Herb Kohl

Educational Foundation, Inc

Nomination & Selection Process

Nominations must be made online at the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation website. Once nominated, a principal receives an email notification of the nomination and a link to begin the application process. Nominations for the current award cycle close in October. The award cycle application period opens in August each year. All nominations received after the previous award cycle closed are held until the next application cycle opens and the nominee is notified thereof.


Principals must be nominated for a Kohl Leadership Award to be eligible to compete for a Leadership Award. Principals can be nominated by students, parents, other teachers, community members, or school district administrators. Principals who plan to continue in their role for at least the upcoming school year are eligible to be nominated and apply. Because the program's purpose is to recognize the contributions of Wisconsin school building administrators, assistant principals (including administrative or supervisory roles such as Dean of Students), district administrators and superintendents are not eligible.

Additionally, previous Herb Kohl Principal Leadership Award recipients are ineligible, however, an applicant who has previously received a Kohl Student Scholarship when in high school or a Teacher Fellowship is still eligible. Principals who have been nominated in the past but not selected as a Leadership Award recipient may re-apply if nominated. Nominations must be submitted on the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation website.

A principal does not need to be an Association of Wisconsin School Administrators (AWSA) member to be eligible for a Principal Leadership Award.

AWSA reviews and verifies each applicant’s submission. Successful applicants' materials are forwarded to the State Selection Committee. Representatives of the Kohl Educational Foundation, CESAs and MPS, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, and state education-related associations serve on the State Selection Committee. Applicants who are nominated for an award, and have reached the Statewide Selection Committee level, are contacted in January. Final award recipients are notified of their selection by the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation in March. AWSA chooses the public school Elementary and Secondary Principal of the Year from among the recipients of the Herb Kohl Leadership Award. For more information on the Principal of the Year Award go to www.awsa.org/recognition-and-awards.