Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Leadership and Policies


Educational Administration

First Advisor

Peter Moyi

Second Advisor

Lynn Harrill


The amount of research on successful Title One Schools is woefully inadequate. Because so much money has been allocated for this program, more in depth research is imperative. A qualitative exploratory case study of one school and eight participants, including a principal, an assistant principal, a math coach and four teachers, focuses on the journey of one Title One school to becoming a Distinguished Title One School. The theoretical framework constructed to examine the experiences of these seven participants relied on the findings of an educational reform expert, Michael Fullan (2007) and his theory of Educational Change, along with Marzano's research into making schools more effective at every level. The researcher's own experience and subjectivity also play a major role in the conclusions drawn from this study. Analysis of three in-depth interviews conducted with the principal, three in-depth interviews conducted with the assistant principal, interviews with two focus groups, and one observation revealed three major themes, including the critical role of school principals, the significance of leadership qualities, and the value of a positive school culture. Implicit in the study is the importance of placing the right person in the role of leadership at a Title One school. Recognizing the qualities shared by leaders who are successful in Title One schools will help school districts to identify those who would be effective in creating a climate of success within such challenging environments.


© 2013, Dawn Hooker