Pederson wins National Distinguished Principal award

Eric Pederson, Principal of Paul Banks Elementary School in Homer, Alaska.

The Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals is proud to announce our National Distinguished Principal for 2020 is Eric Pederson, Principal of Paul Banks Elementary School in Homer, Alaska. The 2020 National Distinguished Principal Celebration marks the 36th year that the National Association of Elementary School Principals has presented this prestigious award.

Eric Pederson was nominated and selected by his fellow principals through a statewide search process conducted by the Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals.

Pederson graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul Minnesota with a Bachelor’s Degree, he then added a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Eric began his administrative career as a principal at Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat School in Quinhagak, Alaska in 2007 and moved to Homer in 2013 where he has served as the principal at Paul Banks Elementary since that time.

Pederson is a true leader in the profession in the state. He has served on the Alaska Association of Elementary School Executive Board since 2018 and is the current board president. In this role, Eric represented Alaska principals in both Washington DC Juneau as an advocate for students. He has also served on the Alaska Council of School Administrators (ACSA) board during this time.

Outside of school, Pederson has served on the Kenai Borough Legislative Committee, the Teacher of the Year Selection Committee, and the Alaska Council of the Arts. Eric was nominated for the Life Changer of the Year Award as well as the LKSD Teacher of the Year.

During the COVID 19 Pandemic, Pederson has stepped up as an educational leader across the state. He is working to make sure that the principal voice is heard and that, as a state, we are making the best decisions possible for our staff and students. Eric believes strongly that a positive school atmosphere is paramount in the overall success. He strives to be present for staff, students, and the community at all times. He will only support new initiatives that add to this atmosphere. He also sees making the community a better place as part of his job as a principal. This past year he started a “Dudes and Donuts” event that allowed fathers to network with one another. Pederson’s job does not end at the close of school each day.

Pederson will travel to Washington DC in October 2020 for two days of activities planned to honor and bring well-deserved recognition to the elementary administrators selected by their respective states.

AAESP believes that Eric Pederson is well deserving of the National Distinguished Principals’ Award. We are proud to acknowledge his leadership and commitment to Alaska’s children representing Alaska’s elementary principals.