Women Educational Leaders: A Case Study of Perceived Barriers in Private Schools

Women Educational Leaders: A Case Study of Perceived Barriers in Private Schools

Author: 
Veronica G. Gatling
Program of study: 
Ed.D.
Abstract: 
The purpose for this explanatory case study was to gather the perceptions of 10 superintendents and five board presidents through interviews and field notes to develop an explanation for the disparity of women superintendents in private school leadership positions in Phoenix, Arizona. A qualitative method was conducted using face-to-face interviews and a demographic information sheet to support inquiry into perceptions, reasons and solutions for female underrepresentation. Two research questions guided this study as what perceived hurdles do female candidates face in obtaining a superintendent position in a private school in Phoenix, Arizona? and Why are these barriers perceived as present for women? The study relied on structured and semi structured interviews to explore the perceptions of the reason for the underrepresentation. The research analysis revealed three main thematic categories including self-awareness of applicant, institutional expectations and perception of Biblical context. The finding emerged through constant comparative analysis and NVivo 10 software. The research concluded with superintendent and board president perceptions and recommendations that will purposefully increase the research into private school educational leadership.
Dedication: 
This work is dedicated to Jesus Christ and my family. The rigor of this dissertation journey has been a gift to me and has reminded me to rely on God alone every day. To my husband, Timothy, thank you for the love in spite of all my faults. To my children: Tiffany, Zechariah, and Faith for allowing the pursuit of purpose without apology. To my mother, Geridell, my grandmother, Gerilean, my sisters and brother, Wanata, Monteasa, Altameza, Yuell (Red) and my many nephews and niece who vicariously contributed to this accomplishment. Their self-determination and pursuit of excellence rubbed off on me and modeled the importance of keeping the faith. Finally, this work is dedicated back to God. God took a dyslexic, slow-to-learn, insignificant girl and allowed her to achieve the highest degree attainable. To God I give all the praise!
Acknowledgements: 
Thanks to every person who assisted in the completion of my Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. My utmost priority is to bestow undivided reverence to God, my personal Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, for without the power of my relationship with God none of this would have been possible. Timothy is a dedicated husband and father. He did everything possible to support this accomplishment in every way. My three children (Tiffany, Zechariah and Faith), are loved dearly. This work is designed to model a commitment to faith in the one true God and life-long learning. In addition, thanks to my extended family (Geridell - mother, Gerilean - grandmother, sisters -Wanata, Monteasa, Altameza and brother -Yuell) and friends for coming to every graduation and supporting this effort. Finally, thanks to my amazingly brilliant dissertation chairperson, Vontricie Roberson, Ed.D, for her gentle yet spot-on critique. Thanks to the members of my dissertation team, Claudine Boros, DA, Julia Aucoin, DNS, RN for constructive assistance and scholarly support through this research process. Additional appreciation and thanks to all my colleagues and fellow educators for granting permission to probe, question, and interview them for this research. I know that this research would not be as rich without dedication to the field of education and professional excellence. Lastly, many thanks to my university cohort members (Mercy, Deborah, Kahlida, Pat, Jackie, and others), whose emails, residency attendance, and encouragement made this work pleasurable. Finally, thanks to my DCS, SCA and Freedom Academy professional families for the prayers, critique and encouragement and especially Kathy Matney, Mary Savidge and Leanne Dick for the prayers and advice.