Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Dr. John Kellmayer I

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Dr. Dan Bishop

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Dr. Laura Perry


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to identify factors that influence retention of school superintendents in rural Texas. Constant turnover in the position of superintendent has created inconsistent learning environments for students and unstable working environments for staff. Small, rural schools have often served as steppingstones for superintendents who use their experience in these small rural districts to obtain positions in larger, suburban schools. The researcher used semistructured interview questions to conduct this study. In this qualitative case study, participants were recruited from the educational service center of Region VII school districts in Texas. One group included superintendents who had served in a small, rural school district for at least two years. The other group of participants consisted of school board presidents in small, rural school districts. The researcher interviewed eight superintendents and seven school board presidents from Region VII of Texas. The participants were recruited with the use of school districts’ websites and email addresses. Previous research identified five mitigating factors: systems knowledge, school board relations, salary, stress level, and locations that influence retention of rural-based school district superintendents. Two themes emerged: relationships and leadership. Rural East Texas superintendents perceived the most important factor that contributed to their plans to remain in their current position was building effective and productive relationships. Rural East Texas school board presidents perceived the most important factor that contributed to retaining superintendents in their current position was valuing the importance of leadership knowledge, competence, and skills.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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