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LEADERSHIP SKILLS BELIEVED TO ENHANCE AND EXPAND LEADERSHIP
CAPACITY AND FUTURE SUSTAINABILITY OF CHRISTIAN K-12 SCHOOL
ADMINISTRATORS
By
Marjorie L. Baldwin
Dissertation submitted to the Faculty
Division of Graduate Studies in Leadership and the
Graduate School
In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Education
Organizational Leadership
Indiana Wesleyan University
April 2012
UMI Number: 3509681
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UMI 3509681
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Copyright 2012 Marjorie L. Baldwin
ABSTRACT
Private schools provide an alternative to public education in the United States. Parents
select private schooling for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is to provide a
quality educational opportunity for their children. Research indicates that one key
indicator for school effectiveness is school leadership (David, Darling-Hammond,
LaPointe, & Meyerson, 2005). In order to maintain and improve the health of private
schools, leaders must possess or be trained in skills that will meet the unique needs and
challenges of today’s private, non-federally funded, educational institution. The skills
necessary to sustain tomorrow’s educational leaders will require a diverse expertise and
new development of skills to meet the demands of the rapidly changing educational
community (Hitt, 2000). Some of the changes that have created the demand for this new
set of skills are globalization, the rapid pace of technological advances, and the economic
downturn in the global economy. Through the use of the Delphi Technique, this study
identifies a set of 28 skills that 31 private K-12 school administrators reported as
necessary for today’s success and tomorrow’s sustainability for the leader of the private
school.
iv
DEDICATION
To my daughter, Elizabeth Baldwin:
You are the most tenacious person I know, because I have never seen you quit
anything you have attempted, even when the going was seemingly impossible. I am
learning to follow your example of perseverance. Your spirit inspires me, your love
sustains me, and you bless me beyond measure.
v
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I would like to thank the Lord for His mercy upon me during the entire doctoral
process. I would not have achieved this benchmark without His daily provision and
mercy. I am especially grateful that He led me to Indiana Wesleyan University and to the
professors who imparted truth integrated with knowledge. This team of professors
modeled well the servant leadership they taught. They have forever marked my life and
those of the lives I am privileged to serve. The other group of people I appreciate are the
members of Cohorts 13 & 14 who persevered with me, made the journey rich, and
provided never ending encouragement and prayer.
In particular, I greatly appreciate the patience and guidance of Dr. Jim Freemyer,
my Committee Supervisor, and committee members, Dr. Anne Decker and Dr. Brian
Simmons, for their generosity of time, talent, and the encouragement they provided
during the dissertation process. You graciously gave much time to this project, and I
thank you.
I thank my mom, Corinne Van Buskirk, who taught me to dream big and who
actually believes I can accomplish anything.
To The Group, and David and Mary Baldwin, I am grateful for all the prayer
support and constant source of encouragement.
A very special thanks goes to my husband, Wes Baldwin, who is always in my
corner cheering me on to accomplish my dreams and goals. This would have been
impossible without your love, care, support, sacrifice, and all those nights of eating fast
vi
food. Thanks for the free counseling I frequently needed, the times you drove me to
Indiana so I could study, and making me believe I could climb this mountain.
vii
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABSTRACT ......................................................................................................... IV
DEDICATION ....................................................................................................... V
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................................................................... VI
TABLE OF CONTENTS .................................................................................... VIII
LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................... XI
CHAPTER ONE ................................................................................................... 1
Leadership Skills ........................................................................................................... 5
The Need for Leadership .............................................................................................. 6
Private Schools .............................................................................................................. 8
Christian Schools ........................................................................................................... 9
Problem Statement ...................................................................................................... 12
Challenges ................................................................................................................ 12
Superintendency Shortage ...................................................................................... 14
21st Century Preparedness ..................................................................................... 16
Purpose Statement ...................................................................................................... 17
The Research Methodology ........................................................................................ 18
Research Questions ..................................................................................................... 19
Significance of the Study ............................................................................................ 19
Delimitations ................................................................................................................ 20
Definitions of Terms .................................................................................................... 20
Organization of the Study........................................................................................... 22
CHAPTER TWO ................................................................................................. 24
The Superintendent ..................................................................................................... 25
History ...................................................................................................................... 25
The Responsibilities of the Superintendent ........................................................... 27
Leadership in K-12 Private Schools .......................................................................... 31
Challenges in Educational Leadership .................................................................. 32
The Role of Entrepreneurship ................................................................................ 35
Christian Schools ......................................................................................................... 38
viii
Challenges Faced in Christian Schools .................................................................. 42
Leadership Skills ......................................................................................................... 44
Summary ...................................................................................................................... 50
CHAPTER THREE ............................................................................................. 52
Purpose Statement ...................................................................................................... 52
Research Questions ..................................................................................................... 52
Research Design........................................................................................................... 53
Population and Sample ............................................................................................... 57
Selection of the Administrators.................................................................................. 58
Response Rates ............................................................................................................ 59
Instrumentation ........................................................................................................... 60
Field-Test of the Instrument ...................................................................................... 61
Data Collection Procedure ......................................................................................... 61
Procedure for Round 1 ............................................................................................... 61
Procedure for Round 2 ............................................................................................... 62
Procedure for Round 3 ............................................................................................... 63
Analysis of the Data .................................................................................................... 63
Limitations ................................................................................................................... 64
CHAPTER FOUR ............................................................................................... 66
Research Question Round 1 ....................................................................................... 69
Research Question Round 2 ....................................................................................... 73
Research Question Round 3 ....................................................................................... 79
Summary of Findings .................................................................................................. 82
Summary ...................................................................................................................... 84
CHAPTER FIVE ................................................................................................. 85
Background of the Study ............................................................................................ 85
Purpose of the Study ................................................................................................... 86
Research Questions ..................................................................................................... 86
Methodology ................................................................................................................ 86
Summary of Findings .................................................................................................. 88
Findings Related to the Literature ............................................................................ 91
Conclusions .................................................................................................................. 94
Implications for Action ............................................................................................... 95
Self-Assessment Tool ............................................................................................... 95
Professional Development and Mentoring ............................................................ 96
Development of Skills .............................................................................................. 97
ix
Future Administrators ............................................................................................ 99
School Boards........................................................................................................... 99
Skillful Teams .......................................................................................................... 99
Higher Education................................................................................................... 100
Publications ............................................................................................................ 100
Recommendations for Further Research ................................................................ 101
Concluding Remarks ................................................................................................ 102
REFERENCES ................................................................................................. 104
APPENDIX A: PERMISSION FROM DR. MEADOWS .................................... 126
APPENDIX B: COVER LETTERS ................................................................... 129
APPENDIX C: ROUND 1 INSTRUCTIONS...................................................... 132
APPENDIX D: ROUND 2 INSTRUCTIONS...................................................... 134
APPENDIX E: ROUND 3 INSTRUCTIONS ...................................................... 158
VITA ................................................................................................................. 159
x
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Responses to Round 1........................................................................................117
Table 2: Responses to Round 2 with a Rating of 10 ........................................................121
Table 3: Responses to Round 2 with a Rating of 9 ..........................................................125
Table 4: Responses to Round 2 with a Rating of 8 ..........................................................126
Table 5: Responses to Round 2 with a Rating of 7 ..........................................................129
Table 6: Responses to Round 2 with a Rating of 6 and 5 ................................................157
Table 7: Responses that were changed from Round 1 to Round 2 ..................................159
xi
CHAPTER ONE
Education in the United States comes in a variety of options. The most popular
form of education is public education offered for students in grades K-12, mandated by
each individual state, with its own set of standards and benchmarks. Public education is
characterized as publicly financed, tuition-free, accountable to public authorities, and
accessible to all students (Center on Education Policy, 2007). The outcomes of public
education are currently under increased scrutiny. Educational accountability has been a
national focus since the 1970s when attempts were made to improve data reporting,
assessment strategies, and the utilization of improved educational accountability efforts
and strategies (Felner, Bolton, Seitsinger, Brand, & Burns, 2008). In 1983 when the
report, A Nation at Risk (U.S. Department of Education, National Commission on
Excellence in Education, 1983) was published, it portrayed a public school system in
jeopardy. That concern was emphasized in international comparisons in mathematics and
science:
No measurable changes were detected in the average math and science scores of
U.S. fourth graders between 1995 and 2003. . . . Moreover, the available data
suggest that the performance of U.S. fourth-graders in both math and science was
lower in 2003 than in 1995 relative to the 14 other countries that participated in
both studies. (Gonzales et al., 2004, p. 24)
1
In 2001, the No Child Left Behind Act (No Child Left Behind [NCLB], 2002)
increased the national call for educational accountability. The current status of the act
has resulted in a labeling of one-third of the U.S. public schools as failing under the
definitions provided by NCLB (NCLB, 2002); by the year 2014, it is anticipated that at
least 80% of schools will fail to achieve Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) (Wiley,
Mathis, & Garcia, 2005). The intended purposes of NCLB (NCLB, 2002) were to raise
national educational achievement, close achievement gaps with students of color,
disabilities, and poverty status, promote educational choice and assure that highly
qualified teachers are in the classroom.
Although the benefits of NCLB (NCLB,
2002) are highly disputed (Darling-Hammond, 2007), the spotlight on educational
achievement has helped to create a more savvy and discerning customer: the parent of
school age children. Research conducted by Weidner and Herrington (2006) concluded
that when applying market theory to the educational setting, parents determined which
school their children should attend based on student achievement, which has led to
increased competition among schools. Thorelli and Engledow (1980) determined that
true open markets help create informed customers. Therefore, it can be concluded that
parental use of information provided by schools and additional information sources to
determine school choice creates a tension in the educational market place. That tension
places pressure on school administration and faculty to produce results. Those published
results sometimes create a shift in school enrollment as parents seek other schooling
options for their children. One of the more highly regarded options is the private school
(Coleman, Hoffer, & Kilgore, 1982).
2
The research conducted by Weidner and Herrington (2006) examined the use of
school vouchers in Florida for children with disabilities. Vouchers are scholarships or
payments for education at a private or parochial K-12 school. For parents who chose
private education, their primary motivation was to leave the public school (58%) rather
than place their child in a specific private school (39%). Furthermore, parents cited the
reasons that they removed their children from public school: quality of education,
teachers, financial aid, religious values, safety, discipline, class size, special programs,
and general atmosphere (Adler, Petch, & Tweedie, 1989; Wolf, Howell, & Peterson,
2000). Additional voucher studies have also concluded that parents who choose private
education for their children have earned higher levels of education than those parents
who leave their children in the public school (Gill, Timpane, Ross, & Brewer, 2001;
Godwin, Kemerer, & Martinez, 1998).
Non-public school options for the K-12 age group include charter schools, private
schools, home schools, on-line (virtual) schools, and religious schools. Within the
private school community there is a broad range of schools including Roman Catholic,
Muslim, Jewish, conservative Christian schools, other religious schools, nonsectarian
schools, vocational schools that maintain special program emphasis, and alternative
schools. In 2007-2008 there were 5.9 million elementary and secondary students in
private schools in the United States (U.S. Department of Education, 2010). By 2009
there were 33,740 private schools in the United States that were classified as secular and
non-secular (Aud et al., 2010). In 2009 there were 456,270 private school teachers in the
United States (Aud et al., 2010). It is the leadership at these schools that is frequently
3
identified as the factor that determines the effectiveness, and therefore the success of the
school (Kurland, Peretz, & Hertz-Lazarowitz, 2010).
While scholars do not agree about a universal definition of leadership (Rost,
1993), for the purposes of this study, leadership is defined as “developing vision and
strategies, the alignment of relevant people behind those strategies, and the
empowerment of individuals to make the vision happen, despite obstacles” (Kotter, 1998,
p. 10). This definition was chosen because effective educational leadership is meant to
inspire and develop people through a shared vision to create strategies that cause student
success. The last two words of this definition, despite obstacles, pertain to the nature of
leadership within the private school. The challenges faced by school administrators
require well-equipped leadership.
Portin (2005) asserted that “Leadership matters—leaders do make a difference in
the learning of students in schools” (p. 3). The importance of leadership in the success of
an organization is well documented (Bennis, 2003; Leithwood, 2006; Orthner, Cook,
Sabah, & Rosenfeld, 2006; Yukl, 2006). Leadership has a significant impact upon the
quality of the school organization and student achievement (Leithwood, Day, Sammons,
Harris, & Hopkins, 2006). Cawelti (2003) ascertained that leadership is the primary
indicator of an effective school. Furthermore, it is posited that successfully turning
around a failing school in the absence of talented leadership is impossible.
Effective schools demonstrate the need for the administrator’s leadership and the
importance placed on instruction and assessment (Cawelti, 2003). The desire for
effective schools is also a desire for better leadership (Gianesin, 1995). Many Americans
believe that their dissatisfaction with education is a result of failing leadership (Cawelti,
4
2003). One of the distinguishing characteristics of leaders is their set of leadership skills
and their ability to effectively apply those skills to their leadership roles (McCauley,
Moxley, & VanVelsor, 1998).
Leadership Skills
Theorists have concluded that effective leadership skills are essential to guiding
successful organizations (Kouzes & Posner, 2002). By examining the specific skills that
are utilized by the administrators who oversee private schools there is an opportunity to
understand how those leadership skills contribute to the success of schools today and in
the future. Goleman (1995) concluded that emotional intelligence is necessary for
leadership; Senge (2006) posited that the five disciplines: systems thinking, personal
mastery, mental models, team learning, and building shared vision are crucial leadership
skills. Goldberg (2001) cited qualities that provide for successful educational leadership:
courage to stand for convictions, sense of calling and purpose, situational mastery, skills,
and a sense of accomplishment. Portin (2003) conducted interviews with school
administrators and concluded that school leadership skills were critical in five major
areas: (a) leadership determines the school’s needs and determines how to meet those
needs; (b) regardless of what type of school, leadership is required in these areas:
instructional, cultural, managerial, human resources, strategic, external development, and
micro political; (c) leadership can be delegated rather than falling all upon one person;
(d) school governances structure impacts how leadership functions are carried out; and
(e) job skills can be learned and acquired on the job. Their findings also yielded results
indicating that a variety of leaders and leadership models can successfully provide
effective leadership.
5
Bennis (2003) also identified the importance of leadership skills, yet contended
that the chief administrator does not need to possess all the skills as long as members of
the group shared the necessary skills to lead the organization. Thus, the leader must be
able to identify the needed skills and rally others on the team by coaching and guiding
their talents. Additionally, the leader must be aware of what new skills to acquire, due to
the rapid pace of change, innovation, and technological advances (Schwandt &
Marquardt, 2000).
Some theorists contended that leaders are not born but that they grow and develop
skills that enable them to lead (Avolio, 1999). McCauley et al. (1998) advocated for
skill-based training as part of the leadership development process. This is important for
the leader of a private school who understands personal abilities and takes advantage of
skill acquisition through professional development, formal educational classes,
workshops, mentoring, or other means that provide an opportunity to add knowledge and
competencies to skills.
Wellins and Weaver (2003) maintained that by developing a leader’s capacity the
more successful the organization became and the sustainability of the organization
increased. They advocated for a wide array of development opportunities to develop
leaders for sustainability leadership that also provides an attainable organizational
strategy to insure a sustainable organization. They further advocated for organizations to
maintain a sustainability philosophy that secured the long term well-being of
organizations. It is important to note that the successful sustainable leader creates a
sustainable organization.
The Need for Leadership
6
Portin (2005) contended that educational challenges require greater scrutiny of
educational leaders because leaders do make a difference in the learning of students in
schools. Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, and Wahlstrom (2004) noted that “leadership is
second only to classroom instruction among all school-related factors that contribute to
what students learn at school” (p. 5). In a speech, the president of the Teachers College
at Columbia University, Dr. Levine, stated:
In a rapidly changing environment, principals and superintendents no longer serve
primarily as supervisors. They are being called on to lead in a redesign of their
schools and school systems. In an outcome-based and accountability-driven era,
administrators have to lead their schools in rethinking the goals, priorities,
finances, staffing, curriculum, pedagogies, learning resources, assessment
methods, technology, and use of time and space. They have to recruit and
retain top staff members and educate newcomers and veterans alike to understand
and be comfortable with an education system, undergoing dramatic and
continuing change. They have to ensure the professional development that
teachers and administrators need to be effective. They have to prepare parents
and students for the new realities and provide them with the support necessary
to succeed. They have to engage in continuous evaluation and school
improvements, create a sense of community, and build morale in a time of
transformation. Few of today’s 250,000 school leaders are prepared to carry
out this agenda. Neither they nor the programs that prepared them should be
faulted for this. Put simply, they were appointed to and educated
for jobs that do not exist any longer. (Levine, 2005, p. 12)
7
Carter (2000) contended that the secret to successful schools with high
performing students is good leadership. He defined gifted leaders as ones who develop
needed curriculum, and hire and equip qualified teachers who are held accountable for
student outcomes. Oyinlade and Gellhaus (2005) found that good educational leaders
were good listeners, both honest and supportive, encouraged participatory decision
making, had good people skills, and were adept at solving problems while demonstrating
servant leadership by caring for those within the school community. Marzano (2003)
identified five factors that contribute to effective schools: a viable curriculum;
challenging goals and effective feedback; hiring the right people, which means good
leadership with practical skills or expertise, but also quality character and work ethic;
putting the right person into the right position; and letting the wrong people go
immediately so that they do not detract from the mission.
The 21st century educational leader will need to be skilled, knowledgeable, and
equipped with skills that are diverse and innovative (Goldring & Scheurmann, 2009).
The skills of future administrators must be diverse and different from those of present
administrators because of the complexities that these leaders will face due to the rapid
pace of technological advances and globalization (Sherrill, 1999). Administrators of
private schools are generally required to manage more diverse job responsibilities than
their counterparts in public schools (Jorgenson, 2006). The private school administrator
has the added burden of fundraising since student tuition rarely covers the entire
operating cost of private school budgets.
Private Schools
8
In 2009 there were 33,740 private schools in the United States which is 25% of all
schools (Aud et al., 2010). Those schools contain 6,049,000 pre-school through 12th
grade students, which represents 11% of all students in the United States. According to
the National Center for Education Statistics, Catholic schools account for 42.5% of the
private school population, followed by nonsectarian schools at 19.4%, conservative
Christian at 15.2%, Baptist at 5.5%, Lutheran at 3.7%, Jewish at 4.7%, Episcopal at
2.1%, Seventh-day Adventist at 1.1%, Calvinist at 0.6%, and Friends at 0.4% (2010).
Most private schools have smaller enrollments than the average public school,
therefore, they are able to provide more individualized attention, which is one of the
reasons private schools are more desirable for parents. Harr Bailey and Cooper (2009)
advocated for smaller school environments because they can provide:

