Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Purpose: The purpose of this exploratory phenomenological study was to identify and describe the strategies used by exemplary rural superintendents to maintain personal resiliency based on Everly, Strouse, and McCormack’s (2015) five factors of personal resilience (active optimism, decisive action, moral compass, relentless tenacity, and interpersonal support).
Methodology: This exploratory phenomenological study used purposeful criterion sampling and recommendations from the county superintendents in the identified geographic area. Each of the 8 identified exemplary rural superintendents was interviewed using an instrument aligned to the five factors of personal resilience and their definitions. The researcher collected rich qualitative interview data, that were converted to transcripts, and participants were asked to verify accuracy. Additionally, participants were asked to provide artifacts to triangulate the research results. Transcripts were then coded, and themes emerged and were presented and supported with frequency tables. Additionally, participants were asked to provide artifacts to triangulate the research results.
Findings: Data analysis yielded 5 findings related to resilience strategies to maintain active optimism, decisive action, moral compass, relentless tenacity, interpersonal support, personal resilience
Conclusions: Five conclusions were drawn from the data on the findings. The strategies that exemplary rural superintendents use to maintain resiliency are (a) interpersonal support, (b) relying on your noble purpose, (c) influencing your organization through emotional stability, (d) promote a positive attitude (e) experience previous success
Recommendations: Further research is recommended to replicate this study with other target populations such as urban and suburban counterparts and other educational leaders like principals and directors. Other studies are recommended for interpersonal support, quantitative analysis on large superintendent resilience populations, mixed methods adversity studies on rural areas, longitudinal studies on new superintendent success, and comparison studies on adverse childhood experience effects on leadership.
Gaussoin-Radcliffe, Silas, "Exploring Resilience in Exemplary Rural School Superintendents" (2021). Dissertations. 417.