Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Genevieve Siegel-Hawley

Second Advisor

Dr. Whitney Newcomb

Third Advisor

Dr. Barbara Driver

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Adai Tefera


Public schools have increasingly transformed throughout the years, and the growth in suburban areas has brought many diversified schools that sometimes mirror schools in an urban setting (Kneebone and Berube,2013). Building principals, particularly those in charge of Title I schools, face numerous challenges each day within their buildings (Kahlenberg, 2001). Not only have the demands of high-stakes testing increased over the years, other external factors also present challenges within the school setting. While the school stakeholders play an integral role in how the school is shaped, the building principal’s behaviors ultimately serve as the overarching guide in shaping how the school is run (Stone-Johnson, 2013). Existing research is abundant in identifying leadership variables that can potentially influence student achievement, from leadership behaviors (Daresh & Lynch, 2010) to school culture (Deal & Peterson, 2009); from teachers’ feelings of self-efficacy (Collie, Shapka, & Perry, 2012) to teacher effectiveness (Meyers & Pianta, 2008); from teacher-student relationships (Hamre & Pianta, 2006) to student attitudes (Hopson & Lee, 2011). However, there is a dearth of research that examines the possible relationships between several interacting components; especially, in terms of stakeholders’ perceptions. This case study aims to begin filling this gap. What is also unique about this study, aside from the setting in a specific Title I suburban school, is its use of appreciative inquiry that aims to tease out the most positive attributions, rather than focusing on the negative.


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