a safer environment for students;

a more challenging opportunity;

higher achievement;

higher graduation rates;

fewer discipline problems;

greater satisfaction for parents, students, and teacher;

broader, more diverse learning opportunities for students; and

improved customer service (p. 276).
Christian Schools
The K-12 Christian conservative school movement has increased to more than
10,000 schools since the mid-1960s (Carper, 2001). This represents the first major
secession from public schools since Catholic schools were formed in the 19th century
9
(Carper & Hunt, 1984). This number represents 1.5 million students and 15% of the total
private school enrollment in the United States (Green, 2006).
The rising interest in the effectiveness of religious schools can be attributed to a
combination of parent concern for moral training based on religious belief coupled with a
growing dissatisfaction with public education spawned by political attacks on public
school effectiveness (Burkett, 2010). Christian schools exist for several reasons. One
reason is to positively impact and challenge the next generation to higher moral standards
(Burkett, 2010). Another is to combat moral decline and to counter philosophies that
conflict with biblical principles. A recent study, The CARDUS Education Survey,
concluded that compared to public school graduates, graduates of Christian schools are
more generous, grateful, optimistic, valued family more, and were less likely to divorce
(Nazworth, 2011).
Eckel (2011) stated that the purpose of Christian education is to teach students
how to interpret life through the lens of biblical truth. The Christian school then becomes
a God-centered training ground for its students where they are taught and encouraged to
grow in their personal relationship with Christ. Burkett (2010) contended that even
though academic excellence is important, what distinguishes the mission of the Christian
school from secular schools is the spiritual transformation that occurs in the hearts of
Christian school students. Schindler (1987) stated, “Like other educators, we deal with
academics, athletics, fine arts, and daily living skills. But in addition, we integrate
spiritual principles into every phase of our school life because we are educating for both
time and eternity” (p. vii).
10
Van Brummelen (1994) contended that culture has privatized Christian faith.
Consequently, a Christian voice in society has become marginalized and society assumes
that Christian faith has little to say about life in a pluralistic society. Since Christians
understand that their faith and the Bible are relevant to culture, it is the responsibility of
Christian school educators to assist students in developing a philosophy or worldview
that integrates faith and learning.
Although Christian schools do not endure the same level of scrutiny as their
public counterparts in relation to the quality of education, they are expected to prove their
effectiveness (Hall, 2009). How effectiveness is defined in the Christian school setting
may vary among different schools. Certainly, it is reasonable to expect a certain level of
basic skills comprehension that can be measured through achievement testing. Added to
the educational component is the emphasis that Christian schools place on spiritual
understanding and advancement of students’ hearts. This is evidenced in lives that
exhibit the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23, English Standard Version).
Graybeal (2009) maintained that
Christian students enrolled in Christian schools will reflect the character
and person of Jesus Christ in developmentally appropriate ways.
Christian school associations, boards, administrators, teachers, students,
and parents will do whatever it takes to demand and obtain God-defined
and God-empowered effectiveness in the life transformation of students.
Christians worldwide will have a renewed passion for Christian schooling
because of overwhelming and well documented effectiveness. (p. 1)
11
One of the methods of effective documentation is stating intended outcomes, even
spiritual outcomes. The goal is to develop quantifiable ways to measure spiritual
formation so that intentionality and progress occur and can be documented. This is a
form of effectiveness that provides evidence of the value of Christian schooling.
Problem Statement
The administrator of a school holds a highly visible position of leadership. Along
with the position come significant responsibility, expectations, challenges, and
opportunities. Although those elements vary between schools and districts, they have an
impact on the performance of the person holding the position. Frequently, it is the
perceived performance of the administrator that influences the success of the school’s
health and future sustainability.
Challenges
Significant challenges face school leaders. Sergiovanni (2007) suggested that
because of the “explosion of interactive technologies, instantaneous communication, and
the global expansion of influence and service, educational leaders face their most
daunting challenges ever” (p. 61). These challenges require educational leaders to (a)
know how to stay current, learn how to manage massive amounts of information and
quickly discern its validity and usefulness, (c) sustain effective organizational structures,
and (d) change quickly to adapt.
Additional challenges include economic difficulties that produce a decrease in
resources (Leithwood & Riehl, 2003), demands on personnel (Wiggins, 1988), and a
quickly changing academic climate with higher academic expectations (Leithwood &
Riehl, 2003), unpredictable, unclear (Leithwood, 1994), ill-defined goals (Rittel &
12
Webber, 1973), frightening and stressful situations (Leithwood & Stager, 1989), and
complexities that must be solved in contexts that are highly variable (Leithwood &
Steinbach, 1994).
Many school leaders have a short span of control due to the policies of their
governing boards (Dalton, Todor, Spendolini, Fielding, & Porter, 1980). Nir’s (2009)
study yielded findings that school leaders feel a sense of loneliness in their roles, and
when they seek help they realize that they are expected to deal with their professional
difficulties by themselves. Private school administrators face complex and demanding
jobs as well (Portin, 2003). They have the added burden of fundraising and meeting the
needs of parents with expectations because they pay tuition dollars.
In an effort to meet the needs of economic downturn, a rapidly changing global
climate, and technological advances that the world is experiencing at an increasing speed,
organizations that desire to remain relevant must be adaptable while embracing change
(Schwandt & Marquardt, 2000). One of the ways this can occur is for leaders of
organizations to provide strategies and resources that embrace and enable change. The
same is true for the private school that seeks to be relevant. The leadership must be able
to identify internal and external indicators in the marketplace and adjust to those
indicators so that change can occur.
Through the responsive efforts of effective leadership, schools can be
organizations that thrive in spite of economical and technological challenges. The
administrator who serves as a change agent is one who challenges the status quo so that
staff and faculty understand the need for continuous improvement. Staff will be
encouraged to participate in the change process so that they are empowered and
13
committed to the growth strategies. Faculties who understand that administration
supports change are more likely to embrace a change culture and more willing to take
risks (Kouzes & Posner, 2002).
A more recent development that poses a challenge has been the decline in private
school enrollment caused by the economic downturn in the United States. Enrollment
figures indicate that private school students fell from a high of 6.3 million students in the
2001-2002 school year to 5.5 million in 2009-2010 (Aud et al., 2010). The highest
decline in enrollment was reported in Catholic schools with a decrease of 168,215
students, while conservative Christian schools lost 146,000 students. It is also projected
that an additional 28,000 students will leave private schools in 2010 (Aud et al., 2010).
The 2010 numbers might have been higher but private schools increased their
commitment to providing financial aid (Toppo, 2010).
The economic challenges facing private education as well as public education are
unprecedented (Dearden, 2010). The economic downturn has also negatively impacted
charitable contributions from endowments, grants, and planned giving (Bennett, 2010).
This has created a situation in which school leaders need to be more aggressive in two
areas—proactively pursuing new student enrollment while tightening the budget. Not all
private school leaders are adequately trained in the area of fundraising. This creates an
obvious dilemma for a superintendent.
Superintendency Shortage
There is discussion about the issue of a shortage of superintendents to meet the
future demands in the field of education (Cooper, 2000). Glass, Bjork, and Brunner
(2000) maintained that, while there is a perception that a shortage exists, there really is
14
no shortage. However, Cooper (2000) disagreed when he released a study on the status
of superintendency and concluded that there is already a shortage of qualified individuals
to meet the demands. His report revealed that 88% of superintendents believe that the
shortage is at a crisis level. Thirty-five percent of that same group also responded that
they would not recommend that other educators seek the role of superintendent because
of the level of challenges that exists.
The longevity of the superintendent’s tenure was 13 to 14 years in the 1950s
(Natkin, Cooper, Fusarelli, Alborano, Padilla, & Ghosh, 2002). Currently, the average
tenure is 5 to 6 years (Glass et al., 2000). The average tenure for administrators in
private schools is 18 months (Bassett, 2005), which causes concern for the future
sustainability of private schools in the 21st century. Harris, Lowery, Hopson, and
Marshall (2004) examined superintendents’ perceptions of motivators and inhibitors that
impacted their decisions to remain on the job. The list of motivators includes job
satisfaction, the opportunity to influence others by altering the behavior of an
organization, personal and professional challenges, and the desire to make a difference.
The list of inhibitors includes rapidly changing community demographics (Houston,
2001), increased political activism (Keedy & Bjork, 2001), increased accountability
(Mathews, 2001), and stress (Goldstein, 1992).
The changing role of the superintendent has become more of a political job
because of the demands of the community (Keedy & Bjork, 2001). Some of these
challenges may be responsible for a decline in the numbers of educators seeking to fill
the role of superintendent (Cooper, 2000). Ultimately, the Harris et al. (2004) study
recommended that university training and development of skills, along with mentoring
15
(Hoyle, 1999), might provide sufficient training to motivate superintendents to stay in
their roles.
21st Century Preparedness
Leadership skills needed by the 21st century educational leaders of private schools
are rapidly changing and leadership preparedness for understanding emerging needs is
critical (Dearden, 2010). The proliferation of technological advances impacts the field of
education on a daily basis as educators determine the best way to use information and
communication technology in schools (Webber, 2003). The challenge is to prepare
students for jobs that do not yet exist by equipping them with skills. This challenge has
led to a redefinition of the word literacy, which is the ability to access and apply
information as technology is utilized. Webber (2003) suggested that technological
advances challenge how professional development is accessed, how organizational
structures need to be altered, reshape assumptions about leading and resource
reallocation, new forms of leadership development, and how to teach students to study in
a global community.
Another consideration for educational leaders in the 21st century is sustainable
leadership. This refers to not only the long-term well-being of the organization, but the
leaders that work within the organization. Hargreaves and Fink (2003) suggested seven
principles that guide sustainable educational leadership. They are: (a) nurturing learning
that transcends achievement scores; (b) creating leadership succession so that the
organization flourishes long-term; (c) encouraging distributed leadership throughout the
school community; (d) addressing social justice by maintaining care for other schools; (e)
providing rewards and incentives that attract and retain the best leadership pool and
16
providing time and opportunity for leaders to network, learn and support each other and
coach and mentor successors; (f) developing diversity to stimulate continuous
improvement; and (g) undertaking an activist mentality of innovation.
Bitgood (2010) presented a case for transformation in 21st century education by
moving

from learning information to learning to learn;

from data to discovery;

from one size fits all to tailored learning;

