Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Russell F. West

Committee Members

Terrence A. Tollefson, Jasmine R. Renner, Elizabeth Ralston


This scrapbook of biographical sketches serves as an exhibition of portraits in the elementary school principalship through experiencing a gallery of leadership interviews. Perspectives have been framed in compositions that represent the practical realist, the idealist, and at times even a surrealistic perspective of the elementary principal. Critical incidents were shared from individual participants representing catalysts for momentous change; themes of personal realizations, barriers to effectiveness, and challenges in the career of an administrator also contributed as dominant elements of the final work.

A qualitative research method employing interviews explored the variation of colorful experiences that 23 elementary administrators encountered over the tenure of their careers. Each interview file was imported into the NUD*IST program. These files were then systematically coded and analyzed. The thick and rich descriptions provided opportunities for professionals to identify with the comments from practitioners and therefore established the applicability of the study.

During a time when the entire nation is engaged in adjusting to the impact of a single catastrophic event, it is appropriate to stop and address the little explored regions of the routines that daily exert constraints on time, and shape consciously or unconsciously how principals are affected as a result of their career choice of administration.

This study might be of interest to institutions that prepare instructional leaders for elementary school principalship. It could also assist superintendents and supervisors in public education by making them aware of what they might contribute to the success of their students by establishing an ideal relationship with their principals combining latitude, trust, and support. Finally, it could serve to validate or confront practitioners as they resolve issues of their own practice though vicariously experiencing the events and situations shared by their colleagues and peers.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.