Michael Friel Awarded 2019 Distinguished Principal of the Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mr. Michael Friel, principal of Mary of Nazareth School in Darnestown, Maryland is this year’s Archdiocese of Washington’s Distinguished Principal of the Year for his spiritual leadership and strong commitment to academic excellence.

The annual award is presented to a principal who demonstrates accomplishment in six categories: balancing management and leadership roles, setting high expectations and standards, stressing content and instruction that ensures student achievement, creating a culture of professional development for teachers, using multiple tools to apply and assess instructional improvements and actively engaging the school community.

Mr. Friel was surprised with the announcement this morning during a school assembly. He has served Mary of Nazareth for the past 14 years with enthusiasm and innovation.

Mr. Friel became principal of Mary of Nazareth in 2004 as its first lay principal. He received his Bachelor degree from Providence College and a Master of Education from the Catholic University of America, and he previously served as assistant principal at St. Catherine Laboure School in Wheaton. He and his wife Joanie have three children, and the family attends St. Bernadette Church in Silver Spring.

Read a feature on Mr. Friel on the Catholic Standard website.