from testing to assessing to learn; and

from classroom learning to lifelong learning transformation (p. 2).
He further challenged Christian educators to move from antiquated learning methods to
raise a generation of relevant learners who are equipped as effective ambassadors and can
impact the world for Christ.
Purpose Statement
In today’s educational leadership environment the only constant is change
(Edwards, 2006). This has also created a need for administrators to acquire new
leadership skills so that they remain current and relevant in their leadership ability. Yet,
the question that this study sought to address was, what exactly are those necessary skills
for today? Kouzes and Posner (2002) contended that “leadership is a learnable set of
practices, accessible to anyone” (p. xxvii). This would indicate that by identifying a set
of skills that are perceived necessary to significantly impact the success and
sustainability of an organization, progress can be achieved if leaders enhance their skill
sets to meet organizational needs. The purpose of this study was to provide a list of skills
17
that would be identified by current administrators as essential skills required to expand
and enhance the leadership capacity and sustainability of future Christian K-12 school
administrators. Through the use of consensus, 31 administrators reached agreement
about which leadership skills are most desirable for those who hold or will hold similar
administrative leadership roles.
The Research Methodology
The research methodology was a mixed-method approach using the Delphi
Technique (Powell, 2003) that consisted of three rounds of questions. In the first round,
an open-ended question was presented. The goal was to produce a list of leadership skills
identified by private school administrators as essential for optimum leadership capacity
and future sustainability of future Christian K-12 administrators. The responses from
that question were compiled and returned to the experts who provided a rating of the
responses. The ratings were used to provide a convergence of individual responses into
group consensus building. The Delphi does not indicate what the skills are; rather, it tells
what the experts feel the necessary skills are in response to the questions posited. The
Delphi reveals what experts indicate and has proven to be an effective research tool to
accomplish this task (Dalkey, 1972). In the third round, the experts evaluated their
responses and those of the panel members in order to build consensus.
Other researchers who have taken a similar approach include Meadows (2007),
who identified the leadership skills desirable for private school administrators utilizing
the Delphi technique. Since Meadows’ (2007) research was conducted several years ago,
it is anticipated that the economic downturn in the United States during the last four years
may yield some different skills emphasis as private schools struggle for survival. This
18
study was limited to Christian K-12 schools, unlike Meadows’ (2007) research that
included non-religious schools and universities.
The Delphi Technique is not without its critics. Sackman (1974) criticized the
Delphi technique claiming that it did not measure up to the psychometric standards of the
American Psychological Association, that the use of experts was not systematic, that
there is acceptance of snap judgments on complex issues, and that there is ambiguity
resulting from vague questions. Those attacks have been challenged (Linstone & Turoff,
2002; Rieger, 1986). For the purposes of this study, the selection of experts was
systematic, concise questions were used, and the results were straightforward.
Research Questions
1. What do you believe are the skills necessary to expand and enhance the
leadership capacity and sustainability of future K-12 Christian schools?
2. What leadership skills do experts rate as potentially having the greatest impact on
future success of Christian school administrators?
3. What leadership skills do experts find consensus on potentially having the
greatest impact on future private school administrators’ success? (Meadows,
2007, p. 18)
Significance of the Study
The introduction has demonstrated that private schools have significantly
impacted the educational community, and therefore, the study of future sustainability of
such organizations warrants further investigation. One of the ways to provide for that
sustainability is to ensure that the leadership of such educational communities are well
prepared and well equipped to lead. A study such as this one will yield results that allow
19
current administrators to develop additional skills to enhance their professional abilities.
It provides a blueprint for educational professionals seeking to enter the field of
administration to understand what skills are desirable for leadership. The results from
this study also may assist educational institutions in understanding how to more
effectively equip current and future students for administrative positions.
Griffiths (1959) was the first to note that research on educational leadership was
lacking. Since that time this concern was also raised by Tschannen-Moran, Firestone,
Hoy, and Johnson (2000). In 1997, The Dayton Agenda was created when a group of
educators gathered at the University of Dayton to create a strategy to address gaps in
nonpublic schools research (Hunt, 2008). Included in the agenda was the need for more
research within religious schools. The proposed research will make a contribution to this
area of study.
Delimitations
By determining the kind of data and the method for collecting that data, certain
constraints were placed on this study. While these constraints provided a structure for
the study, they delimited the study. This study focused upon leadership issues from the
field of education. The educational focus was delimited to private, religious schools.
The study was further delimited to conservative, Christian schools that are accredited by
ACSI, the largest accrediting agency for Protestant schools. Each of the administrators
selected was employed at a school with a student population of at least 500.
Definitions of Terms
Administrator – In this study the administrator was the head of the school and
possessed the title of headmaster, superintendent, principal, or chief educational officer.
20
Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) - ACSI is an accrediting
body for primary and secondary Christian educational institutions. It represents 5,300
schools internationally. It is possible to be a member in good standing with ACSI and
not utilize the accrediting services provided by the organization.
Christian – Refers to a person who acknowledges that Jesus Christ died on the
cross for sin. In addition to forgiveness of sin, this provides a right standing before a
holy God, assurance of eternal life in heaven, and guidance in life (ACSI, 2011).
Christian school – In this study all references to this term refer to Protestant, nonparochial educational institutions serving students grades K-12, whose mission is to
integrate Biblical truth with academic learning in all subject matters (ACSI, 2009b).
Consensus – A decision-making process that seeks to give voice to each
participant while ultimately reaching a final decision. The process depends on
negotiating the interests of all members, discovering shared interests, and building on
them (Priscoll, 2001). Kenney, Hasson, and McKenna (2011) define consensus as
collective agreement.
Delphi Technique or Delphi Method – A process used to collect and distill the
opinions of experts using a series of data collection and analysis techniques interspersed
with feedback (Skulmoski, Hartman, & Krahn, 2007). “The Delphi may be characterized
as a method for structuring a group communication process so that the process is
effective in allowing a group of individuals, as a whole, to deal with a complex problem”
(Linstone & Turoff, 2002).
Effective – A term that is used to identify results: “an observable and measurable
outcome demonstrating that what was intended has occurred” (Keenan, 2009, p. 1).
21
Expert (for the Delphi panel) – This refers to a person who has been identified by
regional directors of the ACSI as an effective educational leader in their administrative
role at an accredited ACSI school with an enrollment of 500 or greater.
Private School – This refers to the non-publically funded K-12 school. K refers
to kindergarten.
Skill sets – This refers to the abilities necessary to effectively fulfill professional
job responsibilities. As used in this study, skills are the abilities that leaders possess in
order to propel their schools toward success.
Snow Card structuring device – A process used to elicit participants’ feelings
about issues. Pieces of paper contain respondent’s answers to questions that are then
categorized into similar responses to provide a framework for communication (Resource
Innovations, 2005).
Sustainability – This refers to development strategies that meet current
organizational and leadership challenges as well as the organizational and leadership
needs of the future. Sustainable educational leadership is leadership that leaves a legacy
that endures beyond a leader’s professional lifetime (Mulford & Moreno, 2006). Davies
(2007) defines sustainable leadership as “the key factor that underpins the longer-term
development of the school” (p. 11).
Organization of the Study
This study is divided into five chapters with a section for references and
appendices. The first chapter is an introduction to the study, including the problem
statement, definitions of the terms used in the study, an explanation of the significance of
the study, and the delimitations. Chapter Two is a review of the literature pertaining to
22
the study. Chapter Three describes the research design and methodology used in this
study. It includes the introduction, purpose of the study, the participants in the research,
selection criteria, instrumentation and data collection, procedures for the three rounds of
research, and limitations. Chapter Four is a presentation of the data, the analysis, and
findings of the study. Chapter Five is a summary of the major findings, a summary of the
conclusions, and recommendations of the study.
23
CHAPTER TWO
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
The body of knowledge that was examined in the following literature review
included several topics and their relationship to leadership skills of chief administrators
within the private educational community. Leadership and education are subjects that
have been examined for years. Researchers have studied various types of leadership
styles, as well as the situations in which specific leadership styles, skills, and behavior
are deemed to be most effective. Another well-researched topic that spans a significant
number of years is the K-12 educational system in the United States. The bulk of
research pertains to public education but the purpose of this research addressed the
leadership needs of the private K-12 school. Specifically, the leadership of the chief
administrator of private K-12 schools was addressed as well as an overview of the history
of school superintendentency, and the challenges of educational leadership that explain
why a specific set of leadership skills are necessary for effectiveness.
Since the participants of this research study were leaders in Christian schools, a
review of literature related to Christian school leadership was examined. For the
purposes of this literature review, the Christian school refers to Protestant, Christian
schools. The role that is being examined is that of the head of the school, usually labeled
as superintendent, head master, chief educational officer, or administrator. This literature
review uses the terms administrator or superintendent to address the leadership role that
is being examined. The literature review established support for the premise that the role
of administrator in the private school is challenging and complex, and therefore, a
specialized set of leadership skills is essential. The research examined specific skills that
24
have been identified as important for the 21st century educational leader in order to meet
the needs, challenges, and complexities of the private school. It is assumed that, by
understanding the complexities of the role of administrator and the skills necessary to
lead effectively, the administrator can be better equipped to meet 21st century challenges
in private schools.
The Superintendent
History
The role of superintendent was created during the nineteenth century when
schools that were originally run by school committees, now called boards of education,
realized that the daily functioning of schools was too cumbersome (Chapman, 1997;
Norton, Webb, Dlugosh, & Sybouts, 1996). New York was the first state to have a
superintendent who was responsible to oversee funds allocated by the state to provide
public education. Other states appointed superintendents but the responsibilities were
primarily to oversee funds, not education. When the responsibilities became a burden,
more superintendents were appointed at the county level. At that time, supervision of
teachers and overseeing district finances were added to the main responsibilities of
superintendents (Callahan, 1966). In 1865, the National Education Association created a
division for superintendents that evolved into the American Association of School
Administrators, which still exists today. By the 1900s superintendents were responsible
to maintain schools, supervise teachers, and implement curriculum (Carter &
Cunningham, 1997). In the 1960s more than 35,000 superintendents were in place across
the United States. Superintendents gained significant authority over the school system
25
and school boards primarily supported the work of the superintendent—which is the role
that superintendents assume today.
Currently, in addition to the 33,740 private schools in the United States, there are
more than 16,000 public school districts (Aud et al., 2010). Each of those private schools
and school districts is administrated by a superintendent. The role of educational leader
is dramatically changing in the United States due to significant economic changes,
demands of the consumer and stakeholders, falling test scores, rapid expansion in the
field of technology which increases the demand for greater learning in order to compete
in a global economy, and the changing socio-ethnic demographics in school districts. In
the words of Edwards (2006) “The days of stoking the furnace and driving the school bus
have been replaced” (p. 13). The superintendent’s role has expanded to include the
responsibilities of chief executive officer (CEO) of the board which Carter and
Cunningham (1997) referred to as professional advisor, reform leader, resource manager,
and public communicator. Their leadership impacted the formation of teacher
associations, the desegregation of schools, school performance and improvement
initiatives, a response to the call for equity in education, governmental standards, and the
pressures applied by stakeholders—all of which created greater community involvement
and scrutiny upon the superintendent’s role (Lofton, 2010).
In the early days of the superintendency, some administrators ended their careers
in universities in which they contributed to the development of the study of educational
administration and supervision, and that trend continues today (Edwards, 2006). The
course offerings provided by administrators contained lessons on business management,
finance, administration, and efficiency techniques (Kowalski, 1999). The educational
26
development of administrators has increased since the early days. The role of
superintendent is currently a position that may require certification and a set of
requirements in some states and legislation by state officials (Edwards, 2006). According
to some state legal definitions, the superintendent is the CEO who oversees a lay school
board while serving as the educational leader of the school district (Edwards, 2006).
Some states do not provide the same contractual rights that are afforded to teachers.
Rather, the superintendent establishes a contract with the school board and serves a shortterm contract of generally two to five years. The school board supervises the
superintendent and establishes the terms of the contract (Sharp & Walter, 2004).
Therefore, school boards are certain to hire individuals who will carry out their
philosophies and agendas.
The Responsibilities of the Superintendent
The responsibilities of the superintendent are broad and may vary from district to
district. However, Kowalski (1999) identified some commonalities among their
responsibilities. They are:

Assuming the role of CEO and therefore, responsible ultimately for all aspects
of the schools;

Providing instructional leadership for planning and evaluation of curriculum;

Personnel oversight;

Oversight of budget—creation and implementation;

Oversight of building needs, usage, maintenance, and construction;

The driving force for improving the educational system within a given
community.
27
While these commonalities are universal, individual school boards may require additional
duties. Generally, the school board serves as policy makers as the superintendent
administrates the daily operations of those policies (Sharp & Walter, 2004). More
recently, the superintendent is expected to be savvy in the local and state political process
and adept in the art of public relations and internal relations to meet the needs of a critical
public and demanding employees (Edwards, 2006).
In today’s environment in most school systems, success as a
superintendent requires many other types of skills. Legislative and judicial acts,
and a growing demand for constituents to determine how a school district is run,
have created almost impossible demands on the superintendent. This individual
must juggle the roles of politician, educator, and manager so that the community
is satisfied, students get educated, employees are happy, and the district continues
to be financially stable. (Edwards, 2006, p. 27)
Since it is the role of the superintendent to improve schools, it is expected that the
superintendent will be a change agent (Hayes, 2001) and every educator knows that the
only constant in education is change (Edwards, 2006).
The role of administrator is an increasingly complex and demanding one. Ediger
(2006) maintained that school administrators are responsible to assist teachers to develop
their professional skills, be role models, encourage teachers through praise and
recognition, communicate in a timely and efficient manner, maintain politeness, and
maintain building safety. The administrator is responsible for the school culture and
climate that is created. By providing a positive working environment where working
conditions are pleasant and collegial, staff and faculty will be more inclined to model
28
such behavior in their classrooms. The administrator must be aware of student bullying
and be intentional in handling it. Additionally, the administrator must maintain a clean
and orderly building, be aware of the sanitation conditions in the school lunchroom or
cafeteria, maintain order in that eating space, and oversee the entire facility including the
athletic fields. The list also includes knowledge of curriculum, social skills needed to
connect with the community to serve as an ambassador of the school represented, and an
awareness of national standards and benchmarks as well as state laws and requirements.
Superintendents do not have a national set of standards and private schools can
set their own criteria to achieve a standard. However, the American Association of
School Administrators (AASA) has established standards that guide and provide a
baseline of assessment for performance. The standards also suggest a set of skills needed
by the superintendent and portray the scope of the job of the superintendent. Hoyle,
Bjork, Collier, and Glass (2005) stated that the AASA professional standards are the best
measure of performance for superintendents. The eight standards are as follows:

Standard 1. Leadership and district and culture – A superintendent is an
educational leader who promotes the success of all students and shapes
district culture by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation,
and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared by the school
community.

Standard 2. Leadership and the politics of school governance – A
superintendent is an educational leader who promotes the success of all
students by understanding, responding to, and influencing the larger political,
29
social, economic, legal, and cultural context by working with the board of
trustees to define mutual expectations, policies, and standards.

Standard 3. Leadership and communications and community relations – A
superintendent is an educational leader who promotes the success of all
students by collaborating with the families and community members,
responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing
community resources.

Standard 4. Leadership and organizational management – A superintendent is
an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by leadership
and management of the organization, operations, and resources for a safe,
efficient, and effective learning environment.

Standard 5. Leadership and the technical core of curriculum planning and
development – A superintendent is an educational leader who promotes the
success of all students by facilitating the design and implementation of
curricula and strategic plans that enhance teaching and learning; alignment of
curriculum, curriculum resources, and assessment; and the use of various
forms of assessment to measure student performance.

Standard 6. Leadership and instructional management – A superintendent is
an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by advocating,
nurturing, and sustaining a district culture and instructional program
conducive to student learning and staff professional growth.

Standard 7. Leadership and human resource management – A superintendent
is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by
30
implementing a staff evaluation and development system to improve the
performance of all staff members, selects appropriate models for supervision
and staff development, and applies legal requirements for personnel
management.

Standard 8. Leadership and values and ethics – A superintendent is an
educational leader who promotes the success of all students by acting with
integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner.
Leadership in K-12 Private Schools
Kouzes and Posner (2002) contended that “exemplary leadership and credible
leaders make a difference in the world” (p. 385). The differences between public and
private schools are significant. Public schools enjoy an extensive network of educational
and job specialists and resources that allow for a greater opportunity for a distribution of
responsibility, team collaboration, and talent pool. In a private school setting, much of
the administrative work falls solely upon the administrator. In the private school there is
no pressure from unions, media scrutiny, tax payers, or legislative regulation (Jorgenson,
2006). However, the head of school is expected to be much more accessible to
constituents. Those constituents include teachers, parents, donors, board members,
church members, students, alumni, prospective donors and families, and community
leaders (Jorgenson, 2006). In the private school there are relatively few external
restrictions other than board input. Of course, both types of schools acknowledge the
important voice of parental input and the need to maintain enrollment, but the private
school is more acutely aware of consumer needs due to the expectations generated by
tuition fees because of lack of public funding.
31
Private schools can be rich in tradition, and therefore, more resistant to change,
yet, the change process may be more expedient than in a large public school where layers
of bureaucracy exist (Jorgenson, 2006). Generally, in a private school the head of school
is able to make sweeping changes with little protocol. A comparison presented by
Jorgenson (2006) compares the head of school position in the public sector as steering a
freighter while the leadership position in the private school is akin to sailing a sleek
sailboat. The administrator in a public school is not expected to be highly visible, while
the administrator of the private school is expected to be in attendance at more of the
school evening and weekend functions including concerts, award ceremonies, and sports
events, and his or her presence is not anonymous. One of the largest differences faced by
a private school leader is the additional responsibility of fundraising and the person who
is ultimately responsible for procuring and sustaining funding not provided through
tuition dollars. Because of the lack of public funding, private schools require parents to
pay tuition unless their child receives tuition assistance. This can be a significant amount
of money if there is a gap between tuition and the actual expense of the education. This
may place a difficult burden on the administrator who may be trained as an educator
instead of a developer or financial specialist.
Challenges in Educational Leadership
A search of literature verifies a list of potential burdens that faces an
administrator. That list includes long hours, diverse demands upon time, high turnover
rate, and decreased job satisfaction. This list may also be responsible for a shortage of
talent. A theme throughout much research is that school administrators are spread thin
and manage a constant barrage of problems each day (Hopkins, 2003). It is not
32
uncommon for administrators to work 60 hours each week since their jobs include nightly
activities in addition to daily responsibilities (Archer, 2002). In an effort to provide
stakeholders in Iowa with an accurate picture of how administrators utilized their time so
that their expectations could be more realistic, Gilson (2008) determined the following
averages: (a) 17% of time was spent on academic issues, (b) 35% on discipline issues, (c)
the amount of time spent with parents was the equal to the amount of time spent
developing teachers, (d) 10% was spent on professional development, and (e) 30 to 50%
of time was spent at school activities. This study upholds Hopkins’ (2003) contention
that an administrator’s time has little to do with the actual education of students. For the
administrator of the private school, the addition of daily tasks can include fundraising and
development, tuition-related issues, and in faith-based schools, spiritual growth
initiatives.
The demands of the consumer to provide a higher quality of education exists
because, unlike public education, parents are paying for a private education and
therefore, expectations for greater student performance is an issue (Leone, Warnimont, &
Zimmerman, 2009). Along with the expectation for improved student performance is the
expectation for individualized attention and smaller class sizes.
Each year the need for quality private school leadership experiences a shortage
when the need to fill openings for the head of school position exceeds the pool of
qualified potential candidates. Only one third of the openings are filled (Jorgenson,
2006). This shortage has provided an opportunity for private schools to seek
nontraditional candidates from the public sector, business community, and even teachers
who have limited administrative experience. However, there is not agreement that there
33
is a superintendency shortage. Dunne (2000) noted that there is not a shortage, but
rather, fewer men and women who want to pursue the role of head of school because of
the stresses previously mentioned.
It has been documented that the turnover rate for private school administrators is
high. Unfortunately, one of the negative impacts of this turnover may be the adverse
effect upon teacher satisfaction and job performance (Husemann, 2006) since teachers
must adjust to new administrators each time there is turnover. Higgins, Young, Weiner,
and Wlodarczyk (2009) cautioned that the superintendent of some districts is regarded
with the status of a super hero who can work miracles to transform schools into high
performing, smooth running, and efficient organizations. The problem with such high
expectations is that they cannot come close to reality. This may be one of the causes of
turnover; there is a mismatch between expectations and skill strengths of the
administrator. A study about necessary skill sets for the effective administrator may
better prepare future leaders for their roles and reduce the rate of turnover.
Although teacher job satisfaction has been examined in research, school
administrators’ job satisfaction has been under-explored thus far (Saleh & Kasmeeri,
1987). However, Dormann and Zapf (2001) have determined that there is a link between
a leader’s job satisfaction, absenteeism, turnover rates, organizational inefficiency, and
job performance. It can be argued that the level of job satisfaction can be impacted as
well by the proper matching of leadership skills with the needs of an organization. One
of the possible reasons for lack of job satisfaction might be due to the need for skill
acquisition.
34
Research conducted by Fenzel, Litchka, and Procaccini (2009) established that
superintendents encounter a significant level of stress due to the nature of their
occupational responsibilities. Smith’s (2001) research indicated that the level of stress
was similar to that experienced by corporate executives. Fenzel et al. (2009) determined
that the lack of communication and performance feedback, combined with time pressures
and conflicting demands caused greater pressure and stress than corporate executives
experience especially for younger superintendents with less experience and those from
larger school or urban districts. This type of occupational stress can be so excessive that
it can create significant emotional and physical symptoms of distress of strain (Eastman
& Mirochnik, 1991). The superintendents who were able to cope effectively with the
work-related stress exhibited resilient qualities (Patterson & Kelleher, 2005). Those
qualities include the capacity to properly assess problems, strong convictions in personal
resilience, and the willingness and determination to properly address problems.
The Role of Entrepreneurship
The changes in the global community and the rapid acceleration of technological
changes have caused businesses, city governments, and organizations to make
philosophical and organizational shifts in practices and strategies. As corporate America
looks to entrepreneurial strategies to remain viable, so too, the educational community
looks to entrepreneurial responses to meet challenges (Frank, 2007). Entrepreneurial
education is a term used primarily within the field of business education to explain how
21st century teaching requires a new skill set (Volkman, 2004). Frank (2007) identified
entrepreneurial competencies as “a range of personal characteristics, attitudes and skills
35
such as problem solving, leadership, communication, self-awareness and assessment
skills as well as business and managerial competencies” (p. 637).
One example of an entrepreneurial venture is that some public school districts
have sought partnerships with local businesses in order to provide resources to enhance
an educational element or to provide much-needed funding. Some of those partnerships
have included endorsements that provide funding for schools while the business is
promoted through advertising on athletic fields, signage around the school, athletic gear,
or through other means. Some school districts have created foundations or endowment
funds so that private donations can be solicited. While grant writers hired by some
school districts have sought to secure funding for special projects, in other districts real
estate acquisitions have been solicited (Padover & Elder, 2007). The private school
community frequently raises funds for special needs through smaller scale fundraising
efforts. However, in order to survive in the future, more schools may need to seek
entrepreneurial relationships and strategies as well.
Stoll and Temperley (2009) contended that the necessity for enhancing 21st
century learning will be the extent to which leadership promotes and supports creativity.
The knowledge that will be used to incorporate creativity includes understanding levels
of creativity, the nature of risk taking, and the ability to assess impact. This type of
leadership will “look at whatever type of way can lead a school to get the best out of the
school and staff to get the best out of children” (Stoll & Temperley, 2009, p. 67). Some
of the strategies for fund development will require educational leaders to know how to
become leaders with skills in securing resources (Padover & Elder, 2007).
36
Quong and Walker (2010) advocated for schools run by individuals who
understand and incorporate strategic leadership. Strategic leadership is defined as more
than long-range planning designed to provide direction for the future. Rather, it is about
leaders who collaborate with stakeholders to respond rapidly to complex problems, often
with new ways of thinking (Marturano & Gosling, 2007). These strategic leaders are
school leaders who are future oriented, evidence based, research led, capable of getting
things done, open to new horizons, fit to lead, establish good partnerships, and do the
next right thing.
Ambach (2006) suggested that today’s primary and secondary educational leaders
should be trained in best practices from the fields of business, military, technology,
health law, public policy, and education. Hess (2008) contended that the “war for talent”
that exists in the business community also exists within the educational community and
that the K-12 educational sector should prepare and recruit leadership that is “fresh
thinking and bold” (p. 25). Getkin (2008) advocated for 21st century school
organizational leadership to “commit to allocate goal achievable resources, courage to
say no, passion to inspire change capacities into the educational system, integrity to
communicate honestly, tenacity to persevere and inspire momentum, capacity to measure
and monitor results continuously and a cooperative spirit” (p. 17).
Research conducted by Lofton (2010) examined the role of the nontraditional
superintendent, defined as one who is hired outside of the educational mainstream. This
person may have a professional background in the military, legal, or business community,
or another arena where leadership ability crosses into the educational community.
Ultimately, it was determined that on-the-job training, which included learning from
37
others and “trial by fire” (p. 172), provided for significant professional development. In
this study both traditional and nontraditional superintendents identified their managerial
roles as key to their leadership abilities. The skills that both the traditional and
nontraditional superintendent identified to be most valuable in their positions were
communication, organizational leadership, systems thinking, and shared leadership
Additionally, the 21st century school leader “needs to be a dynamic leader who
has a vision and can point the way and inspire the best from others” (Kouzes & Posner,
2002). This is a leader who motivates others with a positive and proactive approach.
This type of leader addresses problems even before they occur because the leader looks
to the future. This leader possesses excellent communication skills, creatively addresses
any problems that arise, collaborates to find unique solutions to issues that arise, acts as a
change agent, establishes a clear vision for the school, and strategically builds
relationships.
Christian Schools
A Christian school is a school “where teachers seek to transform all activities and
studies into an expression of Biblical wisdom, training the students into an expression of
Biblical wisdom, training the students to walk as disciples of Jesus Christ” (Van Dyk,
1997, p. 75). The Christian school is a separate, independent, and unique community free
from the control of governmental intervention. Each Christian school has its own
identity, admission policies, and curriculum. The mission of the Christian school is to
cultivate distinctively Christian ways of thinking about reality. By doing this, the school
shapes the way students, think, interact, make decisions, and live (Fennema, 1997).
38
One of the motivators for the growth in the private Christian school movement is
the perceived moral decline in public schools. The private Christian school movement is
a relatively new phenomenon in American education (Finn, Sweezey, & Warren, 2010).
The last third of the 20th century saw an increase in the conservative, Christian school
movement when at least 10,000 schools were created in response to Supreme Court
rulings that secularized public schooling. According to a recent survey of ACSI schools,
46% of their schools were formed in the past 20 years and half of those in the past 10
years (ACSI, 2009a).
The role of the Christian school serves many purposes. Those purposes include
meeting the needs of parents who desire to produce academically equipped children who
are morally responsible and treat other people with respect (McMillan, 2007). Those
schools also desire to integrate biblical truth with educational knowledge, to offer a
countercultural learning environment, to disciple children in a unique environment, to
experience smaller class sizes with more one-on-one teacher attention in a nurturing
environment, to be a part of a community of like-minded Christian parents, and to
provide a safer environment for children.
Many Christian schools are closing. According to ACSI (2008) the average
school closure rate is 150 schools per year. In addition, 11 Christian schools merge each
year. The average enrollment in the schools that closed was 69.5 students. McMillan
(2007) suggested that the failure of many Christian schools is due to administrative
inability to effectively provide needed guidance for sustainability of the organization and
to effectively lead staff, faculty, and the school community. Additional reasons may
include a possible disruption if the school is housed or sponsored in a local church,
39
change in leadership at a church, lack of student enrollment caused by economic burdens,
lack of quality education, or the inability to compete with the teachers or resources in the
public school.
An additional responsibility with which the administrator of the Christian school
is charged is the spiritual development of the students and faculty. This mission
distinguishes Christian schools from all other private schools. While secular schools
measure success by SAT and ACT scores, sports championships, college scholarships
offered, or college acceptances—Christian schools seek to develop fully discipled Christ
followers in addition to the other educational components. Parents, donors, board
members, and perhaps students themselves expect that students in Christian schools will
experience spiritual transformation. Unfortunately, this is impossible to measure
(Burkett, 2010). However, statistics about the spiritual condition of the average Christian
teenager are available. McDowell (2003) provided statistics that recorded the spiritual
condition of Christian youth in the United States:

