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Aqila Malpass Named Alabama's 2021 NAESP National Outstanding Assistant Principal

by Alyssa Godfrey, Director of Communications and Technology | Mar 18, 2021
Mrs. Aqila A. Malpass, assistant principal at Rocky Ridge Elementary School in the Hoover City School System has been named Alabama’s 2021 NAESP National Outstanding Assistant Principal by the Alabama Association of Elementary School Administrators (AAESA).

Aqila Malpass National Outstanding AP 2021 Twitter

Mrs. Aqila A. Malpass, assistant principal at Rocky Ridge Elementary School in the Hoover City School System has been named Alabama’s 2021 NAESP National Outstanding Assistant Principal by the Alabama Association of Elementary School Administrators (AAESA). The awards program is sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP).

Malpass’ career in education began in 2006 as a teacher at Providence Elementary School in Georgia. She became the assistant principal of Rocky Ridge Elementary School in 2017. In 2000, Malpass received a bachelor's degree from Howard University. From the University of Alabama at Birmingham, she earned an MAE in 2006, an EdS in 2018, and is currently working toward her doctorate.

Malpass is known for embracing and celebrating diversity within the school. She created the Diversity Hall of Rocky Ridge. The hall furthers the school’s mission of promoting diversity, cultural awareness, and celebrating the uniqueness of every student. In this program, students are encouraged to recognize the many different ethnicities and cultures present in the student body, faculty, and school staff. Data shows that more students feel seen and respected as compared to previous reports.

Among her many accomplishments as an instructional leader, Malpass is also a published author on the topic of student mental wellness. Malpass noticed a marked increase in sadness among students caused by many factors and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mindset Marinades for Students is a tool to help direct the focus of students toward greatness and positivity.

“We are very fortunate to have such passionate, creative, and talented leaders like Aqila Malpass in our school district” said Hoover City School Superintendent Tera Simmons. “She exemplifies all of the characteristics of a gifted school administrator and is very worthy of the distinguished Alabama’s National Assistant Principal of the Year Award.”

A panel of judges selected Malpass from numerous applicants across the state of Alabama.  Her award was presented at Rocky Ridge Elementary School on March 17, 2021.  

“We celebrate leaders such as Aqila Malpass who have profound impact on the students, faculty, staff, and parents under their care,” said CLAS and AAESA Executive Director Dr. Vic Wilson. “She is a true asset to our state, and I’m proud to present her with this award.”

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About the NAESP National Outstanding Assistant Principal Award: The National Association of Elementary School Principals is committed to preparing assistant principals to step into the principal role. We want to honor assistant principals who are doing a superb job in their roles. This program promotes educational excellence for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade (Pre-K-8) schooling and calls attention to the fundamental importance of the assistant principal. NAESP will share their successes and best practices in a practical document for other principals to utilize.

About AAESA and CLAS: The Alabama Association of Elementary School Administrators is an affiliate association of the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS).  CLAS is an umbrella association that serves eleven different affiliates comprised of Alabama’s public school administrators.  CLAS is dedicated to providing the framework to connect dedicated school administrators and other successful leaders with a network for professional growth and support.  For more information, visit www.clasleaders.org.

Photo: Aqila Malpass named Alabama’s 2021 National Outstanding Assistant Principal. [download photo] Pictured (left to right): Dr. Ron Dodson, Dr. Tera Simmons, Dr. Dil Uswatte, Aqila Malpass, Mike Malpass, Aden Malpass, and Adia Malpass.