Principal Appreciation Day 2024: How To Celebrate School Leaders

Take the day to celebrate school leaders.

two ideas for principal's appreciation day 2024 gratitude wall and thank you notes
We Are Teachers

Principals set the culture and tone of the school, make lunch lines run efficiently, and hire the best teachers for their students. Whether your principal can be found at their desk, rolling the halls at a standing desk, or roaming the cafeteria with a walkie-talkie in hand, Principal Appreciation Day 2024 is the time to celebrate them.

What is Principal Appreciation Day?

Great schools wouldn’t be what they are without great principals. The work of a principal comes in just behind great teachers when it comes to ensuring student success and achievement. But like many roles in education, principals often don’t get enough credit for all the work they do in a day.

Principal Appreciation Day recognizes the hard work that principals do each year as they work to keep the school progressing from year to year. The day was started by a teacher in Michigan who wanted to take a day to recognize all the unappreciated work that principals do and to spread awareness about the role.

When is Principal Appreciation Day?

Each year, Principal Appreciation Day takes place May 1, 2024. This year, it’s on a Wednesday.

10 Ways To Celebrate Principal Appreciation Day 2024

1. Fill their office with student-made cards

happy principal's appreciation day cards on a desk
Eastwood Middle School/Cards via Facebook

Put students in charge of appreciating their school leader by having each student or class make cards. Give students ideas for what to write with sentence starters like:

  • My favorite thing about my principal is …
  • One memory about my principal is …
  • I think my principal is good at …
  • My principal puts the “pal” in principal because …

Your principal will love all the student recognition. After all, students are their “why” too.

2. Invite the community to send e-cards

happy principal appreciation day. we appreciate you ms. Han. invitation to send e-cards to a principal
K.W. Barrett Elementary School via barrett/

Here’s another way to get the broader school community involved in sending notes to the principal. Create a link for parents and students to send an e-card of appreciation to the principal, like this school in Virginia did.

3. Hold a school-wide fundraiser

If your principal has an organization they are committed to, organize a school fundraiser to support the cause. Students can decide how to raise money—a bake sale, car wash, or something else. When all the money has been collected, make a donation in your principal’s name.

4. Host a Principal Appreciation assembly

principal standing in front of a school assembly for principal's appreciation day idea
Class Composer via

Do you have a principal who can’t turn down a good assembly? Organize a surprise assembly that celebrates them! Have students help plan it by sharing their favorite memories and performing talents. Each class can present the president with gifts and awards, such as best morning announcer, most helpful bus-line manager, etc.

Buy it: Principal’s Award Certificates at Amazon

5. Create a video tribute

Collect photos, put them in order, and add a song to create a video tribute to your principal that can be played during the morning announcements. Your principal can also keep it as a memento of the school year.

6. Recognize your principal on social media

three principals and happy principal appreciation day for a social media post
Lakeview Junior High School via

Have students and teachers take over the school social media pages with words of appreciation for the principal. Include parents, students, and teachers in the posts to show how the work of your principal reaches the entire community.

7. Arrange breakfast or lunch

Have teachers bring in breakfast or lunch items. Then share a meal with your principal during a busy school day.

8. Create a gratitude wall

Wall covered with post-its that have notes of gratitude on them
Daniel Sobel via LinkedIn

Have students and teachers write notes of gratitude. Then cover the wall outside the principal’s office with sticky notes of thanks.

9. Gift a humorous principal-themed book

go see the principal book cover

Books like Go See the Principal by Gerry Brooks or The Principal From the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler are great for principals who can see the humor in their school day.

Buy it: Go See the Principal and Principal From the Black Lagoon at Amazon

10. Find the perfect gift

principal desk decoration for principal's appreciation day that reads principal noun an education leader who lives to inspire loves to encourage and makes the world a better place synonyms superstar problem solver difference-maker

Find the perfect gift for your principal, like this desk decoration—a stand that explains exactly what a principal is.

Buy it: Principal Desk Sign at Amazon

bag that reads being a principal is easy its like riding a bike except the bike is on fire you're on fire everything is on fire

Or fill a bag with all the things that your principal uses every day. That could be lip balm for a principal who stands in long car lines announcing arrivals, or hand wipes for a principal who enjoys working with kindergartners.

Buy it: Principal Bag at Amazon

box of four pens for a gift for principal's appreciation day 2024

Gift your principal a set of pens. We love this set with inspirational phrases like “Difference Maker” and “Strong, Supportive, Encouraging.” Principals sign so many papers in a day—leave slips, IEPs, evaluations, and more—so make sure your principal is signing in style. Find more gifts: 30 Gifts Admin Will Love.

Buy it: Principal Appreciation Gifts Ballpoint Pen Set at Amazon

How are you celebrating Principal Appreciation Day 2024? Share in the We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.