There are 91% who do not believe in absolute truth;

There are 96% who do not believe that the Bible is without error;

There are 63% who do not believe that Jesus is the Son of the one true God;

There are 65% who believe that there is no way to determine which religion is
true;

There are 51% who do not believe that Jesus rose from the dead;

There are 65% who do not believe that Satan is real;

There are 68% who do not believe in the Holy Spirit;

There are 64% who believe that good works provides a way to heaven;
40

There are 70% who do not believe in a moral absolute truth.
An estimated 30% of Christian students depart from their faith once they go to
college (McDowell, 2003). This creates a dilemma for Christian school leaders since the
goal of Christian education is to produce spiritually grounded and mature students who
hold to Biblical truth. It is expected that students who attend Christian schools reflect a
different spiritual condition than their public school counterparts. Burkett (2010) noted
that the administrator of the Christian school is responsible for the spiritual direction of
the school. It is the administrator who has significant influence over culture and
fulfilling the vision and mission of the school. Therefore, the administrator must assure
that a biblical worldview permeates each aspect of curriculum, programming, and
decision making. This responsibility demonstrates the importance of the character of the
person hired to serve as administrator and the importance of the search process.
Burkett (2010) conducted research to determine the influence of Christian school
educators upon the spiritual transformation of their students. The results verified that
administrators significantly impact the spiritual transformation of students. Spiritual
influence is accomplished through exhibiting genuine care for the spiritual growth of
students and creating a culture where spiritual growth is encouraged, exhibited, and
valued by teachers who are cared for by the administrator. When administrators
demonstrate healthy relationships with faculty and high expectations of faculty, the
faculty is more likely to seek spiritual development opportunities for its students
(Burkett, 2010).
While a distinctive of Christian education is spiritual transformation, another
priority that is impacted by the role of administrator is that of educational excellence.
41
Increased demands placed upon school leadership to improve student outcomes are well
documented. The increase in demands is a result of performance-based accountability
that includes national policies, state standards, rewards, and sanctions against schools
that fail in student performance. While federal sanctions do not impact private schools,
parents of students in private schools expect high educational value for their tuition
dollars. Student performance and student outcomes are measured and reported
expectations for student development and improvement are anticipated.
Challenges Faced in Christian Schools
One of the greatest challenges faced in Christian schools is the lack of funding
(McMillan, 2007). The lack of funds impacts such issues as professional development.
Professional development provides an opportunity to enhance the professional
knowledge, skills, and abilities of educators through workshops, seminars, and growth
events so that they might improve the learning of students. The administrator recognizes
the importance of enhancing the practices of teachers, meeting criteria set by accrediting
agencies, assessing best practices, and becoming engaged in new learning and relearning.
Yet, if funding is not available, professional development is often eliminated from the
budget. The National Center for Education Statistics (Aud et al., 2010) reported that
Christian schools lag behind their public school counterparts in participation in
professional development. The long-term implication may be that students are provided
with a weaker education which creates a dilemma for the administrator who values
professional growth and development of staff and who has a responsibility to the students
and the parents of the school.
42
Another implication of the lack of professional development training is that many
teachers in Christian schools have never received any training in teaching from a biblical
worldview because their college degree (58%) is from a secular university, yet it is
expected that they integrate biblical principles into curriculum (ACSI, 2009b). By not
offering professional development in this area, a tension is created for administrators of
Christian schools who seek to fulfill the missions of their schools. According to ACSI,
there are 30.5% of teachers in Christian schools who do not hold college degrees or their
college degrees are not in the field of education (ACSI, 2009b). This disparity can pose a
threat to maintaining high academic standards, which is an important responsibility of the
administrator.
Evaluation of private school administrators is lacking which makes defining an
effective administrator subjective and anecdotal. Simmons (1996) reported that while
most ACSI schools (91.4%) have job descriptions for the head of school, most of the
larger schools (60.2%) did not have a formal evaluation process. Of those administrators
who did have evaluations, 56.9% reported that the evaluation process was informal. The
benefits of evaluations include defining the responsibilities of the administrator and
expectations of the supervising board. The evaluation process is also an opportunity that
provides accountability, goal setting, and strategic planning for the future. Another
important aspect provided through evaluation is the opportunity for the administrator to
receive positive feedback about yearly performance. It is not uncommon for school
leaders to hear criticism directed at the school, faculty, or programming inadequacies but
it is more infrequent to hear praise that can produce encouragement, which can lead to
43
greater job satisfaction. The evaluation process is an appropriate time for supervisors of
administrators to provide encouragement for a job well done.
Leadership Skills
Goldring and Schuermann (2009) stated that “Contemporary school leaders face
a daunting array of challenges, are called upon to serve an evolving range of roles, and
must draw upon a breadth of knowledge and skills to provide effective leadership to the
students, teachers, and communities whom they serve” (p. 9). Because of that claim,
there exists a need to alter leadership preparation programs in their design and delivery
so that in light of current trends aspiring school leaders are adequately prepared. The
new skills needed to lead far more complex institutions include enhanced accountability
demand, learner-centered leadership focus, analytic skills such as research-based
decision-making, the influence of competition and school choice, and expectations for
system-wide community engagement (Goldring & Schuermann, 2009).
In research conducted by Glass and Sclafani (1988) superintendents rated the
importance of various skills used to perform their jobs and cited how prepared they
believed they were for challenges. The results indicated that the two areas of skill
development needed were in climate building and curriculum development. Smaller
schools rated skills needed for financial planning as important, but larger districts rated it
significantly lower. The skills deemed least critical were conducting and using research,
obtaining support for education, and implementing instructional systems into operation.
Lemke, Couglin, Thandani, and Martin (2003) recommended that the educational
leader of the 21st century must incorporate the following skills into academic strategies
44
that have been identified as necessary for preparing students for the world beyond the
classroom:

Digital age literacy – read critically, write persuasively, think and reason
logically, solve complex problems

Visual and information literacy – visualization skills to decipher, interpret,
detect patterns, and communicate using imagery, assess information, evaluate
and use information creatively

Cultural and global awareness

Inventive thinking – self-directed learning, high order thinking, sound
reasoning, creativity, and understanding interdependencies within systems

Interactive communication – teaming and collaboration, personal and social
responsibility, and interactive communication
The role of superintendent requires competency in leadership skills. Kouzes and
Posner (2002) have determined that there are five practices that are present in leaders.
They are the following: (a) accepting and challenging the process; (b) inspiring others
through sharing a vision; (c) enabling others to act through empowerment and providing
support so that others can carry out tasks; (d) modeling the principles that guide the
values of the organization; and (e) encouraging the heart by recognizing and rewarding
contributions.
Selecting a superintendent is one of the most important decisions made by a
school board. The role of a school board is to set policy and hire leaders who make
decisions based on those policies. While not all board members agree on one set of
criteria of skills, they are able to build a profile to reach consensus about characteristics
45
and qualifications of candidates (McClelland Jones, 1992; York, 1991). Sandoval (2008)
researched what board members of Arizona schools valued as they selected
superintendents for their districts. Regardless of school and district size, the list included
personal characteristics including state certification, at least three years of teaching
experience, sensitivity to the community, level of education, level of prior experience,
and residency within the state. The list of skills valued by school boards included
honesty, personal integrity, strong communication skills, decision-making ability, peoplecentered skills including team building, ability to make changes to promote student
achievement, and visionary leadership. The skills that were perceived to be least valued
were organizational ability, financial acumen, and curriculum development. It should be
noted that in the public school district there are personnel whose primary responsibility is
to oversee these roles. That is not always the case in private schools where the
superintendent may serve as the overseer of finances and curriculum.
Ediger (2006) advocated for school leadership that is better prepared to assume its
roles. He provided a list that suggests a wide array of abilities that can enhance the
professional experience. These skills are the ability to be approachable, the ability to
solve problems, the knowledge of curriculum and learning activities to help students
achieve course objectives, and assessment techniques to provide direction with struggling
or excelling students. Additionally, the administrator must be able to freely interact with
teachers and create a supportive environment so that teachers can seek assistance in
problem solving. One of the skills desired by teachers from their administrator is that of
competence, which means that the head of the school must know and understand how to
46
integrate educational excellence into the fabric of the school and strategically be capable
of handling discipline and behavioral problems of disruptive students.
Research consistently identifies one of the most important characteristics of a
successful superintendent to be the ability to perfect people skills, which means that
stakeholders feel a sense of genuine care and interest (Grogan, 2003). The author
contended:
The challenge of forming relationships with members of a highly pluralistic
society in which we live is more difficult to meet today. Furthermore, it is
understood that these demands must be met on top of all the other fundamental
ones that are required to manage the fiscal and human resources of a school. (p.
11)
Other characteristics that determine a successful superintendent are moral responsibility
and the ability to provide instructional leadership skills.
Williams’ (2008) research in Christian schools in Texas examined leadership
indicators that were determined to produce future school sustainability. The list was
divided into two categories that consisted of being and doing. This referred to who the
administrator of the school was as a person and the way he/she conducted his/her
responsibilities. The rationale for the study was to define what engaging leadership
looked like based on life experiences, beliefs, themes, skills, and characteristics. The list
included team building, serving as a role model, influencing others, being present and
authentic, being an effective communicator, exhibiting emotional intelligence and
discernment, being a visionary and life-long learner, possessing a positive attitude,
creativity, compassion, flexibility, and being a spiritual leader with a strong work ethic.
47
Research suggests that the skills necessary for successful 21st century student
learners in addition to core academic subject mastery are critical thinking, problem
solving, effective communication, collaborative skills, information and technology
literacy, flexibility, adaptability, innovation, creativity, global competencies and financial
literacy (National Association of Independent Schools, 2011). To prepare students,
educational leaders must be willing and equipped to lead school reform measures.
Unfortunately, as Sherrill (1999) noted, leading such reform is often unknown territory
and leading such a charge is demanding and overwhelming to teachers and
administrators. Some school districts understand the enormity of the task and have begun
to implement professional training and development for teachers. Some districts look
within their own pools of resources to allow teachers to train other teachers. Sherrill
advocated for a relationship between administrators and teachers that is based on trust,
cooperation, and respect so that teachers are empowered to lead professional
development initiatives for the betterment of the team. By allocating the resources of
time and skills to implement this form of professional development, skill development
can be enhanced.
Sherrill (1999) suggested standard prerequisites for future school leaders prior to
their appointment to leadership roles. She advocated for training and skills assessment
that focuses in the following areas: knowledge domains; knowledge of classroom
processes and school effectiveness; knowledge of interpersonal and adult development;
knowledge of instructional supervision, observations, and conferencing; knowledge of
local community needs; and a disposition of inquiry. Not all administrators have had to
meet such prerequisites or demonstrate knowledge or expertise in these areas.
48
Frequently, the administrator of the private school is hired by a board of education
comprised of members who have no educational expertise. This lack of educational
expertise can make it difficult to select a qualified candidate for the role of administrator
unless guidance is sought.
Meadows’ (2007) research yielded a list of 23 leadership skills deemed essential
for administrators of private schools. The list of skills was divided into categories that
included technical skills, conceptual skills, human skills, and spiritual skills. The skills
identified are:

Implement and evaluate vision, mission, and goals

Communicate and sell vision, mission, goals, and philosophy of education of
the school

Identify, recruit, and retain quality employees

Ability to identify and articulate a compelling vision

Build shared meanings, values, and goals

Develop and maintain healthy relationships with internal and external
constituencies

