Mumbai, May 17 (IANS) The American School of Bombay (ASB) Elementary School Principal John Smithies has been named for this year's 'National Distinguished Principal Award' instituted by the US Department of State, an official said on Thursday.

Sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, this award is given by the US Department of State's Office of Overseas Schools and recognises two principals from international schools worldwide and one principal from each of the US states.

"We speak often about the value of education at the primary, secondary and collegiate levels. Clearly, Smithies embodies this value and is a tremendous asset to every child at ASB," said US Consul-General in Mumbai Edgard Kagan.

"Global transformations in school systems and communities have greatly expanded the leadership role of principals and they face many challenges in leading for the 21st century," Kagan added.

Founded in 1921, the NAESP is a US-based professional organisation serving school principals and other education leaders in the US, Canada and overseas, representing principals who serve 33 million children across the world from pre-kindergarten through VIII.