Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Bethany Flora

Committee Members

Donald W. Good, Deborah Slawson, Pamela H. Scott


The purpose of this quantitative study was to explore the leadership traits of the school health coordinators (SHCs) for the state of Tennessee and to determine if self-perceptions of the SHC leadership traits coincide with supervisor and colleague perceptions of SHC leadership traits. The health challenges facing young Americans today are different from those of past decades and child health is a major federal and state policy platform. SHCs work at the nexus of 2 highly regulated and political entities: healthcare and education. Thus, it is critical for SHCs to possess strong leadership traits to navigate through the issues and politics that are inherent in this challenging career. By obtaining information regarding the leadership traits of current SHCs, this research provides insight into best practices and continuing education for current and future leaders.

The study population consisted of all SHCs, superintendents, principals, and Healthy School Council members in the state of Tennessee, totaling approximately 3,900. Thirty-nine districts out of 221 provided full responses where the SHC, at least one supervisor, and at least 1 colleague responded to the Leadership Traits Questionnaire (LTQ). Permission to use the LTQ was granted by Peter Northouse, the developer of the questionnaire (Appendix A).

Findings indicated that SHC self-reported perceptions of the leadership traits were significantly higher than colleagues' perceptions of the SHCs leadership traits. There were no significant differences between SHCs' perceptions and supervisors' perceptions of the SHC leadership traits. Lastly, within the SHC group only there were no significant differences in the perceptions of self-reported leadership traits between city and county SHCs, years of experience, or number of memberships in professional organizations.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.