Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Major Professor

William Black, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Leonard Burrello, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Tanetha Grosland, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tony Tan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Wolgemuth, Ph.D.


principal preparation, retention, stress management, well-being


This dissertation builds upon stress and burnout research on school leaders by exploring the beliefs and practices regarding well-being and self-renewal of principals identified as successful. This study utilized a 3-fold framework that consisted of mind, body, and spirit, falling under the all-encompassing umbrella of thriving, asserting the three domains work together to support the optimal well-being of the leader. The research questions were as follows: (1) In what ways are principals' well-being and self-renewal supported by principals' personal beliefs and practices, district policies and practices, and educational programs and organizations? (2) To what extent does attentiveness to well-being and practices of self-renewal impact professional success and work satisfaction, and well-being and flourishing?

This study included a diverse group of six principals, all identified as successful and all with three or more years of experience as administrators. The case study consisted of mostly interviews with some survey inquiry. The primary method of analysis was holistic descriptive and in vivo coding with loose applications of formal protocols provided by Saldaña (2009). In my final analysis the participant responses were organized into categories and layered into my pre-existing framework of mind, body, and spirit. The findings from the study revealed the current successes and challenges in the personal and professional renewal of principals. The findings yielded implications for research and practice specific to principals, school districts, and principal preparation programs.