Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Rachelle Kisst Hackett, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Anne Zeman, Ed.D.

Second Committee Member

Sylvia Turner, Ed.D.


The purpose of this mixed methods case study was to understand the hiring practices of a school district when considering a principal and how the school district attends to leadership within those hiring practices. The central premise of the study was leadership matters and is second to teaching in student achievement. However, the historical record paints a picture of less than adequate attention to effective hiring practices and a limited scope when addressing leadership. A small school district in California was selected to participate in the study. The design incorporated mixed methods to analyze the hiring practices through a survey of site administrators (principals and assistant principals), interviews of the Superintendent, and interviews of two principals. Similar to what was found in the review of literature, the school district did not align all of the hiring practices to what they valued in leadership and lacked in performance-based instruments when hiring. However, the results of the study indicated how the school district valued leadership and this may have been a contributing factor in student achievement. Through the review of literature and the study, the researcher developed an understanding of the complexity of the leadership construct and provides a synthesis of how key leadership studies fit together to provide a framework for hiring school administrators.





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