Date of Award



© 2019 LaTonya Wright Bolden

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Jacqueline Lookabaugh

Third Advisor

Oluwakemi S. Abdulkadir Popoola


The aim of this qualitative study was to examine the ways in which teachers’ perceptions of school leadership, particularly principals, impact the attrition and the retention of highly qualified educators. The focus of this study was the analysis of teachers’ views of the various philosophies of leadership and how the practices which stem from those philosophies affect the efficacy of the teachers. Because of the correlation between teacher retention and leadership styles, the behavioral leadership model of principals developed by Urick and Bowers (2014) was used as a conceptual framework for the study.

The findings of this research indicated that while the interactions with school leaders affect the morale and, in some cases, the stress levels of the teachers, the participants are intrinsically motivated to remain in Title 1 schools. Such motivators included family dynamics, senses of community, and sociological ideologies. While most of the leader-member exchanges were positive and of high quality, there is a need for teacher-driven, differentiated professional development such as flexible meetings through online platforms and apps so that more time could be allotted for collaborative and individual planning. Even though the state evaluation rubric encompasses ten performance standards, the teachers who participated in this study wanted a more detailed feedback system that allows consistent, ongoing dialogue between the leaders and the teachers. Consistent, quality leader-member exchanges are needed to help to build levels of trust and mutual understanding.


Ed.D. Dissertation