Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Dissertation (UNI Access Only)


School administrators--Middle West--Attitudes; School administrators--Training of--Middle West;


With an abundance of data, research, and literature about the status of America’s public schools, the necessity for school improvement is well established. The United States needs high caliber leadership in all schools, but especially in schools most in need of improvement. The sole focus in professional literature on the principalship can undercut the role of all members of the administrative team. While new administrators most often occupy the lower level positions on the administrative team, but they need roles that allow for meaningful contributions along with mentoring to improve in their current positions and be groomed for the next level. The primary purpose of this study is to investigate the experiences of entry-level administrators in a SINA school in transformation. All participants were in their first or second year in their positions at Cornerstone High School during the 2011-2012 school year. Through qualitative research methods, the researcher uncovered their use of best practices in leading the change process, use of professional time working in ways that promote transformation, and support they received from senior leadership. The results show the disconnect that exists between research and reality in the leadership of some schools. The participants in this study revealed that they spend the majority of their time doing supervision or management work, with little opportunity for instructional leadership. They feel encouraged, if not required, to work in isolation. In some instances, they feel they must choose between following established best practices or being deemed insubordinate. Being assigned mentors they have ethical and philosophical discrepancies with, they have sought out their own experienced mentors for guidance and created their own informal peer networks for support in navigating their new positions.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Leadership and Postsecondary Education

First Advisor

Dewitt Jones

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (iii, 122 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download