Provide for the spiritual needs of the school community

Committed to the core beliefs and philosophy of education of the institution

Advocate for staff, students, parents, and programs to board and other publics

The ability to discern

Delegate responsibilities and empower others to make significant decisions

Clear, concise communication

Careful listening
49

Integrity

Maintain personal, spiritual, and professional growth

Servant’s heart

Responsible, reliable, and dependable

Teachable

Strong work ethic

Dedicated

Flexible

Manage time and work load effectively

Project self-confidence and self-discipline
Summary
Research yields support for the concept that leaders of organizations significantly
impact the effectiveness of the organization (Drucker, 1999). This research is true in the
business world, and it is true in the educational world. The role of educational leader is
dramatically changing in the United States due to significant economical changes,
demands of the consumer and stakeholders, falling test scores, rapid expansion in the
field of technology which increases the demand for greater learning in order to compete
in a global economy, and the changing socio-ethnic demographics in school districts
(Hopkins, 2003).
Today superintendents face more complex situations than their predecessors, and
those complexities require a specialized set of leadership skills (Edwards, 2006). Leone et
al., (2009) recommended that the administrator of the future will need a more diverse skill
set in order to meet demands, including serving as a “navigator” (p. 89) who directs the
50
course of the school as a change agent and developer of strong community bonds while
seeking to serve the school population with equity. Changing populations, an increase in
student social and emotional issues, the demand to close achievement gaps between
socioeconomically diverse groups, the increase in technology usage, and the growth of the
digital divide caused by the gap in an inequity of resources create trends with significant
implications for school leaders. The information explosion that has occurred because of
technological advances, globalization, and multiculturalism has changed the educational
community. Remaining current in strategies to meet such advances can be challenging but
necessary.
The same dynamics that challenge public education also impact the educational
communities represented by private schools except that private schools face even greater
complexities. The economic downturn creates a smaller pool for tuition dollars at a time
that private donor funding has decreased, resulting in fewer tuition assistance dollars
(Green, 2006). The many challenges that face private school administrators may be best
faced by leadership that is well-equipped with development and training in the specific
skills that are identified to be valuable for the educational administrator of the effective
21st century school.
51
CHAPTER THREE
METHODOLOGY
Chapter Three will address the research design utilized for this study, the use of
the Delphi Technique, the research process, the purpose of the study, the three rounds of
research questions that generated the data, the selection of the administrators that
provided the data, the instrumentation, an analysis of the data, and the limitations of the
study.
Purpose Statement
The purpose of this study was to provide a list of skills that were identified by
current administrators as essential skills necessary to enhance the leadership capacity of
Christian K-12 school administrators. Through the use of consensus, the administrators
reached agreement about which leadership skills are most desirable for those who hold or
will hold similar administrative leadership roles.
Research Questions
1. What do you believe are the skills necessary to expand and enhance the
leadership capacity and sustainability of future K-12 Christian schools?
2. What leadership skills do experts rate as potentially having the greatest impact on
future success of Christian school administrators?
52
3. What leadership skills do experts find consensus on potentially having the
greatest impact on future private school administrator’s success? (Meadows,
2007, p. 18)
Research Design
This study used a mixed methods approach. The Delphi Technique (Powell,
2003) provided descriptive research. Leedy and Ormrod (2005) defined descriptive
research as research which examines a situation as it actually is. The situation is not
changed or altered when investigated and no cause or effect is examined. The Delphi
Technique was used in this study as a research tool to investigate administrator’s
opinions about which leadership skills are essential for their roles. Delphi is appropriate
to use because this method allows for a process to identify the most important skills by
soliciting qualified experts (Okoli & Pawlowski, 2004). As a tool, Delphi provides a
method to attain expert independent thought in the general formation of expert opinion
(Oliver, 2010).
The Delphi Technique is not without its critics. Sackman (1974) criticized the
Delphi technique claiming that it did not measure up to the psychometric standards of the
American Psychological Association, that the use of experts was not systematic, that
there is acceptance of snap judgments on complex issues, and that there is ambiguity
resulting from vague questions. Those attacks have been challenged (Linstone & Turoff,
2002; Rieger, 1986).
Linstone and Turoff (2002) contended that the applications and number of Delphi
studies are in a “period of evolution” (p. 3). “From America, Delphi has spread in the
past nine years to Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Far East. Starting in a
53
nonprofit organization, Delphi has found its way into government, industry, and finally,
academe” (Linstone & Turoff, 2002, p. 11). The explosive rate of growth in recent years
was attributed to the demand for improved communication with geographically dispersed
groups.
Kenney et al., (2011) contended that there are five basic criticisms of the Delphi:
lack of universal guidelines, size of the expert panel, the implications of lack of
anonymity, expert opinion, and the level of consensus. The lack of universal standards
for the Delphi has led to variations of the Delphi (Linstone & Turoff, 2002) causing a
flexibility that is not well received within the scientific community (Kenney et al., 2011).
There are attempts to provide recommendations that will improve this fact (Skulmoski et
al., 2007).
The size of the sample is “generally determined by the number required to
constitute a representative pooling of judgments and the information processing
capability of the research team” (Ludwig, 1997, p. 52). However, the literature does not
agree on the exact optimum number of participants. Kenney et al. (2011) contended that
one sample size is required for the Delphi. Delbeq, Van de Ven, and Gustafson (1975)
suggested 10 to 15 participants; Witkin and Altschuld (1995) indicated that it is best to
use under 50 participants, while Ludwig (1997) contended that most Delphi studies
utilize between 15 and 20 participants.
Absolute anonymity occurs only when no answer can be linked to the respondent
(Polit & Hunger, 1995). With the Delphi, the researcher will know who submits the
answers from Round 1 because they are returned to the expert for consensus building in
54
Round 3. Rauch (1979) refers to this as “quasi-anonymity” which more accurately
describes the Delphi.
The term, expert, does not have a clear definition in the Delphi literature (Kenney
et al., 2011). Therefore, one of the key approaches has included specified criteria
determined by the purpose of the study (Rowe & Wright, 1999). By detailing the
specifications, the potential for researcher bias is less likely to influence the results
(Kenney et al., 2011).
Another of the criticisms of the Delphi is that the panel of experts does not have
the opportunity to discuss issues. Therefore, they are unable to articulate and persuade
others towards their point of view. However, they are able to reach consensus.
Consensus does not mean that the correct answer has been found; rather, that it has been
reached (Kenney et al., 2011). In the Delphi, experts are gathered and the process is
facilitated by the researcher during the questionnaire rounds through a consistency of
opinions among the experts (Graham, Regehr, & Wright, 2003).
The Delphi Technique was developed by Norman Dalkey of the RAND
Corporation in the 1950s as part of a military project to obtain expert opinion on the
reduction of atomic bombs (Dalkey & Helmer, 1963). According to Rowe and Wright
(1999), the four features of Delphi are the following:
1.
The participants can be anonymous from one another which provides for greater
diversity of opinion.
2. The participants can redefine their views as they reflect on the opinions of other
experts.
55
3. Controlled feedback provides an opportunity to permit participants to change their
views and responses.
4. Statistical aggregation of group response provides quantitative analysis and
interpretation of data.
The Delphi method is a process used to collect and categorize responses from
experts using a series of questionnaires interspersed with feedback. The questionnaires
are designed to focus on problems, opportunities, solutions, or forecasting the future.
Each questionnaire is based on the results of the previous questionnaire. The process is
completed when the research questions are answered. Although the Delphi originated in
the United States, it is widely accepted globally as a research tool in many industries
(Skulmoski et al., 2007).
Okoli and Pawlowski (2004) contended that forecasting, issue identification, and
prioritization were the original forms of research that utilized the Delphi method within
the first decade after the creation of the method. “Since that time follow-up studies have
demonstrated the validity and long-range accuracy of the Delphi technique. Researchers
have applied the Delphi method to a wide variety of situations as a tool for expert
problem solving” (p. 16).
The benefits of the Delphi are many. It is a flexible tool that is easily adapted to a
variety of research issues. It is a method for structuring group communication and
facilitating group problem solving (Linstone & Turoff, 2002), it provides forecasting
(Rowe & Wright, 1999), and it is also used for program planning or when information is
incomplete (Delbeq et al., 1975). The Delphi is used when expert opinion is required
56
(Adler & Ziglio, 1996) and to investigate what does not yet exist (Czinkota & Ronkainen,
1997).
The Delphi is especially well-suited to this particular research project because of
reasons cited by Linstone and Turoff (2002): “1) the problem that is being analyzed
benefits from subjective judgments of the administrators 2) distance and cost make
meetings unfeasible and 3) validity of the results might differ if one member dominated
by quantity or strength of personality” (p. 4). In addition, the feedback provided between
the rounds of questions will generate new ideas (Powell, 2003). The Delphi method was
selected for this research project because experts—the administrators—identified the
skills that enhance the leadership capacity of Christian K-12 school administrators and
then rated what skills have the greatest impact on their success. The questionnaires were
designed in three rounds so that consensus could be reached.
The Delphi method can be used for quantitative and qualitative techniques (Rowe
& Wright, 1999). Qualitative research seeks to interpret and understand how the social
world is experienced, and qualitative research seeks to produce contextual and detailed
data (Mason, 1996). The Delphi accomplishes both of these results because it captures
qualitative data.
Population and Sample
The success of the Delphi method is accomplished through the selection of
subjects who will provide input since the quality of results generated impacts the nature
of the study (Jacobs, 1996). There is no criterion for subject selection other than
participants should possess related backgrounds and experiences relating to the subject
that is being researched, be able to contribute input on the subject, and be willing to
57
change their initial opinion for the sake of reaching consensus (Oh, 1974). However, the
term frequently used in literature is the word expert, indicating that the participants must
possess more than general knowledge (Delbeq et al., 1975; Oh, 1974). The participants
in this study have been selected and hired by board members of their organizations. They
were chosen for this study because the regional directors of ACSI recognized their
leadership ability as an effective leader in an accredited ACSI school with an enrollment
of at least 500 students.
For the purpose of this particular study, 31 participants were chosen to provide
sufficient data.
The panel members for this study were selected for the following reasons:
1. All members held the position of head administrator of their schools;
2. All schools were led by participants who are accredited by ACSI;
3. The regional directors of the 10 U.S. regions identified effective ACSI schools
within their regions whose leaders possessed administrative expertise;
4. All members indicated a willingness to set aside the time needed to be a part
of the study;
5. The members stated an ability to respond in a timely manner; and
6. The members possessed knowledge to use email and attachments during the
study process.
Each panel member met all the criteria listed.
Selection of the Administrators
The administrators that participated in this survey were selected from schools that
were accredited by ACSI located throughout the United States. The schools of ACSI are
58
divided into 10 geographical regions in the United States. Four to six accredited schools
with enrollment of over 500 students in each region were invited to participate in the
survey via email. The president of ACSI, Brian S. Simmons (personal communication,
July 18, 2011) suggested that schools with enrollment of 500 or more students might
provide optimum results for the purpose of this study. The leaders of the schools were
identified by the regional director as an effective administrator within their geographical
region. A letter of introduction from Dr. Simmons, was sent with a letter of explanation
and invitation for participation in the research study.
Once the administrator’s participation was secured, details of the proposed
timeline were forwarded to panel members. Members of the panel were not identified in
any manner to other participants so that confidentiality and anonymity were maintained.
All communication with the administrators transpired via email communication.
Response Rates
Research that utilizes questionnaires generally experience low response rates
(Kenney et al., 2011). Since the Delphi can be three or four rounds, the likelihood of low
respondents’ rate increases. Researchers encourage active participation and ownership by
panel experts to enhance response (Kenney et al., 2011). While there are no specific
guidelines for an acceptable response rate for Delphi studies, and variations in response
rates range from 8% to 100% (Owens, Ley, & Aitken, 2008), some researchers (Bork,
1993; Sumsion, 1998) advocated for a 70% response rate. However, they also noted that
it is necessary to put forth considerable effort to see that rate of return. In this study, 33
experts originally consented to participate from the potential pool of 69 administrators.
Two experts failed to respond to the Round 2 question. Therefore, 48% agreed to
59
participate and 45% completed the three rounds. Their responses provided the data for
this research.
Instrumentation
Theoretically, the Delphi method consists of three iterations or rounds of
questions which yield sufficient information to reach consensus (Powell, 2003). The first
round traditionally begins with an open-ended questionnaire. This open-ended question
is submitted to participants who are considered experts in their field. The selection of
research participants is a critical component to the Delphi process (Skulmoski et al.,
2007). Four criteria that determine who qualifies as an expert are: (a) one who possesses
knowledge and experience with the issue being researched, (b) capacity and willingness
to participate, (c) time to participate in each of the three rounds, and (d) sufficient
communication skills (Adler & Ziglio, 1996). The first round question is the focus of the
Delphi and the development of the initial broad question is important because it generates
the data for the remainder of the study (Skulmoski et al., 2007). The purpose of the first
round questions identifies the issues which will be addressed in the subsequent rounds
(Powell, 2003).
The responses from Round 1 are the basis for the questions developed in Round 2
and 3. In this study, the purpose for Round 1 was to generate a list which was then pared
down in Round 2 (Schmidt, 1997). The Round 2 question was used for ranking or rating
the output of the first round responses and then used to develop a question for Round 3
(Adler & Ziglio, 1996). Throughout the Delphi there is a continuous verification process
to improve the reliability of results (Delbeq et al., 1975). In Round 3, participants were
60
given the opportunity to modify their answers, comment on the perspectives generated
and to reach consensus (Skulmoski et al., 2007).
Field-Test of the Instrument
Prior to each round of questions, all of the information designed for the research
was field-tested by one administrator who possessed the same qualifications as the
panelists, but who did not participate in the data collection. The individual who fieldtested the instrument was a superintendent of an accredited ACSI school. He was asked
to provide helpful feedback about the various components of the cover letter, the
instructions, and the survey questions. He indicated that he clearly understood the
instructions, the questions, and the purpose of the study.
Data Collection Procedure
Correspondence with participants occurred via email. Letters to secure
participation, the questionnaires that were sent, responses from the questionnaires, and
feedback results were collected through email. Prior to each round a highly detailed set
of instructions was provided as well as deadlines for completing the questions. Two
words—doctoral dissertation—were selected for use in the subject line to serve as a
prompt for participants to identify correspondence related to this study.
Procedure for Round 1
The questionnaire for the first round included an overview of the study, an
explanation of the purpose and importance of the study, a set of instructions for
completion of the questionnaire, instructions about the importance of meeting the
deadline for completion of the questionnaire, appreciation for participation, and the
question. The open-ended question was: What do you believe are the skills necessary to
61
expand and enhance the leadership capacity and sustainability of future K-12 Christian
schools? The participants were given a time period of two weeks to complete the list of
skills requested. Those who did not respond within two weeks were sent a reminder via
email requesting an immediate response.
When all of the responses were received, they were recorded verbatim on index
cards. Those cards were categorized by the researcher and another reader into
generalized categories that were represented by shared likenesses. This process is called
a snow card structuring device (Bryson, 1990). Responses that were duplicated were
discarded. Responses that were similar were combined. If there was any uncertainty
about the responses, the researcher and outside reader discussed discrepancies and
reached consensus. By using the expertise of an outside reader the findings were verified
and validated. The responses from this round provided the survey questions for Round 2.
Procedure for Round 2
The results from the first round were forwarded to the participants with a tenpoint Likert scale. Kenney et al. (2011) defined a Likert scale as follows:
. . . a psychometric scale commonly used in all types of questionnaires and is the
most widely used scale in survey research in all disciplines. It is generally used in
questionnaires to facilitate respondents to indicate their level of agreement with a
statement. This makes the Likert scale a perfect scale to use within a Delphi
questionnaire as the technique is most concerned with agreement and consensus.
(p. 77)
The participants were asked to rate each response based on which skill would have the
greatest impact on future Christian school administrators’ success. The specific question
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was: What leadership skills do experts rate as potentially having the greatest impact on
future Christian school administrators’ success? The deadline for responses was two
weeks. If no response was provided after two weeks, an email reminder was sent
encouraging timely participation. Once all of the responses were received, the researcher
determined the following measures for each item on the survey: frequency distribution,
median ranking, and interquartile range.
Procedure for Round 3
The third round consisted of the results of the ratings from the second round.
Participants were provided with a copy of the experts’ responses to each question asked
and a summary of responses from the group of participants indicating the median and
interquartile range for which skills would have the greatest impact on an administrator’s
success. Participants were requested to review their responses and those of all of the
participants. They were asked to make any changes to their previous responses and to
provide a reason for their altered answer. The deadline for Round 3 was one week. The
panel of experts was instructed to submit any changes to their original responses if they
had any, otherwise a response was not necessary. For each item, interquartile ranges
were calculated as measures of dispersion, and median scores were calculated as
measures of central tendency. The degree of impact and consensus for each item was
determined through a combination of these indices (Meadows, 2007). At the conclusion
of the third round a thank-you letter was emailed to the participants along with the final
results of the research.
Analysis of the Data
63
In this study the focus was on an aspect of behavior—what leadership skills are
deemed essential for future success. This behavior was observed and then quantified in a
measureable manner (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005). In the first round the behavior was
defined. In the second round the statistical tests provided results that rated accuracy and
intensity. In this round participants were rating the same behavior independently, while
in the third round the ratings provided a measurable comparison with each participant’s
opinion through the calculation of the median and interquartile range. “The interquartile
range is the difference between the third and first quartiles and is a measure of statistical
dispersion. The interquartile range is calculated by discarding the lowest 25 percent and
the highest 25 percent and then calculating the median of the remaining data” (Meadows,
2007, p. 81).
Limitations
This study had the following limitations:
1. The Delphi does not provide an opportunity for verbal responses; therefore,
robust feedback may have been lacking. Therefore, subject motivation may
have been lacking since there was no personal connection with the panel.
2. The researcher may have unintentionally added bias to the study.
3. The results of the questionnaire are only as valid as the opinions of the experts
with which the panel was comprised.
4.
The Delphi can be considered time-consuming because of the amount of time
between rounds during which the respondents may have lost interest in
participation.
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5. There was an assumption that because the participant was in an administrative
role, he or she had sufficient knowledge or expertise to participate. This may
not actually have been the case. The participants may have possessed varying
degrees of knowledge.
6. This research study assumes that participant responses were truthful and
thoughtful. The fact that questions sought to determine ideal skills rather than
skills possessed by those surveyed suggested that the results yielded were
accurate and unembellished.
7. The study was limited to ACSI accredited schools in the United States serving
students in grades K-12. It is possible that an administrator of a nonaccredited ACSI school could have been omitted from the research but would
still have provided valuable information.
8. Some of the schools might also have a pre-school associated with their school,
but that was not a consideration of this study. All schools were identified as a
K-12 school.
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CHAPTER FOUR
THE ANALYSIS OF DATA
The purpose of this study was to determine which skills would expand and
enhance the leadership capacity and sustainability of future K-12 Christian school
administrators. The study utilized the Delphi method, a panel of experts to determine
what specific skills were essential, and three rounds of questions. The questions were as
follows:
1. What do you believe are the skills necessary to expand and enhance the
leadership capacity and sustainability of future K-12 Christian schools?
2. What leadership skills do experts rate as potentially having the greatest impact
on future Christian school administrators’ success?
3. What leadership skills do experts find consensus on potentially having the
greatest impact on future K-12 Christian school administrators’ success?
(Meadows, 2007, p. 18)
