Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

EdD Educational Leadership (Doctor of Education)


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Vernon-Dotson, Lisa

Committee Member 1

Hill, Gloria

Committee Member 2

Sarruda, James


distributed leadership, Instructional leader, Instructional leadership, principal leadership, shared leadership


School principals; Teacher effectiveness


Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


The purpose of this case study was to explore a principal's experiences and how they aligned to Hallinger and Murphy's (1985) effective instructional leadership practices in an era of accountability. This study of effective principal leadership is timely and relevant due to the recent implementation of national and state mandates for principals to be instructional leaders through the adoption of a distributed leadership model. This seventh year principal, also the researcher-participant in this study, had the responsibility of overseeing approximately 100 professional and support staff members and approximately 750 students ranging from pre-kindergarten to the eighth grade. The pre-k to 8 school being studied was one of five schools out of approximately 54 schools in the county with the same grade span. The researcher concluded that a principal can be an effective instructional leader while spending minimal time in the classroom through setting the school vision, providing feedback on formal evaluations, and supporting professional development opportunities. Furthermore, the principal's ability to adopt a distributed leadership framework with teacher leaders to carry out management and instructional tasks created sustainable change within the school. Further research is needed to explore the type of feedback that principals are providing teachers in the evaluation system.