Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Women school principals--Iowa; High school principals--Iowa;


The purpose of this exploratory case study was to identify and describe one female Iowa secondary principal's career path to the principalship in an Iowa public high school. Several factors were considered in the selection of the participant including: demographics, administrative experience, and her willingness to spend time in the interview process. To provide semi-structure to the interviews and in turn suggest the conceptual frame for analyzing the data, the following questions were formulated:

1. What were the experiences which served as perceived barriers in the career path to the high school principalship for one Iowa female high school principal?

2. How does one Iowa female high school principal view her role, strengths, and limitations based on her experiences as a high school principal?

3. How does one Iowa female high school principal describe her leadership style?

4. How do those who work with one Iowa female high school principal describe her leadership style?

The combined experiences and leadership style from one female educational administrator's own perspective emerged as data was gathered, analyzed, and organized. On-site observations, interviews with the participant's associates, and archival documents clarified meaning to provide credibility and confirmability. The method chosen in the case study for presentation of data was a descriptive narrative.

The study provided a rich description of one Iowa female high school principal's career path. The documented singular voice of one Iowa female high school principal adds to the understanding of the unique role of female high school principals in a basically rural state where female high school principals are in a minority. The study provides a thick description of a career passage for females in Iowa who aspire to the principalship as well as practicing female high school principals. Furthermore, the study provides a new term for describing a leadership trait earlier identified as strong and soft traits. The term, "stroft," suggests a new way of thinking of a leadership trait defined as strong and soft but conceptually understood as a blend of those characteristics that equals "stroft."

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Leadership and Postsecondary Education


Department of Educational Administration and Counseling

First Advisor

Joane W. McKay

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (ix, 269 pages)



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