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The expert panel was comprised of 31 K-12 Christian school administrators who
served as heads of private schools accredited by the Association of Christian Schools
International (ACSI). The specific criteria for selecting the panel members were
presented to the ten regional directors of ACSI. Each regional director received an email
from the researcher explaining the need for four to six names of exemplary administrators
who served as the head of an ACSI-accredited school with an enrollment of at least 500
students. An explanation was provided for the desire to generate a list of leadership skills
that this group of experts would produce. As a result the regional directors provided a
list of 69 potential administrators who would qualify as experts. Each administrator was
contacted via email and supplied with an explanation of their selection, the research
methodology including the anticipated amount of time that would be involved in the three
rounds of research, and an invitation to participate.
Of the group of 69 potential experts, 33, or almost 48%, consented to participate.
Of the 33 who consented to participate, 31 administrators, or 45%, completed all three
rounds of the questionnaires. Four of the 31 panelists were women, the rest were men.
All served as the head administrator of a private school with an enrollment of at least 500
students. Members of the panel served in schools located in the West: California,
Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, and Idaho; the Midwest: Iowa and Kansas; the
North: Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio; the East: Pennsylvania and New Hampshire; the
South: North Carolina, Kentucky, Florida, Arkansas, and Texas. This is a broad
representation from across the United Sates. Therefore, it can be stated that this Delphi
study was national in scope. The titles of the experts included Head of School,
67
Superintendent, Chief Educational Officer, Headmaster, and President. The most
common title was Superintendent.
The Delphi Technique was selected as the research tool because it provided a
systematic research process for experts geographically spread across the United States. It
also provided an opportunity to gain consensus while still maintaining anonymity. Every
contact with the panel members transpired via individual emails so that experts did not
know who else was participating. The first round generated responses to the first
question which was open-ended. This question led to a second question that permitted
experts to rate the leadership skills generated from the first question. The ratings were
calculated for the third round using the median and interquartile range generated by SPSS
(Bryman, 2008). In the third round, consensus was achieved.
The interquartile (IQR) range is a descriptive statistical measure used to
summarize the spread of the data. The IQR is the distance between the first and third
quartiles, which is essentially the range of the middle 50% of the data (Bryman, 2008).
The median is a center value that divides an array of data into two halves (Groebner,
Shannon, Fry, & Smith, 2008). The median identified the experts’ opinions of the
potential impact each skill would have on future private school administrators’ success.
“If the difference between the upper quartile and lower quartile is a small number, the
scores are close together; if it is large, the scores are more spread out. Because the
middle 50 percent is identified, outliers or extreme values do not affect the IQR”
(Meadows, 2007, p. 86).
Several strategies were employed to provide validity of the data and to reduce
researcher bias. First, confidentiality was maintained with all correspondence. This
68
provided the experts with the opportunity to submit honest responses without undue
outside influence. Second, the original responses, along with the group responses, were
returned to the experts during Round 3, providing the opportunity to reevaluate
responses. Third, all of the correspondence transpired via email, eliminating undue
researcher bias since all of the communication was verbatim. Fourth, the use of an
outside reader during Round 2 reduced researcher bias.
Research Question Round 1
Sixty-nine experts were identified by the ACSI regional directors. An email
explaining the purpose and procedure of the research was sent to each of those
administrators who comprised the potential panel of experts. Of those 69 administrators,
33 agreed to participate, but only 31 responded to all three rounds of questions. The first
question was posed to administrators: What leadership skills do experts believe will
expand and enhance the leadership capacity and sustainability of future Christian K-12
school administrators? The administrators were encouraged to submit as many responses
as they desired; however, the researcher requested that the responses be few words or
short phrases. This question generated 297 responses.
An outside reader was selected to participate in organizing the responses to the
Round 1 question. The reader and the researcher met and used a snow card technique to
sort responses. The process used in the snow card technique was as follows:
1. Each response was written on one index card.
2. The cards were laid out on a large conference table. Duplicate responses were
grouped together.
69
3. Similar responses were discussed by the outside reader and researcher before
each card was either assigned to its own category or assigned to a similar
descriptive grouping. The original wording was only changed to combine
responses that were synonymous. The researcher and reader were careful to
respect the original responses.
4. At the conclusion of the process, the outside reader and researcher reread all
of the groupings or individual responses to verify the accuracy of their
decisions.
5. Words or phrases that were repeated were eventually discarded and similar
ones were combined to produce a list of 111 skills identified by experts as the
skills believed to enhance and expand the leadership capacity and
sustainability of future K-12 Christian school administrators.
6. Skills identified by the expert panels in Round 1 are listed in Table 1. It
should be noted that the listed skills are synthesized responses that reflect the
original integrity of the responses provided by the experts.
Table 1
Skills Identified by Experts in Round 1
Ability to analyze, assess, and address complex issues
Ability to forgive and continue to be vulnerable
Academic expertise
Accountability
Articulate and develop well-defined definition of excellence among school leadership
Assessment that improves education
Attract and cultivate CEO-quality board members
Balance between arts, athletics, and academics
Balance between business and ministry
Biblically confrontational
70
Change agent
Convert stress into motivation
Commitment to best practices
Commitment to development of right and left brain abilities in students
Commitment to Christian education
Common sense
Communication—verbal and written
Conflict management skills
Courage
Creative
Create an atmosphere between loose and legalistic
Critical thinking skills
Cultivate boards who understand governance
Cultivation of student-centered environment
Data-driven decision making
Decisive
Delegate
Diplomatic
Discernment with personnel issues—hiring, firing, interviewing
Discernment with tough decisions
Discipline and focus
Does the right thing under adverse circumstances
Do not talk about co-workers behind their back
Educated and prepared to handle learning disabled students
Emotional intelligence
Enhancing administrator prep programs in universities
Entrepreneurial spirit
Find, read, and understand research
Financial expertise
Flexibility
Fluent in learning dialogue
Followership
Friendly
Fundraiser/Developer
Highly productive
Highly trained
Hire people better than oneself
Honesty
Humility
Independence from supporting church
Innovative
Integrity
Intelligence
Interpersonal skills
Keep the main thing the main thing
Knowledge of curriculum
71
Knowledge of effective teaching
Knowledge of standards-based instruction
Let students know you say what you mean and mean what you say
Lifelong learner
Listening skills
Make tough decisions when necessary
Maintain balance and perspective despite challenging circumstances
Maintain confidentiality
Manage people
Marketing skills
Master’s level, ACSI certified, and require it of subordinates
Mentoring/Discipleship
Mission driven
Mitigating the disappointment when Christian followers fail
Modeling effective leadership
Multi-task
Never let friendliness be taken for weakness
Non-specialized career track and training
Not afraid of failure
Organizational skills
Oversee challenging family issues and their impact on the school
Passion for excellence
Perfectionism
Positive attitude
Previous administrative experience
Provide staff development
Public relations skills
Recognize when you can’t properly educate a student
Recruit and train students
Resilience
Responsible
Relational
Self-controlled
Sense of humor
Servant’s heart/leadership
Spiritual maturity
Strategic planning
Succession plan developed
Sustainable business practices
Teaching specific skills crucial to leadership
Team builder
Technologically efficient
Trustworthy
Under-promise and over-deliver
Understanding of Biblical integration in education
Understand Biblical principle of working under authority
72
Understanding relationship between people, program, finances, culture, funding,
facilities, legal issues, and political climate of the state
Understanding today’s parents and students
Understanding organizational development
Understanding 21st-century learning
Visionary
Well-educated
Well-read
Wisdom
Willingness and sense of God’s calling on life
________________________________________________________________________
Research Question Round 2
The responses received from the first round were consolidated and sent in Round
2 to the experts who were asked to rate the skills they collectively identified on a scale of
1 (low) to 10 (high) as to that skill’s potential impact on the future success of Christian
school administrators. The experts were invited to contact the researcher if they required
clarification. No experts contacted the researcher. The experts were informed that every
effort had been made to maintain the integrity of the original responses. Two experts
never responded, even after multiple requests were emailed to them. The median of the
combined responses for each identified skill was calculated for Round 3.
The median ratings for Round 2 ranged from a low of 5 to a high of 10. Fourteen
skills received a median rating of 10. Thirty-six skills received a median rating of 9.
Forty skills received a median rating of 8. Seventeen skills received a median rating of 7.
Three skills received a median rating of 6. One skill received a rating of 5 which was the
lowest score.
The following skills received a median rating of 10: Commitment to Christian
education; Courage; Does the right thing under adverse circumstances; Honesty;
Humility; Integrity; Make tough decisions when necessary; Maintain confidentiality;
73
Servant’s heart; Spiritual maturity; Trustworthy; Understanding of Biblical integration in
education; Wisdom; and Willingness and sense of God’s calling on life.
The following skills received a median rating of 9: Accountability; Commitment
to best practices; Communication—verbal and written; Conflict management skills;
Cultivate boards who understand governance; Decisive; Discernment with personnel
issues—hiring, firing, interviewing; Discernment with tough decision; Discipline and
focus; Do not talk about co-workers behind their backs; Emotional intelligence; Financial
acuity; Highly productive; Hire people better than oneself; Interpersonal skills; Keep the
main thing the main thing; Lifelong learner; Listening skills; Maintain balance and
perspective despite challenging circumstances; Manage people; Mission driven;
Modeling effective leadership; Passion for excellence; Positive attitude; Public relations
skills; Responsible; Relational; Self-controlled; Strategic planning; Team builder;
Understand biblical principle of working under authority; Understanding today’s parents
and students; Visionary; Well-educated; and Well-read.
The following skills received a median rating of 8: Ability to forgive and continue
to be open to input; Academic expertise; Analytical—assess and address complex issues;
Articulate and develop a formula for excellence among school leadership; Assessment
that improves education; Balance between arts, athletics, and academics; Attract and
cultivate CEO-quality board members; Balance between business and ministry; Change
agent; Creative; Critical thinking skills; Cultivation of student-centered environment;
Data-driven decision making; Delegation; Diplomatic; Entrepreneurial spirit; Find, read,
and understand research; Flexibility; Followership; Friendly; Fundraiser/Developer;
Highly trained; Innovative; Intelligence; Let students know you say what you men and
74
mean what you say; Marketing skills; Mentoring/Discipleship/Coaching; Multi-task; Not
afraid of failure; Organizational skills; Previous administration experience; Provide staff
development; Resilience; Sense of humor; Sustainable business practices; Teaching
specific skills crucial to leadership; Under-promise and over-deliver; Understanding
relationship between people, program, finances, culture, funding, facilities, legal issues,
and political climate of state; Understanding organizational development; and
Understanding 21stcentury learning.
The following skills received a median rating of 7: Biblically confrontational;
Convert stress into motivation; Commitment to development of right and left brain
abilities in students; Create an atmosphere between permissive and legalistic; Educated
and prepared to handle learning disabled students; Fluent in learning dialogue;
Knowledge of curriculum; Knowledge of effective teaching; Knowledge of standardsbased instruction; Master’s level, ACSI certified, require it of subordinates; Mitigating
the disappointment when Christians fail; Never let friendliness be taken for weakness;
Oversee challenging family issues and their impact on the school; Recognize when you
can’t properly educate a student; Recruit and train students; Succession plan developed;
and Technologically efficient.
The following skills received a median rating of 6: Enhancing administrator prep
programs in universities; Independence from supporting church; and Perfectionism. The
only skill that received a median rating of 5 was: Non-specialized career track and
training.
Table 2
75
Summary of Round 2 Responses With a Median Rating of 10
Identified Skill
IQR
Median
Commitment to Christian Education
1
10
Courage
1
10
Does the right thing under adverse circumstances
1
10
Honesty
1
10
Humility
1
10
Integrity
1
10
Make tough decisions when necessary
1
10
Maintain confidentiality
1
10
Servant’s heart
2
10
Spiritual maturity
1
10
Trustworthy
0
10
Understanding of Biblical integration in education
2
10
Wisdom
1
10
Willingness and sense of God’s calling on life
1
10
________________________________________________________________________
Table 3
Summary of Round 2 Responses With a Median Rating of 9
________________________________________________________________________
Identified Skill
IQR
Median
________________________________________________________________________
Accountability
Commitment to best practices
Common sense
Communication—verbal and written
Conflict management skills
Cultivate boards who understand governance
Decisive
Discernment with personnel issues—hiring, firing, interviewing
Discernment with tough decisions
Discipline and focus
Do not talk about co-workers behind their backs
Emotional intelligence
Financial acuity
Highly productive
Hire people better than yourself
Interpersonal skills
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
1
1
3
1
1
1
1
1
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
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Keep the main thing the main thing
Lifelong learner
Listening skills
Maintain balance and perspective despite challenging
circumstances
Manage people
Mission driven
Modeling effective leadership
9
Passion for excellence
Positive attitude
Public relations skills
Responsible
Relational
Self-controlled
9
Strategic planning
Team builder
Understand biblical principle of working under authority
Understanding today’s parents and students
Visionary
Well-educated
Well-read
2
1
1
9
9
9
2
2
1
9
9
9
2
2
1
2
2
2
9
9
9
9
9
1
1
2
2
1
2
2
1
9
9
9
9
9
9
9
Table 4
Summary of Round 2 Responses With a Median Rating of 8
________________________________________________________________________
Identified skill
IQR
Median
________________________________________________________________________
Ability to forgive and continue to be open to input
Academic expertise
Analytical—assess and address complex issues
Articulate and develop a formula for excellence among
school leadership
Assessment that improves education
Balance between arts, athletics, and academics
Attract and cultivate CEO-quality board members
Balance between business and ministry
Change agent
Creative
Critical thinking skills
Cultivation of student-centered environment
2
2
1
8
8
8
2
2
1
2
2
2
1
1
2
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
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Data-driven decision making
2
8
Delegation
2
8
Diplomatic
1
8
Entrepreneurial spirit
2
8
Find, read, and understand research
2
8
Flexibility
2
8
Followership
3
8
Friendly
2
8
Fundraiser/Developer
3
8
Highly trained
2
8
Innovative
2
8
Intelligence
1
8
Let students know you say what you mean and mean
what you say
2
8
Marketing skills
3
8
Mentoring/Discipleship/Coaching
2
8
Multi-task
2
8
Not afraid of failure
1
8
Organizational skills
1
8
Previous administration experience
2
8
Provide staff development
2
8
Resilience
1
8
Sense of humor
1
8
Sustainable business practices
1
8
Teaching specific skills crucial to leadership
1
8
Under-promise and over-deliver
3
8
Understanding relationship between people, program,
finances, culture, funding, facilities, legal issues, and
political climate of state
2
8
Understanding organizational development
2
8
2
8
Understanding 21st-century learning
________________________________________________________________________
Table 5
Summary of Round 2 Responses With a Median Rating of 7
________________________________________________________________________
Identified Skill
IQR
Median
________________________________________________________________________
Biblically confrontational
Convert stress into motivation
Commitment to development of right and left brain abilities in
students
Create an atmosphere between permissive and legalistic
2
3
7
7
2
3
7
7
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Educated and prepared to handle learning disabled students
2
7
Fluent in learning dialogue
1
7
Knowledge of curriculum
2
7
Knowledge of effective teaching
2
7
Knowledge of standards-based instruction
2
7
Master’s level, ACSI certified, require it of subordinates
4
7
Mitigating the disappointment when Christians fail
3
7
Never let friendliness be taken for weakness
3
7
Oversee challenging family issues and their impact on the
school
2
7
Recognize when you can’t properly educate a student
2
7
Recruit and train students
2
7
Succession plan developed
2
7
Technologically efficient
2
7
________________________________________________________________________
Table 6
Summary of Round 2 Responses With a Median Rating of 6 or 5
________________________________________________________________________
Identified Skill
IQR
Median
________________________________________________________________________
Enhancing administrator prep programs in universities
3
6
Independence from supporting church
5
6
Perfectionism
4
6
Non-specialized career track and training
4
5
________________________________________________________________________
Research Question Round 3
The responses from Round 2 were determined through statistical analysis. As in
the Meadows (2007) study, “the interquartile range was selected to determine the
strength of consensus among the experts. For each item, interquartile ranges were
calculated as measures of dispersion and median score were calculated as measures of
central tendency” (p. 104). The question was asked for Round 3: What leadership skills
do experts find consensus on potentially having the greatest impact on future private
79
school administrator’s success? Round 3 attempted to find consensus from the panel of
experts.
The experts received a copy of the findings of the group’s response and a copy of
their original responses. They were invited to compare their responses and the responses
of the group to determine if they wanted to alter their ratings. If changes were made, the
experts were asked to provide rationale for their changes. Ten changes were made by
five experts. Those changes are noted in Table 7.
The median rating indicated the opinions of the experts, but it did not describe the
level of importance delegated to the experts’ consensus. Rather, that was accomplished
through the combination of interquartile ranges—which were calculated as measures of
dispersion—and the median scores, which were measures of central tendency. The
interquartile range identified the strength of consensus in the responses identified by the
experts. The smaller the rating of the dispersion, the greater the level of agreement
among the experts about the importance placed on a specific skill. The interquartile
range is the range of the middle 50% of the data, which eliminates any outliers or
extreme values (Bryman, 2008).
Since the interquartile range is the difference between the third and first quartiles,
it provides a single number. The differences between the third quartile and the first
quartile for responses in this survey ranged from a 5 to a 1. Raskin (1994) identified an
IQR deviation of 1.0 or less as an indicator of consensus. Rayens and Hahn (2000)
contended that the literature does not provide uniform guidelines for determining a
universal IQR to provide consensus because the range of responses impacts the number.
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For the purposes of this study the Raskin study will provide the guidelines of 1.0 as an
indicator of consensus.
One of the identified skills, “Trustworthy,” had an interquartile range of 0
indicating that there was no difference between the third quartile and the first quartile.
Forty skills received a rating of 1; 56 skills received a rating of 2; ten skills received a
rating of 3; three skills received a rating of 4; one skill, “Non-specialized career track and
training,” received a rating of 5.
The purpose of the research question was for experts to reach consensus and
provide a list of skills identifying the greatest impact on the success of future private
school administrators. In the Meadow’s study (2007), the skills with a median rating of 9
or higher and an IQR of 1.5 or less were identified as those skills that would potentially
have the greatest impact on the success of future private school administrators. Since the
results of this study only produced whole numbers, the median rating of 9 or higher and
an IQR of 1.0 or less provided the guidelines for identifying which skills yielded the
greatest consensus among the experts. The number of skills that met the criterion was 28.
In Round 3 the experts were provided with an opportunity to review their
responses and compare those to the ratings of the expert panel. Experts were permitted to
change any of their answers and to provide an explanation for the change. Five experts
elected to alter their original ratings, which impacted 10 responses. No rationale was
given for specific changes, but some of the general comments included that changes were
made due to the vagueness of the statements. The concern was that many of the
statements about skills could be interpreted in a variety of ways and would be especially
influenced by the location of their school. Two experts changed three of their original
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ratings; one expert changed two ratings; two experts changed one of their original ratings.
Each of the experts opted to change different identified skills. None of the new ratings
impacted the group median scores. The group median scores identified in Round 2
remained the same.
Table 7
Responses Changed from Round 2 to Round 3
________________________________________________________________________
Identified Skill
Original Response
New Rating
________________________________________________________________________
Ability to forgive and continue to be open to input
3
8
Articulate and develop a formula for excellence
among school leadership
4
9
Biblically confrontational
1
5
Commitment to best practices
7
9
Commitment to Christian education
8
10
Cultivation of student-centered environment
7
10
Enhancing administrator prep programs in universities
3
9
Knowledge of curriculum
2
5
Modeling effective leadership
1
5
Not afraid of failure
3
6
________________________________________________________________________
Summary of Findings
The findings of this data produced the following:
1. The experts identified 111 skills that they believed would expand and enhance
the leadership capacity and sustainability of future K-12 Christian school
administrators. Based on their ratings, they further identified 28 skills that
would have the greatest impact on future private school administrator’s
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success. This was determined when the median rating of either 9 or 10 on a
Likert scale was assigned and an IQR of less than 1.0 was calculated.
2. Five experts changed their original ratings during Round 3. These changes
did not impact any of the median ratings.
3. The experts strongly agreed on 28 skills:

