Navigating the Labyrinth: Women School Superintendents in North Carolina

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Scarlet Ann Davis (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Ken Jenkins

Abstract: Fewer than 20% of the public school superintendencies in the nation are held by women. In North Carolina, women hold only 15% of the 117 public school superintendent positions. This study investigated barriers women superintendents in North Carolina encountered in securing the position as well as successful strategies they employed to navigate around the barriers. Resilience and perseverance capacity was investigated as well as career pathways. Data in this descriptive study were collected via an online survey and from follow-up interviews. All of the women superintendents who participated in this study exhibited high levels of resilience and perseverance. Not only did they reveal resilience and perseverance through the data collected by the survey instrument and the interview protocol, their resumes and professional vitae verified their broad and extensive experiences and commitments to long-term goals by achievement of credentials and attainment of multiple leadership positions. Four themes surfaced from the qualitative data obtained in this study. They were purpose, perseverance, people, and passion. Each of the participants used these themes to navigate circuitous paths through a labyrinth of multiple and mysterious routes often lined with obstacles to eventually conclude at the inner circle of executive leadership.

Additional Information

Davis, S.A. (2010). Navigating the Labyrinth: Women School Superintendents in North Carolina. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2010
Superintendents, Women Superintendents, Women Administrators, Resilience, Perseverance

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