Term of Award

Fall 2006

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 1

James F. Burnham

Committee Member 2

T.C. Chan

Committee Member 3

James M. Smith

Abstract

The high school principal plays an important and highly visible role in the community. High school principals are expected to provide challenging curriculum, comprehensive athletic and fine arts programs, a disciplined learning environment, increased test scores, and community involvement. With such an array of demanding expectations, the selection of the high school principal is an extremely important decision made by Georgia school superintendents. In an effort to gain a better understanding of the employment criteria used to hire Georgia high school principals, the researcher used a previously validated formal survey constructed by Dr. Linda Gresham in 2003. The survey was mailed to all 180 Georgia public school superintendents. Descriptive statistics common to quantitative research were calculated, including frequencies, means, and standard deviations. The researcher's findings confirmed that there is an abundance of certified high school principal applicants in Georgia. However, superintendents reported that the actual number of qualified applicants is much lower. Georgia superintendents value credibility, having high expectations, and the ability to see the whole picture when considering the most important educational selection criteria for high school principal candidates. Criteria such as years of experience, being skilled in technology, and being knowledgeable about innovative practices were least valued by Georgia superintendents. The researcher recommends that Georgia school superintendents be more proactive in recruiting high school principals by growing their own through more formalized professional learning programs.

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