Commitment to Christian Education

Courage

Decisive

Discernment with tough decisions

Discipline and focus

Does the right thing under adverse circumstances

Emotional intelligence

Financial acuity

Highly productive

Hire people better than oneself

Honesty

Humility

Integrity

Interpersonal skills

Lifelong learner

Listening skills

Make tough decisions when necessary

Maintain confidentiality
83

Mission driven

Positive attitude

Self-controlled

Spiritual maturity

Strategic planning

Trustworthy

Understanding today’s parents and students

Willingness and sense of God’s calling on life

Wisdom

Well-read
4. The skill that received the highest rating with a median rating of 10 and an
IQR of 0 was, Trustworthy. This was the only skill to receive this rating.
Summary
Chapter Four was a presentation of the research conducted and the responses of
the panel of 31 administrators who had been identified as experts. The experts were
identified by the ten regional directors of ACSI as leaders in the private Christian
educational community. Therefore, the experts were from 10 different geographical
locations spread across the United States. The purpose of the research was to identify
which leadership skills would potentially have the greatest impact on the success of
future private K-12 Christian school administrators.
In the first round, the experts identified leadership skills that they believed would
expand and enhance the leadership capacity and sustainability of future private school
administrators. In the second round, the expert responses were combined to produce a
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comprehensive list of responses from the first round. The experts were asked to rate
those leadership skills based on the potential impact on the success of future private K-12
Christian school administrators. In the final round, the results of the ratings were
calculated to produce a list of 28 leadership skills that reflected consensus, determined by
using limited range of central tendency statistics to determine which leadership skills
would potentially have the greatest impact on the success of future K-12 Christian
schools.
Chapter Five will provide a summary and conclusions of the study and address
recommendations for further research and study.
CHAPTER FIVE
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Chapter Five is a summary of this study. The summary includes the background
of the study, the purpose of the study, the research questions that were presented to the
experts, the methodology used in the research, and the major findings of the research.
The conclusions drawn from this study and the recommendations for future research are
also included in Chapter Five.
Background of the Study
The importance of leadership in the success of an organization is well
documented (Leithwood, 2006; Orthner et al., 2006; Yukl, 2006; Bennis, 2003). The
educational community, which is comprised of many independent and interdependent
organizations, benefits from good leadership because leadership has a significant impact
upon the quality of specific schools and student achievement (Leithwood et al., 2006).
85
However, the exact skills that are needed by educational leaders in a constantly changing
educational landscape are unclear due to the rapid pace of technological and global
advances that have significantly impacted the educational community. This is true in the
field of public education as well as in the field of private school education. This study
sought to address which specific leadership skills would enhance the leadership abilities
of future private school leaders and to expand the understanding of current private school
leaders.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to provide a list of skills, through the use of the
Delphi Technique, that were identified by current administrators as essential skills
required to expand and enhance the leadership capacity and sustainability of future
Christian K-12 school administrators. Through the use of consensus, the administrators
reached agreement about which leadership skills were most desirable for those who held
or will hold similar administrative leadership roles in private school settings.
Research Questions
1. What do you believe are the skills necessary to expand and enhance the
leadership capacity and sustainability of future K-12 Christian schools?
2. What leadership skills do experts rate as potentially having the greatest impact
on future success of Christian school administrators?
3. What leadership skills do experts find consensus on potentially having the
greatest impact on future private school administrators’ success? (Meadows,
2007, p. 18)
Methodology
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The Delphi Technique was used in this study as a research tool to investigate
administrators’ opinions regarding which leadership skills were essential for the
successful future administrator of the private K-12 Christian school. The Delphi
Technique was developed by Norman Dalkey of the RAND Corporation in the 1950s as a
forecasting tool based on the opinions of experts (Dalkey & Helmer, 1963). The
opinions of experts culminated in a consensus-building process through the use of a
series of sequential rounds of questions, interspersed by controlled feedback, to generate
data that focused on future consensus building (Delbeq et al., 1975). As a tool, the
Delphi provides a method to attain expert independent thought in the general formation
of expert opinion (Oliver, 2010).
The Delphi method is a process used to collect and categorize responses from
experts using a series of questionnaires interspersed with feedback. The questionnaires
are designed to focus on problems, opportunities, solutions, or forecasting the future.
Each questionnaire is based on the results of the previous questionnaire. According to
Rowe and Wright (1999), the unique features of Delphi include the anonymity of experts
which provides for greater diversity of opinion, participants redefining their views as
they reflect on the opinions of other experts, controlled feedback that provides an
opportunity to permit participants to change their views and responses, and statistical
aggregation of group response that provides quantitative analysis and interpretation of
data.
The 31 experts who completed the three rounds of questions comprised the expert
panel. They were identified by an established set of criteria and elected to be part of the
research when the purpose and process were presented. Each expert was a head
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administrator of a private Christian K-12 school. Four of the 33 panelists were women;
the rest were men. All served as the head administrator of their private school with an
enrollment of at least 500 students. Members of the panel served in schools located in
Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New
Hampshire, North Carolina, Kentucky, Florida, Arkansas, Texas, California, Oregon, and
Washington. This was a broad representation from across the United Sates: Midwest,
Southeast, Northwest, West, East, North, and South. Therefore, it can be stated that this
Delphi study was national in scope.
Three rounds of questions were sent to the experts. All correspondence transpired
through email. The first round was an open-ended question which asked the experts to
identify the skills that would expand and enhance the leadership capacity and
sustainability of future K-12 Christian school administrators. Their responses produced a
synthesized list of 111 leadership skills that were used in a rating process in Round 2.
The question in Round 2 used a 10-point Likert scale to address which leadership skills
had the potential of having the greatest impact on future K-12 Christian school
administrators. The experts then rated the skills. In Round 3 the experts had the
opportunity to review the panel’s responses and determine if they wanted to change their
ratings.
Summary of Findings
1. A panel of 31 experts identified 111 leadership skills that they believed would
expand and enhance the leadership capacity and sustainability of future K-12
Christian school administrators.
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2. The panel of experts rated the 111 leadership skills to determine which skills
would potentially have the greatest impact on future K-12 Christian school
administrators’ success. The 28 skills had a median rating of either 9 or 10 on
a Likert scale of 1(low) to 10 (high) and an interquartile range (IQR) of 1.0 or
less.
3. Five of the experts changed 10 of their original ratings in Round 3, but the
new ratings did not alter the median or IQR.
4. The skills that were identified were as follows:

Commitment to Christian education

Courage

Decisiveness

Discernment with tough decisions

Discipline and focus

Does the right thing under adverse circumstances

Emotional intelligence

Financial acuity

Highly productive

Hire people better than oneself

Honesty

Humility

Integrity

Interpersonal skills

Lifelong learner
89

Listening skills

Make tough decisions when necessary

Maintain confidentiality

Mission driven

Positive attitude

Self-controlled

Spiritual maturity

Strategic planning

Trustworthy

Understanding today’s parents and students

Well-read

Willingness and sense of God’s calling on life

Wisdom
5. The skill that received the highest rating with a median rating of 10 and an
IQR of 0 was “trustworthy.” This was the only skill to receive this rating.
6. Most of the skills identified by experts in Round 1 in the Meadows (2007)
study were also identified in Round 1 of this study. Some of the skills
identified in Round 3 of both of the studies were the same: Hire well;
Discernment; Committed to Christian education; Careful listening; Integrity;
Highly productive; Spiritual maturity; and Interpersonal skills. The literature
on educational leadership is clear about the value of each of the skills
identified in both studies and attributes their value to effective leadership.
Within the Christian community, Burkett (2010) addressed the role of spiritual
90
maturity, hiring well, discernment, and a commitment to Christian education,
when he challenged Christian school administrators not to detour from the
important task of making disciples while providing quality Christian
education. Shuman (2009) advocated for hiring well-educated, bright, and
articulate Christians. Interpersonal skills are demonstrated through leaders’
ability to work well with others and to enlist help and cooperation in problem
solving. Siccone (2012) agreed that one of the trademarks of the majority of
successful school administrators was the ability to work well with diverse
stakeholders.
Findings Related to the Literature
The findings in this research reflect and support findings in literature provided by
theorists and experts who addressed which skills and characteristics are employed by
effective leaders. While an administrator need not possess all essential skills personally,
members of the team collectively must possess the leadership skills. Of particular
significance was the unanimous agreement that trustworthy was the characteristic that
received the highest rating from the 31 experts in this study.
At a time when corporate scandals and ethical lapses of leadership permeate the
public arena, the importance of trustworthy leadership is well documented (Freeman &
Stewart, 2006; Trevino & Brown, 2004; Yukl, 2006). Furthermore, the impact of trust
becomes extremely important because the leader’s behavior plays a significant role in the
institutional culture and climate within an organization. Within the school community,
Evans (1996) advocated for authentic leaders who can be trusted to fulfill their
commitments and responsibilities. Galford and Drapeau (2002) stated that trust in
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leadership is the crucial ingredient to organizational effectiveness. It is through this
building of trust that leaders are able to create organizational systems that reinforce the
mission, purpose, messages, and principles valued by an organization.
The issue of trust is considered the foundational element to organizational success
by Oketch (2004) who argued that future organizations will only succeed if they base
their mission and corporate strategies on creating, measuring, and managing
trustworthiness. The added dimension for school-based leadership is that leaders be
mindful that their actions and decisions are serving as role models for youth and are
shaping society. Based on the opinions in this study, the experts concurred that
administrators must be trustworthy by highly valuing this skill.
The remaining skills identified in this research closely align with some of the
trends identified in current literature as essential leadership skills. Bennis (2003) posited
that leaders come in all shapes and sizes and that most leaders invent themselves through
acquiring skills that equip them for leadership. However, at their core most leaders share
some of the same basic ingredients. The first ingredient is a guiding vision so that the
leader knows where the organization is going and how to get there. In this study the
administrators identified the components of guiding vision within the context of the
Christian school as commitment to Christian education, being mission driven, having a
sense of God’s calling on one’s life, understanding today’s parents and students, and
strategic planning.
The second ingredient of leadership is passion for one’s calling or profession.
Valuable leaders must project a love and vision for the people and the organization they
lead. The experts in this study identified positive attitude as a skill that met this criteria.
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The third ingredient is integrity, which Bennis (2003) qualified as self-knowledge
by understanding strengths and weaknesses, candor or honesty, a “steadfast devotion to
principle” (p. 32), and maturity which is defined as “growth through following, learning
to be dedicated, observant, capable of working with and learning from others” (p. 32).
The skills that experts in this study identified that correspond to Bennis’ (2003) findings
were integrity, honesty, doing the right thing under adverse circumstances, spiritual
maturity, maintaining confidentiality, trustworthiness, wisdom, emotional intelligence,
self-control, interpersonal skills, decisiveness, discipline, discernment with difficult
decisions, and humility.
The fourth ingredient of leadership is curiosity and daring, which Bennis (2003)
explained as a desire to learn about everything, having the courage to embrace errors, and
learning from adversity. The skills identified by the experts in this study as the need to
have courage, listening skills, and the ability to make tough decisions when necessary,
align with Bennis’ (2003) explanation of curiosity and daring. It can be argued that the
remainder of the skills identified by experts fall into this category because any effective
administrator who recognizes the lack of a skill would hopefully have the curiosity and
daring to acquire the skill. In this study those remaining skills were being well-read,
financial acuity, high productivity, and hiring people better than oneself.
In his study on preferred characteristics for top leadership teams in Christian
schools, Carman (2009) discovered that some of the qualities identified were beliefs and
some were skills. While biblical beliefs were the most important quality identified, the
character of the top leader rated high as well. The words used to describe this
characteristic were honest, transparent, humble, decisiveness, openness, integrity,
93
compassion, and strength in character. Additionally, passion for the mission,
communication, listener, teachable, servant attitude, team-oriented, and years of
experience in teaching, leading, and adequate schooling were identified as important.
Kotter and Cohen (2002) identified that it is not enough to present people with
lists and expect change. In order to truly experience change, people must be emotionally
convinced that change is necessary. Because of the findings that “feelings alter
behavior” (Kotter & Cohen, 2002, p. x), it is essential that administrators become
convinced that this set of skills makes a difference and that the efforts made to learn and
implement these skills are worthwhile because they lead to the skillful and successful
administration of a school. Since most private school administrators desire to be
successful by running successful schools, it is reasonable to assume that any available
tools or resources, such as these research findings, serve a vital purpose.
It is also important to determine which skills align with the functions of
management and which are leadership skills. Kotter (1990) argued that management
skills provide the consistency and order of organizations, whereas the purpose of
leadership is to produce forward thinking and constructive change. From the list of skills
identified by experts, most could be useful for both managers and leaders. However,
there is only one skill that aligns solely as a management skill: financial acuity. The list
of skills that are identifiable as primarily leadership skills are: Commitment to Christian
education, Courage, Emotional intelligence, Lifelong learner, Mission driven, Strategic
planning, Understanding today’s parents and students, Well-read, and Wisdom.
Conclusions
94
A panel of 31 administrators who were identified as experts in their roles as heads
of schools identified the leadership skills that would have the greatest impact on the
success of future K-12 Christian schools by expanding their leadership capacity and
sustainability. Those skills are possessing a commitment to Christian education, having
courage, doing the right thing under adverse circumstances, being honest, being humble
and having integrity, being capable of making tough decisions when necessary,
maintaining confidentiality, being spiritually mature, being trustworthy, being wise,
having a willingness and sense of God’s calling on one’s life, being decisive, showing
discernment with tough decisions, having personal discipline and focus, possessing
emotional intelligence, understanding financial acuity, being highly productive, hiring
people better than oneself, possessing interpersonal skills, being a lifelong learner with
good listening skills, being mission driven with a positive attitude, being self-controlled,
being a strategic planner, understanding today’s parents and students, and being wellread.
Implications for Action
Literature identified that leadership can be learned and skills can be acquired
through educational programs, on-the-job training, reading, mentoring, observation, and
professional development. Therefore it is evident that educational administrators have
many opportunities to improve or add to their leadership skills to more effectively serve
in their roles. Since the results of this study identified the skills that current experts
believe to be important skills for future sustainability, some recommendations follow.
Self-Assessment Tool
95
There are numerous self-assessment tools that provide a leader or leadership team
with an accurate talent assessment along with suggestions for personal development of
talents. One such example is Clifton StrengthsFinder (Rath, 2007) which is used in more
than 600 schools and universities to assist teams in gaining insight into how to
collectively use team members’ talents to achieve team success. By leveraging each
member’s talents, a stronger, more dynamic team can be created.
Professional Development and Mentoring
Kouzes and Posner (2002) contended that while some of the fundamentals of
leadership are learned through a process of trial and error, most leadership is about selfdevelopment. This self-development is not merely learning facts or gaining data input;
rather, it is a form of self-discovery that provides insight into internal and external
processes that will impact the performance of the person seeking to lead. A study that
identified a set of leadership skills provides a starting point for self-development.
Current administrators can take advantage of the list of skills that have been identified by
adding to their skill set in areas where they lack expertise. A tool that can provide further
development and is widely used within the educational community is professional
development which comes in many different forms. There are larger conferences
designed specifically for administrators, book study groups, webinars, area development
meetings, workshops, and individualized mentoring opportunities. A clear plan that
includes self-assessment, acknowledges individual learning styles, and finds a way to
acquire skills can make a significant impact on growth. Mentoring in particular can yield
positive results. A mentor can be a respected administrator at another school who serves
as a role model, cheerleader, guide, coach, encourager, and counselor. Eichman’s (2009)
96
research yielded that formal administrative mentoring is important due to the increasingly
complex organizational environment of the educational community. Eighty-nine percent
of those interviewed stated they believed they would have benefited from mentoring
especially in the areas of community relations, technology skills, employee relations, and
finance. While 20 states provide some type of mentoring program for new
superintendents, it is highly unlikely that such programs exist for private schools. Such
mentoring would have to be initiated by an administrator who has the desire to receive
coaching and has identified someone who possesses the skills they desire to learn.
Development of Skills
It may be helpful to offer some suggestions on how these essential skills can be
developed, integrated, and applied in Christian K-12 schools. The skills that received a
median rating of 10 are the skills that will be addressed. For the skills identified as
Commitment to Christian education and Understanding of biblical integration in
education, Keenan (2011) recommended that schools commit to unassailable benchmarks
with the acrostic TICPO (truth, intellectual development, Christian educators, potential in
Christ, and operational integrity). This means that the Christian school is grounded in the
word of God (truth); committed to prepare the minds of students well (intellectual
development); led by a team of committed Christians; encouraging students to meet their
full potential; and that every facet of the school’s operations reflect integrity.
To develop the skills identified as Courage, Does the right thing under adverse
circumstances, and Make tough decisions when necessary, suggestions are:

