Date of Award

Fall 11-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom

Second Advisor

Dr. Darlene Jones

Third Advisor

Dr. Melvin Bishop


This study is a first year principal's quest to transform the culture of Midwest Middle School (MMS). The study covers the 2009-2010 school year. The data from the 2008-2009 school year provided the baseline data for this study. Alarming results of a state survey regarding the culture of the medium sized suburban middle school caused concern. The survey included responses from students, parents, and teachers specifically addressing building climate, safety, and efficacy. In four different categories, MMS finished in the first percentile response section. This translated to 99% of the students attending schools in the state responded more favorably to the select groups of questions than the students attending MMS. The survey results combined with the unremarkable academic achievement scores made it extremely clear that the school needed to change. The principal of MMS, who also served as the researcher for this study, set out to transform the culture of the school. The intention was to create a ripple effect that would benefit academic achievement, behavior, and climate in the building. The principal focused on data analysis and utilizing the data to inform instruction, implementing strict discipline consequences for inappropriate behavior while rewarding students exhibiting positive behavior and increasing opportunities to gain a greater sense of belonging. The researcher collected data over the course of the 2009-2010 school year. While the data showed little statistically significant differences in academic achievement, behavior, and building climate, the observable differences were remarkable.


Copyright 2012