Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

James Lampley

Committee Members

Virginia Foley, Lori Meier, Stephanie Tweed


The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine relationship of the distinct factors to PK-12 teacher retention in one Midwest school district. This study was an examination of multiple factors, including work environment, fit, compensation and benefits, leadership, performance management system, peer support and mentoring, that contributed to the retention of PK-12 teachers with different levels of education, certifications, experience, career plans, and military affiliation. The questions on the Teacher Retention Survey used a Likert-type scale to measure teacher perceptions about retention factors to address 8 research questions.

For this study, I surveyed the population of 704 current PK-12 teachers in a public unified school district located in central Kansas using a non-random sample method. The unified school district is comprised of 14 elementary schools (grades PK-5), two middle schools (grades 6-8), and one high school (grades 9-12). The unified school district is located adjacent to a large U.S. Army installation and supports a culturally diverse educational environment with a majority of the district’s students being military-connected in some way. The survey was administered at the beginning of the 2019-2020 academic school year and resulted in 210 usable surveys collected with a 29.8% return rate.

The results of the study showed that there were differences in how PK-12 teachers perceived the 6 dimensions of the Teacher Retention Survey depending on demographic groupings. Results indicated that there were differences in how teachers perceived fit, the evaluation process, and mentorship. There were also differences in how teachers perceived leadership and the evaluation process depending on gender. Teachers’ education level appeared to affect perceptions of the work environment and fit, and certification appeared to influence how teachers viewed leadership and the evaluation process. Teachers’ career plans seemed to influence perceptions of the evaluation process and mentorship. Military affiliation and teachers’ experiences of working in multiple schools or districts did not appear to affect perceptions about retention factors. By identifying factors that contribute to teachers’ decision to remain in the field, school leadership can attempt to make improvements to those factors to prevent voluntary attrition.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.