Date of Award

Spring 4-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid

Third Advisor

Dr. Kim Fitzpatrick


The purpose of this study was to determine the reasons high-quality rural veteran educators choose to remain in small, rural district settings and to identify common factors among small rural school districts that have high numbers of highly qualified veteran teachers. The study is relevant to school leaders and school boards within small rural communities seeking to develop policies and encourage strategies to keep high-quality educators from leaving districts. The motivation-hygiene theory of job satisfaction developed by Herzberg, Mausner, and Snyderman (1993), coupled with Rosenholtz’s (1989) 10 essential components for working together were utilized throughout the study to evaluate the motivations of high-quality veteran rural educators. A self-administered survey and telephone interviews were utilized to gather data, which revealed high-quality veteran teachers choose to remain in the small, rural school setting due to intrinsic motivators. It was learned strong support from fellow educators and the community contributed to the desire of rural educators to remain employed within their districts. Data revealed educators were interested in autonomy within the classroom and support from administrators. Research indicated small, rural schools with high numbers of highly qualified veteran teachers have high levels of administrative support. These educators have a sense of belonging within their districts and high levels of job satisfaction. Opportunities for educators to collaborate are readily available and support is given through teacher evaluations. Additionally, these educators feel connections within their school communities, which enable them to better teach the district's students. Lastly, educators voiced school climate played a large role in their decisions to stay in the small, rural setting.


Copyright 2015