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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Dennis Brennan

First Committee Member

Thomas Nelson

Second Committee Member

Bea Lingenfelter

Third Committee Member

Thomas Williams


The problem of this study was that too few new principals have the requisite skills to effectively manage their time, the school's instructional program, and the myriad interpersonal communications that they have on a daily basis. To be able to handle the aforementioned tasks and all of their other duties, they often need support from a veteran, often referred to as a coach. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine how performance coaching of elementary school principals helped to ensure that leaders behave in such a way that best organizational practices are continuously implemented so that school leaders are consistently successful at supporting all students to high levels of achievement. A phenomenological approach to this qualitative study on new elementary school principals of the same urban school district was utilized. Each of the new principals was a recipient of ongoing performance coaching. Semi-structured interviews of each of the learner principals individually were conducted as well as of their respective. Also interviews conducted with the associate superintendent supervising the study participants and with each the performance coaches involved with the learner principals. Additionally, focus group interviews of the learner principals and of the coaches, as well as interviews of new principals of an additional urban school district were conducted. Finally, questionnaires relating to new principals' experiences with coaching or similar support were sent to 150 principals throughout the state. The findings indicated that the new principals sought from their coaches technical support, strategies for time and process management, and concrete instruction and guidance on interpersonal communication. New principals worked with their coaches to gain access to and to cultivate their own networks of support in terms of relationships with practicing professionals. The new principals could rely upon the coaches for guidance in life management and balance of personal and professional obligations. Performance coaches supported new principals via frequent meetings, e-mails, and phone conversations, as well as on an as-needed basis. Coaches supported new principals with explicit instruction and also modeled professional behavior. Finally, coaches had supportive conversations in settings where new principals knew the conversations would be confidential.



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