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The Roles of Leadership in High Performing High Poverty Schools: A Case Study of Four Torchbearer Principals and Their Schools




Ross, Craig

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


This study presents a comparative case study of four Torchbearer high performing-high poverty schools located in south Alabama. Using the underlying assumption that all children can learn and that principals are integral to student academic success, this study examined the behaviors of high performing-high poverty school principals and the belief systems that they operate from to develop a deeper understanding of the types of leadership, structures, and support systems that promote improved learning for all students. Individual case studies were done for each school site. After considering each case separately, a cross-case analysis was conducted. Multiple data sources including the use of an in-depth semi-structured interview protocol with the principals, a principal self-assessment survey (Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale, PIMRS; Hallinger, 1982) a whole staff survey (PIMRS; Hallinger 1982), document analysis and field notes were collected while shadowing each principal provided access to multiple perspectives and data sources, allowing for triangulation of data.