Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Rosette Obedoza

Second Advisor

Susan Noyes



This narrative inquiry explored how educational leaders perceive the development of a trauma-informed school. A trauma-informed school acknowledges the impact of trauma and responds by integrating effective practices, programs, and procedures to build resilience. The problem addressed by this study is, with rising numbers of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), school staff lack targeted skills to help students mitigate trauma. Further, this qualitative study fills the gap in literature by providing the lived experiences of educational leaders in developing trauma-informed schools. Through narrative research, semistructured interviews which lasted up to 60 minutes were individually conducted with five educational leaders who worked in trauma-informed schools in Maine. Data analysis included restorying the interview transcripts and data coding. Each narrative was sent to participants for member checking to ensure accuracy. Restoried narratives were examined in depth and revealed the following themes: Connections, Readiness for Change, and Availability of Time. Key findings showed connections are the foundation of a trauma-informed school to foster belonging. Readiness for change among staff is necessary for professional development to be meaningful, and time is essential to engage in the work. Success is measured by whole-child well-being over test scores. Implications suggest a collaborative, whole-school approach may promote a student’s daily resilience.


Ed.D. Dissertation



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