NEW YORK (PIX11) — Principals are already everyday heroes. Now two of them, from Queens and the Bronx, are getting national recognition.

Principal Brendan Mims of MSA 358 in Jamaica, Queens beat out hundreds of other principals across the country to win the coveted National Principal of the Year award. With 340 middle school students, he said he’s honored humbled to be recognized.

Mims said he has a really strong team of teachers and staff who are all devoted to bringing out the best in their students. With a diverse student body, many of his students speak multiple languages. His focus, he told PIX 11 News, is is to always to provide equal opportunity for all students.

His inspiration is his late mom Brenda Mims. She was a beloved teacher in the city for 34 years.

“My mom passed away in 2018,” Mims said. “Every day, it’s is a constant reminder she is always with me.”

Also recognized nationally was Principal Richard Hallenbeck Jr. and his school, Bronx Urban Community Magnet School. He started seven years ago and turned around the struggling school. Now, it’s an award-winning campus.

Both men said, for them, it’s not about the awards — it’s about the students and helping them excel in the classroom and in life.