACSA also recognizes the extraordinary achievements of the students in each year’s Every Student Succeeding Program.

Administrator of the Year

Deadline. All-region deadline is Jan. 19, 2023.

Purpose. These awards recognize outstanding performance and achievement by individual administrators, classified managers or confidential employees in the following categories:

  • Superintendent
  • Secondary Principal
  • Middle Grades Principal
  • Elementary Principal
  • Central Office Administrator (District/County)
  • Elementary Co-Administrator
  • Secondary Co-Administrator
  • Classified Leader
  • Confidential Employee
  • Personnel/Human Resources Administrator
  • Adult Education Administrator
  • Career Technical Education Administrator
  • Special Education Administrator
  • Superintendent/Principal
  • Business Services Administrator
  • Pupil Personnel Administrator
  • Curriculum and Instruction Administrator
  • Continuation/Educational Options Administrator
  • Professor of Education
  • Retired Administrator (volunteer service to ACSA)
  • Technology Administrator

Eligibility. Recipients must be active ACSA members who show strong support for the school management team; exceptional leadership in managing school programs; commitment to educational quality and student achievement; commitment to professional growth; and creativity and innovation in dealing with issues and problems facing public education. Current ACSA employees and ACSA board members are not eligible to receive these awards.

Ferd Keisel Award

Purpose: The Ferd Kiesel Memorial Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor ACSA can present to an individual. The award is made in the memory of Ferd. Kiesel, ACSA’s founding president.

Marcus Foster Memorial Award

Purpose: This award recognizes outstanding leadership and significant contributions to education by a school administrator. It was established to honor the memory of Marcus Foster, former superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District.

Robert E. Kelly Award

Purpose: This award is made in memory of Robert E. Kelly, former superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District. Robert Kelly was instrumental in establishing the Los Angeles City Schools Bank of America Achievement Awards program in 1948. Since that time, the Bank of America Achievement Awards program has been replicated across the state.

Valuing Diversity

Purpose: This award is given to an administrator who epitomizes ACSA’s Mission Statement by his/her efforts in promoting diversity and support for all of the children, parents and staff at their school or district.

Partners in Educational Excellence

Purpose: The Partners in Educational Excellence Award is given annually to exemplary school-community partnership programs that promote effective educational performance, enhanced student achievement and strong community involvement in educational quality.

Award Nomination Platform
A complete nomination should focus on answering each criteria listed on the nomination application, and should discuss the strong qualities of each nominee.

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