NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED531783
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 168
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-4857-0
The Artistry of Leadership in the Superintendency: A Mosaic of One Man's Journey
Epstein, Anastasia B.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Roosevelt University
Leadership theories are continuously evolving. Leadership is an indefinable concept that may be interpreted as an art. This study explores the complexity of leadership and the superintendency. The purpose of this study was to describe and explain the perspective of a superintendent and his journey through several educational leadership roles and two superintendencies. The questions that guided the study were: (a) What path did he take to reach the superintendency? (b) What factors played a role in leading and managing an educational organization? and (c) How did those factors contribute to his superintendency? This study examines one superintendent's life history, utilizing Eisner's framework for qualitative inquiry and Lawrence-Lightfoot's methodology of portraiture. Data from interviews, photos, field notes, and artifacts were analyzed. Three themes emerged from analyzing the data. The themes were care as a guiding principle, experience as mentor, and the imposter phenomenon. The first theme was care as a guiding principle with sub themes of interpersonal connections (through the art of listening) and (decision-making based on what is in) the best interest of the student. The second theme identified was experience as mentor in using personal knowledge, gained through life experience, to guide leadership practice. The third theme, the imposter phenomenon, explored Dr. Pekoe's voice of self-doubt. Through the data analysis, I demonstrate how each theme contributed to his leadership practices. Through the deconstruction of the portrait and the examination of the pieces of the mosaic, three findings emerged: Dr. Pekoe's path to the superintendency was unconventional and different from the norm. Therefore, his life experiences filled the learning gaps that occurred. From his perspective, the factor that played the greatest role in successfully leading and managing an organization was developing positive relationships. As a superintendent, he felt that through creating positive relationships with staff members, he was able to impact students' education. After Dr. Pekoe announced his retirement, he reinvented himself, at least the self that he shared with the school district. It is likely, given his feelings of being an imposter, that the self he shared in that last year was closer to his real self, no longer having the need to be the person he thought they expected him to be. This study contributes to the field of education by investigating the factors that play a role in leading and managing an education organization. It is important for education administrators to be knowledgeable of leadership theories and practices. This study is also essential so that educational leaders may learn from others' leadership experiences. It is my intent that readers will find something in this study that resonates with them-encouraging excellence in educational leadership. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A