Principal Carter and three others after being named MASSP Principal of the Year.
George Sipple

LANSING – Nicole Carter, Principal of Novi High School, has been named Michigan’s 2022 Principal of the Year (POY) by the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) and the Michigan Association of Student Councils and Honor Societies (MASC/MAHS).

Carter will represent Michigan as the state’s nominee for the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Principal of the Year competition, which will be awarded in September at the NASSP Principals Institute in Washington, D.C. 

Carter’s nominator, a student at Novi High and Executive Board President, Ruheen Qadeer, described how Carter has unwavering dedication for the improvement of the school community and puts her heart and soul into her work. Qadeer provides multiple examples of how Carter is a champion for students - growth, leadership, academics and mental and emotional health. 

“Without her help, we wouldn’t have been able to embody the leaders we are,” Qadeer said. “She encourages us to make a positive difference in our school culture and provides us with the tools we need to do so.” 

Carter has 23 years in education (all at Novi High) and 15 years as an administrator. Throughout her nomination, Nicole is portrayed as passionate, innovative, respected and empathetic. Novi High Senior Class Student Council Adviser Danielle Crossley said “Carter genuinely cares about the experiences of our students and staff and strives to make them feel safe and validated.” 

There are many initiatives that Carter started at Novi High to check in and keep open communication with and between staff and students to build a positive culture and community. 

“Nicole is a proven leader in her school community, in the county and statewide. Her willingness to serve and her dedication to her students and staff set her apart,” said Wendy Zdeb, MASSP Executive Director when told about Carter being selected as the MI 2022 POY winner. 

Principal Carter, family, friends and colleagues.


Qadeer said Carter exemplifies exactly what a principal should be.

“[Carter] knows that our students are our future and that’s why she’s so determined to help them become our independent and brave leaders of tomorrow,” Crossley said. 

To qualify for this award, nominees must have served in a Principal role for at least three years in grades 6-12. Additionally, nominees must demonstrate a sense of collaborative leadership, involvement in curriculum, instruction and assessment, as well as a personal positive involvement with district staff, students and families. The selection committee includes students and principals from the Michigan Student Leadership Board of Delegates and the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals Board of Directors. 


The Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) is a 1,800-member strong organization representing the state's high school, career technical education and middle-level principals and assistant principals. MASSP was first established in 1911 and for more than 100 years has worked to be the premier educational association, promoting excellence in school leadership and advocating for education system improvements – including guiding curriculum and transforming state standards – for the benefit of students, teachers, education leaders and schools throughout Michigan.

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