The article below was written by Jack Frank, who served as NYCESPA President from 1963-1964, and as President of the RSSA, the precursor to the CSA Retiree Chapter. It was originally printed in the 1983 New York Supervisor Yearbook.
Everyone is acquainted with the acronym NYCESPA. However how many of our present principals recognize the acronym, NYPA? In the early 1920s the principals on all levels (since numbers were small), formed the New York Principals Association. In the early 1930s, the Junior High School Principals and the High School Principals formed their individual associations. NYPA remained the association of the Elementary School Principals. It wasn’t until the 1950s that NYPA decided to adopt its present name, the New York City Elementary School Principals Association.
In 1933, NYPA, which now consisted only of Elementary School Principals, held its first annual convention. This tradition has continued annually. This year, (1983) NYCESPA held the 50th annual convention of elementary school principals.
Our early conventions were held at the old Astor Hotel in the Times Square area, later at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, then for many years at the Commodore Hotel (now the Grand Hyatt, and presently at the New York Hilton. In 1964 our annual convention was held at the Hall of Education at the New York’s World Fair. Most of our conventions in the 50s and 60s were two-day conventions, Friday and Saturday. Throughout those two decades our association was also a host to all New York Supervisors at its Annual Spring Luncheon, at the Hotel Dennis in Atlantic City, where the National Convention of Administrators and Supervisors was held. All of these conventions have had a significant educational theme and emphasized the importance of our elementary schools as the foundation of our children’s education. They have also served to enhance the image of the Elementary School Principal. I would be remiss if I did not include in this recollection two former presidents of our association who became presidents of the New York State Elementary School Association: Dr. Alvin Broido, who now resides in California was the sponsor of the single salary for principals on all levels in the 50s and the late Sam Fondiller. Too, we note that our present president, Norma Siegel, is the first lady to hold this office since 1962 when Hermine Nelson presided. However, before 1962 many women principals held this high office. In the 1960s,women played a very important part in the organization of CSA.
I should like to leave all of our present colleagues with this personal anecdote when I attended my first state convention Syracuse in the 60s, there was a large banner in the hotel lobby which read, “New York State Elementary Principals Association”. I was very disturbed and immediately requested a correction to read, “New York State Elementary School Principals Association”. Remember none of us is a “Elementary” Principal, we are Elementary School Principals. You are the educational leader with status and stature. Jack Frank