Term of Award

Fall 2004

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Administration

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Catherine C. Wooddy

Committee Member 1

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 2

Fred Page

Committee Member 3

Fred W. Hicks, III


The purpose of this study was to describe parents', teachers', community, staff, and business partners' perceptions on what characteristics yield an effective elementary principal, as well as, to describe the interactive process that occurs when these stakeholders are involved with the described principals.

The sample consisted of five stakeholders at each of three elementary schools that were located in Georgia. The three schools represented three different geographic locations (urban, rural, and suburban). The study was descriptive in nature and the data were gathered from focus-group, semi-structured interviews.

Findings from this research indicate that the stakeholders believe that the most critical elements and characteristics that contribute to an effective elementary school principal are: (1) Vision with expectations and goals, (2) Communication, (3) Curriculum and instruction, (4) Proactive, (5) Environment/School climate, (6) Academic performance and monitoring progress, (7) Visibility, (8) Professional development, (9) Trust, ethics, and interpersonal skills, (10) Risk taker, empowerment, and voices to others, (11) Assertive, firm, and committed, (12) Student focused, (13) Technical and managerial skills, (14) Support for others, and (15) Structured and organized, yet flexible.

The type of research presented in this study examined a phenomenon in depth for the purpose of giving voice to the stakeholders. The research makes a contribution to what is known in the field about effective leadership.


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