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Factors that contribute to the success of secondary school principals in Rhode Island

Dinah A Larbi, Johnson & Wales University


This study identifies characteristics that contribute to the success of secondary school principals in the state of Rhode Island. A qualitative research design was employed to determine (a) The impact of motivation on the role relationship of principals, (b) How leadership styles contribute to the success of secondary school principals, and (c) What factors contribute to the professional development of secondary school principals. While the school sample used in the study was randomly selected, the participants (N = 20) were purposively selected secondary school principals identified as “exemplary educators” by their respective superintendents, and as determined by the respective school district established criteria. Guided by a qualitative research design, data were collected through individual interviews with each of the twenty principals. Conclusions drawn from the resulting emerging themes suggest that successful principals are visionary instructional leaders who promote student learning and support teachers through collaborative means. In addition, successful principals are self-confident and motivated, and derive much of their professional development from colleagues and through community partnerships. The results of this study suggest the need for collegial support for principals from various constituencies, as it was determined that an effective principal is critical to the teaching/teaming process. Finally, it was determined that the high attrition rate among principals reflects their frustration with ever-increasing expectations thrust upon them, further suggesting the need for professional and moral support for these administrators.

Subject Area

School administration

Recommended Citation

Larbi, Dinah A, "Factors that contribute to the success of secondary school principals in Rhode Island" (2003). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3106411.