Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Major Professor

Leonard Burello


Social Justice, School Related Interventions



The purpose of this portraiture study is to describe four African-American principals'

experiences, in the context of their principal's role, with the interventions they championed in

meeting the needs of their struggling students. This research attempts to answer questions

concerning: What role did the four principals play in the targeted school reform? What

interventions did each principal introduce and what evidence of effects do they identify for each

one? How did each principal's values and beliefs affect what they chose to do? Framed within

Social Justice Theory (SJT), the study provides insight into how these respondents increased

student achievement and social behavior through the interventions that they championed. Data

collection included school observations, interviews of principal participants, and the collection of

principal generated artifacts such as awards, memos, and newspaper articles. Portraiture was the

method used in this study. Several themes emerged from the narratives of the two men and two

women. First, all four leaders were able to bring students, parents, and school staff members

together. Second, there is a clear focus on how dedicated these men and women were to their

work. The results and impact of their leadership, however, appear contextually unique,

serendipitous, and distinctive.