Iowa's Elementary Principal of the Year is Dana Nally from Bedford


Dana Nally, principal of Bedford Elementary in the Bedford Community School District, has been named the 2023 Iowa Elementary Principal of the Year by the School Administrators of Iowa.

“Congratulations to Dana for being selected as the 2023 Elementary Principal of the Year! Dana builds relationships with students, staff, and parents which translates to a high-quality learning environment where all students thrive. She has a ‘people, not programs’ philosophy, and that is how she builds a positive culture at Bedford Elementary school,” said SAI Executive Director Lisa Remy.                         

She has been a principal at Bedford since 2007 and was previously an elementary principal at North Nodaway R-VI in Pickering, Mo. Her career began as a sixth grade teacher at West Nodaway R-I in Burlington Junction, Mo. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, master’s degree in guidance and counseling, specialist in education, PK-12 administration certification and superintendent certification, all from Northwest Missouri State University.

Nally commented on her award, “I am honored to be named Iowa’s Elementary Principal of the Year. I believe effective leaders surround themselves with great people and that is exactly what has happened within the Bedford Community School District. We have motivated leadership and school board members, excellent teachers and support staff, wonderful students and supportive parents and community members. Surrounding myself with these great people truly made this recognition possible. The state of Iowa is full of excellent administrators; I am honored to accept this award and represent dedicated administrators from across the state.” 

She was nominated by her peers, selected by a committee of Iowa elementary principals, and will be recognized at the association’s Annual Conference. The National Association of Elementary School Principals will also honor her as a National Distinguished Principal.

Learn more about the Administrator of the Year awards