Forms of Address: If a person has a title, use it correctly. They will be more interested in what you have to say.

How to Address a Principal

How Do I Address a Letter to a Principal?

Dear Principal (Name)?
—-—-—-– M. Burton

Dear M. Burton,
A school principal may be referred to as ‘Principal’ as in “where is the Principal’s office?”  but formally he/she is addressed in writing as Dr./Mr./Ms. (Name) and identified as the ‘principal’.

Principal (Name) is most often used in informal conversation. Only occasionally is it used in written communications.

—-Envelope or address block on an email:
—-—-Mr./Ms./Dr. (Full Name)
—-—-(Name of School)

————-Which looks like:
————-—-Dr. Grady Wade
————-—-James Madison Elementary School
————-—-4211 Old Glebe Road
————-—-Arlington, VA 22207

—-In a salutation he or she is:
——–Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. (Surname)

– Robert Hickey


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.
___What I don’t cover on this site are many things I do cover in my book: all the rules of forms of address, about names, international titles, precedence, complimentary closes, details on invitations, place cards, all sorts of introductions, etc. I hope you’ll get a copy of the book if you’d like the further detail.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”