Date of Award

Spring 5-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Kim Fitzpatrick

Third Advisor

Dr. Brad Swofford


High performing schools with exceptional leaders are needed today in America. School leaders are expected to come to the job equipped with the ability to address curriculum issues, face dire budget constraints, and turn around school culture and climate. Financially, schools are suffering from the cost of teacher turnover. Students are suffering academically from the revolving door of teachers moving in and out of classrooms. By investigating and addressing such issues, district administrators will be able to recognize which elementary school principals will be able to solve problems because they possess the necessary leadership skills. The purpose of this study was to explore the qualities associated with servant leadership and determine the extent these qualities were exhibited by elementary school principals in one urban public school district. Specifically, this study focused on elementary school principals to determine the relationship of servant leadership on teacher satisfaction and teacher retention. Servant leadership, as it applied to public school setting, was defined through quantitative and qualitative procedures. Through the utilization of the Leadership Skills Inventory (Hunter, 2004), Missouri School Improvement Plan Advanced Faculty Questionnaire ([MODESE], 2011), and the teacher retention survey question, the researcher found when the elementary school principal displays characteristics of a servant leader, teacher satisfaction is impacted. Considering the impact on the elementary school and the elementary teachers, it may be necessary to consider servant leadership as a chosen model and framework within the high stakes accountability climate faced in education. Servant leaders may demonstrate shared leadership and create the positive culture needed to meet the increasing demands of No Child Left Behind.


Copyright 2012