Date of Award

Spring 4-8-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Myrna Rivera Coté, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Walter Buster, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Marilou Ryder, Ed.D.


The role of public school superintendent is complex, political, and sometimes volatile. California has experienced a shortage of qualified candidates during the past 10 years, resulting from NCLB punitive reform measures, retirements, and are reluctance of district leaders to step up to this demanding position. The Superintendency is unlike any other in K-12 education. It serves the community and the school board. This study set out to explore and document the experiences of superintendents who participated in leadership/executive coaching for professional development and support. Superintendents’ experiences were transcribed and coded through the lens of the eight AASA Professional Standards for the Superintendency. The purpose was to determine the efficacy of coaching in the ability to lead in their positions. The eight AASA Standards included: 1) Strategic Leadership/District Culture, 2) Policy/Governance, 3) Communications, 4) Leadership, Organizational Management/School Finance, 5) Curriculum Planning/Development, 6) Instructional Management, 7) Staff Evaluation/Personnel Management, 8) Values/Ethics. The qualitative components of the study were gathered through interviews and purposive sampling. Targeted participants were sent invitation emails in seven counties in California. Results showed superintendents in the study received a blended model of coaching including mentoring and coaching strategies. All of the superintendents in this study received support in more than one of the eight areas of the AASA Standards. The study revealed that coaching supported superintendents in all of the eight standard areas. Retired superintendents provided all of the coaching support, except in one case. Every superintendent had a positive coaching experience.