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Avondale’s April Knight Prepares to Represent Columbus City Schools on the National Stage

april knight

July 5, 2024 – For twenty years, April Knight has served students of Columbus City Schools (CCS) as a proud principal. For the 2025-2026 school year, Knight will continue to support CCS students, but it will be on the national stage. 

Knight, the principal at Avondale Elementary School, is a member of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Starting in 2025, she will serve as the organization’s President. Knight said she’s excited to represent Avondale, the District, and Ohio in this capacity. 

“This role is an opportunity for me to highlight the work that we do in Columbus,” Knight said. “This is a very unique opportunity, and I can’t wait to do it.”

The NAESP is a professional organization whose mission is to support the network of elementary and middle-level principals across the US and abroad. Knight has connected with principals nationwide in her decade-long tenure with the organization. These connections have allowed her to hear different perspectives and learn about school management in different parts of the country. 

Before her election to the NAESP Executive Board, Knight served as the Zone Director for Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. from 2019-2022. She enjoyed the role, and when her term ended, she decided to run for executive leadership. She succeeded, and served as the organization’s Vice President during the 2023-2024 school year. 

Now, she is preparing for her final school year at Avondale before taking on the presidential role. Scott Nelson, area superintendent for Region I, said he’s thrilled to see Knight enter this role.

“She is a natural leader… Her colleagues in the region and throughout the District reach out to her for her guidance and mentorship,” Nelson said. “I am honored to be able to work with Principal Knight.”

As the organization’s president, Knight will travel across the country to meet with educators, speak at state and national conferences, and lobby on Capitol Hill for those she represents. She will be available to speak with principals and advise them on specific challenges they face in their buildings. 

Annette Tooman, principal at Lindbergh Elementary School, said Knight already has experience with helping her fellow principals. She’s someone Tooman knows she can go to for advice and assistance with creating solutions.

“Having April as a colleague has helped a great deal when making decisions [in my building,]” Tooman said. “April has helped to make each year a little brighter and lighter just by reaching out and lending a helping hand or a listening ear. I count it a privilege to work alongside her.”

During her year as president, Knight will leave Avondale in the hands of her staff and a new administrator until her return. She said leaving the school she’s worked at for so many years is difficult, but she knows that she has the support of her Avondale community as she steps into this new role. 

“My staff has been so incredibly supportive and proud, and that means the world to me,” Knight said. “They [know] that I’m out there representing not just Avondale but all of CCS and the state of Ohio.”

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