School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Samuel J Smith

Primary Subject Area

Education, Elementary; Education, Administration; Education, General


collaboration, culture, education leadership, poverty


Effective school leadership is becoming more difficult than ever with the challenges of increased accountability and high stakes testing that are components of federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation. These challenges are more pronounced in schools with high rates of poverty. This was a case study of a high performing, high poverty school that has consistently been one of the highest performing elementary schools in the state. The purpose of the study was to describe the leadership that exists at the school, the culture of the school, and programs that contribute to the school's success. The researcher conducted observations at the school site and interviews with school personnel. School personnel also completed the School Culture Survey regarding school culture and the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education (VAL-ED) survey leadership. The study revealed school leadership that had high expectations for staff members and emphasized small group instruction, collaboration, and continuous improvement in instructional practices. The culture of the school was that of excellence, continuous improvement, school pride, and collaboration.