Journal of Educational Leadership in Action


Novice school principals’ challenges range from school and curricular restructuring, pressures of accountability, and changing local initiatives. The interplay from these different variables leads some novice school principals to abandon their positions during their third year (Fuller & Orr, 2008). This narrative case study explored the relationship of the transformational and transactional leadership practices of two elementary novice principals. The first goal of this narrative case study was to complement course content with a field-based learning experience. Secondly, in this field-based theory to practice research experience, Educational Administration graduate students interviewed two novice school principals. Data analysis focused on the interplay of transformational and transactional leadership decisions when novice school principals address challenges like school and curricular restructuring, pressures of accountability, and changing local initiatives.


Maria de Lourdes Viloria received her doctorate degree for Texas A&M in Educational Administration and is currently an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Texas A&M International University. Her primary research interests are place-based perspectives on educational leadership, rural education, STEM educational pathways for underserved students, and third generation Mexican American teachers.

Gloria Palau is an aspiring principal and she currently teaches fifth grade at Tomas Sanchez/Hermelinda Ochoa Elementary in Laredo, Texas.

Jeanette Montalvo is an aspiring principal who currently teaches special education at Amparo Gutierrez Elementary School in Laredo, Texas. She received her Master of Science from Texas A&M International University in educational administration and is currently a Special Education Teacher at United Independent School District. Her primary research interests are qualitative research methods, administration/management, decision-making, school leadership, and principal training.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.