School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Ellen Lowrie Black

Primary Subject Area

Education, Curriculum and Instruction


The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the behaviors and practices of a principal in an effective, private, faith-based urban high school. The researcher interviewed school personnel, observed school operations, and reviewed school documents. The researcher administered two surveys to 15 faculty, staff, board members and the principal. The first survey included 76 questions that addressed Powell’s five domains of Vision, Mission, and Culture; Curriculum and Classroom Instruction; Collaboration and Shared Leadership; Family and Community Relations; and Effective Management. The second survey included 30 questions that explored Kouzes and Posner’s leadership characteristics of Model the Way; Inspire a Shared Vision; Challenge the Process; Enable Others to Act; and Encourage the Heart. This study confirmed many of the findings presented in the literature review and found that the study school was effective in part because of the leadership behaviors and practices of the principal. The principal was instrumental in keeping the school moving toward the goal of providing an excellent, Christ-centered education that equips urban students for leadership, service, and peacemaking.