Besser principal elected to NAESP board

ALPENA – Eric S. Cardwell, principal of Besser Elementary School, was recently elected to the board of directors of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). The results were announced by NAESP’s executive director, Gail Connelly, from the Association’s headquarters in Alexandria, Va.

The NAESP was established in 1921, and serves elementary and middle school principals in the United States, Canada, and overseas. The association leads in the support of education leaders in their commitment to all children.

“I’m one person out of nine in the U.S., ” Cardwell said. “It’s exciting.”

Cardwell will begin his three-year term as director of Zone 6 on July 1, 2013, representing principals in Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

“Student learning standards have increased along with the myriad responsibilities of the principalship, while the profession we serve has been under nationwide assault,” Cardwell said. “I believe that educators are obligated to engage these challenges and be advocates for the profession and the families whom we serve.”

Cardwell has been a member of NAESP and the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association (MEMSPA) since 2000, and has served as MEMSPA’s president from 2011-2012 as well as a regional director on its board.

From 2000-2008, Cardwell was the principal of Les Cheneaux Elementary, he then became the principal of Sanborn Elementary School until 2012, when he assumed his current role as principal of Besser Elementary School.

Cardwell earned a B.A. in Elementary Education from Western Michigan University, and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.