Do what is best for the school even if it is difficult or unpopular

Do not leave when things are difficult
97

Take risks because it is the application of biblical faith in that which is not
seen and that which is not yet known (Hebrews 11:1)
To develop the skills identified as Honesty, Integrity, Trustworthy, and Maintain
confidentiality, suggestions are:

Maintain accountability with the administrative team so that honest feedback
provides growth opportunities

Virtuous leaders keep promises, admit mistakes, do what they say they will
do, and maintain confidences (Kouzes & Posner, 1992)
To develop the skill identified as Humility, it is important to:

Recognize a total dependence upon a holy God

Maintain a teachable spirit (Boa, 2001)

Be preoccupied with God, not oneself (Boa, 2001)
To develop the skill identified as Servant’s heart:

Put the needs of others first

Empowers others
To develop Spiritual maturity:

Find a relationship where a spiritually mature believer provides mentorship

Maintain a vibrant prayer life

Be in an accountability group
To acquire Wisdom:

Seek the advice of those identified by others as wise

Find a good mentor to provide guidance

Ask God for wisdom
98
To gain a Willingness and Sense of God’s calling on one’s life:

Know oneself and identify God-given gifts

Know the word of God to understand obedience and faithfulness
Future Administrators
Future administrators can take advantage of this list of 28 skills and identify
where they lack expertise. Through mentoring, professional development, or taking
advantage of professional growth opportunities administrators and administrative teams
can learn new skills so that they are well prepared for the roles they will assume. One of
the first things that will need to be addressed is how to strategically understand the
necessary skills and create a plan to address the need.
School Boards
Hiring a superintendent is one of the most important duties facing school boards.
As boards of education seek to hire administrators, a study such as this one can provide a
tool by which assessments of potential candidates can be made. The skills list can
provide a resource to determine potential success for future heads of schools. A skills
assessment tool based on the 28 skills identified can be created to provide a resource.
Skillful Teams
Bennis (2003) stated that the head leader of an organization does not need to
possess all the essential leadership skills that allow an organization to thrive, but that the
members of the leadership team collectively should possess all of the necessary skills.
Apple CEO, John Sculley (as cited in Bennis, 2003), sought to create a diverse
management team with differing skills for the purpose of creating diversity of opinion
and vision, believing that the real role of the leader was to determine how to make
99
diverse people and talents work together. An administrator must make certain that
someone on the administrative team possesses expertise in the skills that were identified
in this study.
Higher Education
The results from this study may be useful to the colleges and universities that
provide courses in educational leadership. By properly equipping educational leaders
with the skills that they require to experience success, it is more likely that the students
and faculty they lead will thrive. The results from this research were sent to Dr. Alan A.
Arroyo, Dean of the School of Education of Regent University. Arroyo (personal
communication, January 29, 2012) notified the head of the Christian school program for
teachers and administrators of the research findings because the university uses research
to inform its program decisions. Dr. Robert Schultz, Director of Educational
Administration at Indiana Wesleyan University (personal communication, February 3,
2012) addressed this research by stating it is the goal of higher education to stay current
with research because in the educational field the training that is being offered to future
leaders will go on to impact thousands of young lives. He further stated that the results
from this study could readily transfer into the public school arena. He was in agreement
with the administrative experts who noted the value of trustworthiness.
Publications
This study can be further developed and the results can be written in an article to
be published in a peer-reviewed journal. Dr. Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar, Associate
Dean for Academic Affairs and Chair of Reading at University of Michigan (personal
communication, February 4, 2012) stated that their faculty is well-read and would be
100
responsive to studies published in peer-reviewed journals that address the needs of future
educational leaders. One of the ways the material would be used is by engaging students
in an assignment that addresses the research.
Recommendations for Further Research
1. Research on this issue should be ongoing so that results are current. Because of
the rapid changes brought about through technological advances and globalization
and an economic market that is in flux, this study should be replicated every few
years to determine which leadership skills are essential for administrators in
private schools because there may be changes depending on external variables.
Twain (1883) stated the need to stay current when he said:
Two things seemed pretty apparent to me. One was, that in order to be a
[Mississippi River] pilot a man had got to learn more than any one man
ought to be allowed to know; and the other was, that he must learn it
all over again in a different way every 24 hours. (p.87)
The same is true as an administrator of a school; being an expert is essential and
because the educational community changes rapidly staying current is equally
essential.
2. This study can be replicated in non-religious and public schools to compare
results. The results from such a study would benefit the leaders of all schools.
3. Explore the results on a deeper level. The skills identified in this study were
generalized. It would be helpful to provide a deeper contextual understanding of
what the skills specifically mean as they relate to leadership within the
educational community.
101
4. A study could be done about which leadership skills faculty and staff believe are
important for the heads of school. It might be helpful for administrators to
understand the skills which the affected people deem important.
5. A study could be done about the connection between effective leadership and
sustainability of schools. Spillane, Halverson, and Diamond (2004) argued that
relatively little is known about how school leadership develops and sustains the
conditions and processes necessary for the sustainability of innovative schools.
Literature exists about what components are important for the well-being of an
effective school, but there are shortcomings in the literature to describe how to
implement changes in schools that will be sustainable. They suggested that an
account of day-to-day practices of school leaders would provide insight into
effective school leadership not only from the head of the school, but other school
leaders as well. They advocated for an integrated framework for examining how
school leaders carry out their work and why they make their decisions. This may
provide further understanding of how to lead schools effectively.
6. A study could be done indicating the impact that mentoring would have on the
administrator of the private school. It might provide an understanding of how
skills are observed, transferred, and learned.
7. A study could be done to discover if there is any connection between skills and
superintendentency tenure. Since job satisfaction has been linked to the length of
stay for a superintendent of a school, perhaps the level of skill ability is a
contributing factor to the level of job satisfaction.
Concluding Remarks
102
The traditional role of school leader no longer exists. One of the implications of
the complexities that faces the 21st century leader is that there is not a job description that
can identify all of the responsibilities of an effective school leader because of the diverse
and constantly changing intricacies of each day (Leone et al., 2009). The demands of the
21st century will require that school leaders function differently in order to meet the
challenges that will arise. One example of the changing role of administrators of 21st
century schools is that administrators now recognize that they are part of larger
communities that include the juvenile court system, the police department, welfare and
health services, the business community, the political community, and private and public
philanthropic foundations. This requires administrative skills that are broad diverse and
constantly changing as the rapid pace of a continually changing culture requires new
skills. It is evident that a narrow view of duty is no longer an option for the educational
administrator. A diverse set of skills is required to meet the demands of the job.
Identifying what specific skills are needed allows administrators to be equipped and
effective in their leadership roles.
Since “effective schools require effective leadership” (Siccone, 2012, p. v), a
study such as this one can provide as a resource for future school administrators in
preparing for their roles as well as enhancing the capacity of current administrators.
While there is no one leadership style or a universal school leader profile that meets the
need of every school everywhere, there are some basic skills that can be used and applied
by school leadership that can produce results. The list of skills that have been identified
by the experts in this study will assist in providing further understanding of skills that
help provide effective leadership capacity.
103
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126
APPENDIX A
PERMISSION FROM DR. MEADOWS
APPENDIX A
PERMISSION FROM DR. MEADOWS
Margie,
Of course you have my permission to replicate my methodology. All I ask is a copy of the results
so I can compare with my findings. God bless you on this journey. There is nothing like it!
Jerry Meadows
From: Margie Baldwin [mailto:mbaldwin@southfieldchristian.org]
Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2010 7:45 AM
To: jmeadows@christacademywf.org
Subject: permission
Dr. Meadows:
Will you please respond to my request in the attached letter?
Thank you,
Margie Baldwin
126
November 3, 2010
Dr. Jerry Meadows
CEO
Christ Academy
5105 Stone Lake Drive
Wichita Falls, TX
Dear Dr. Meadows:
I am grateful for the research that you conducted in your dissertation entitled,
“Leadership skills believed to enhance and expand the leadership capacity and
sustainability of future private school administrators”. The research that you addressed is
very important to me because I am interested in the leadership skills needed by Christian
school leaders in order to provide sustainability and expand leadership capacity.
I am a doctoral student at Indiana Wesleyan University. I would like to ask your
permission to utilize your research methodology. Specifically, I would like to ask
Administrators in the Association of Christian Schools International (k-12 schools) the
same questions that you posed in your dissertation. Those questions are: 1) What
leadership skills do experts believe will expand and enhance the leadership capacity and
sustainability of future private school administrators? 2) What leadership skills do
experts rate as potentially having the greatest impact on future private school
administrators’ success? 3) What leadership skills do experts find consensus on
potentially having the greatest impact on future private school administrator’s success?
I am interested in producing a list of skills necessary for leadership in Christian K-12
schools. Of course, I will cite your work and your findings. I intend to use the same
methodology to produce the list of skills as you did. I am anxious to discover if the skills
differ with Christian school leaders, if the differences in level of schools impacts
responses since my study will only involve K-12 schools, and if the necessary skills have
changed in the last few years (due to economic pressures or other reasons).
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
Sincerely,
Margie Baldwin
127
APPENDIX B
COVER LETTERS
APPENDIX B
COVER LETTERS
___________________________________________________________________________________
ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS INTERNATIONAL
Enabling Christian
Educators and Schools
October 14, 2011
Worldwide
Dear ACSI Administrator
I am writing to request your participation in a research project conducted by a fellow ACSI
administrator who is also fulfilling requirements for her doctoral program at Indiana Wesleyan
University. I consider this to be an important project, because the information gleaned from the
study will benefit all Christian schools.
Margie Baldwin is researching which leadership skills will benefit current and future
administrators in Christian K-12 schools. She will be seeking your input because you were
personally identified by ACSI regional directors as an expert administrator. This research does
not involve a mass mailing; rather, it seeks the input from a few selected individuals who exhibit
expertise. Therefore, your willingness to provide the time and attention to this project will be
extremely important.
I personally will be grateful for your input because I think it makes a significant contribution to
the well-being of Christian schooling. Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I serve on the
committee for this doctoral candidate.
Margie has attached a letter with specific instructions and requirements. Thank you for all of
your efforts to advance quality Christian education.
In Christ,
Brian Simmons
ACSI President
129
October 25, 2011
Dear Administrator:
I am a doctoral candidate at Indiana Wesleyan University, Department of Organizational
Leadership. I am requesting your participation in doctoral research that seeks to identify
what leadership skills are essential for Christian school administrators in a rapidly
changing and evolving educational environment. You, along with a handful of other
administrators, have been identified by your ACSI Regional Director as an educational
expert. The research tool I am using called, The Delphi Technique, relies on the input of
experts.
If you choose to participate, your responses will be included in the data collected for my
dissertation, although your responses will be confidential and your school will not be
identified. Once the date is analyzed and recorded, the responses will be destroyed. If
you are interested in the results I am happy to send them to you upon completion of the
research.
My goal is to make this process quick and simple. If you agree to participate, there will
be three rounds conducted by email within a forty-five day period. Each of the three
rounds will take 10-25 minutes of your time. If all of the administrators respond in a
timely manner the research will be completed in less time. My email correspondence
with you will be identified by the words, Doctoral Dissertation, in the subject line.
The first round will consist of one question that will produce a list of leadership skills.
The second round will assemble the skills and ask you to rate the importance of all of the
responses generated by the administrators participating. The final round will ask you to
review the results and re-rate the skills if necessary.
I have also attached a letter from Dr. Brian Simmons, President of ACSI, requesting your
participation. Will you please notify me by October 27th of your willingness to
participate? I realize how valuable your time is and I am so grateful for participation in
this study that will make a contribution to Christian education.
In Christ,
Margie Baldwin
Superintendent
Southfield Christian School
130
APPENDIX C
ROUND 1 INSTRUCTIONS
APPENDIX C
ROUND 1 INSTRUCTIONS
TO:
FROM:
RE:
DATE:
ACSI Administrator
Margie Baldwin
Doctoral Dissertation
October 31, 2011
Thank you for agreeing to participate in the research study that seeks to identify what
leadership skills are essential for Christian school administrators in a rapidly changing
and evolving educational environment. You were invited to participate because your
regional director identified you as an expert.
Some research suggests that there are critical leadership skills that leaders possess that
move their schools toward meeting goals and commitments. As used in this study, skills
are the abilities that leaders possess in order to propel their schools toward success.
Round 1 of the Delphi process requires your response to this question:
What do you believe are the skills necessary to expand and enhance the leadership
capacity and sustainability of future K-12 Christian schools?
132
APPENDIX D
ROUND 2 INSTRUCTIONS
APPENDIX D
ROUND 2 INSTRUCTIONS
If you have trouble viewing or submitting this form, you can fill it out online:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEtwV2RjZFhZQmJPY2RhS1JEa2pQM
3c6MQ
Doctoral Dissertation Round 2
I have edited all of the responses from Round 1. Some of the wording has been changed, but I
attempted to maintain the integrity of the original response. The edited responses are listed
below. Please rate each item using a scale of 1 (low) to 10(high) as to that the skills' potential
impact on future Christian school Administrators' success. THE QUESTION YOU ARE
RESPONDING TO IS: WHAT LEADERSHIP SKILLS DO EXPERTS RATE AS POTENTIALLY HAVING THE
GREATEST IMPACT ON FUTURE SUCCESS OF CHRISTIAN SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS? If you are
uncertain of any question please feel free to email me with your question. Please return your
ratings by November 21, 2011 or before, if possible. Remember that for the purposes of this
study, skills refers to abilities that leaders possess to move their schools toward meeting the
school's goals and commitments. I am so grateful for your time and assistance with this
research. Margie Baldwin
Name * First and last
Ability to forgive and continue to be open to input
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Academic expertise
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
134
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Accountability
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Analytical - assess and address complex issues
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Articulate and develop a formula for excellence among school leadership
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Assessment that improves education
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Attract and cultivate CEO quality board members
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
135
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Balance between arts, athletics & academics
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Balance between business and ministry
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Biblically confrontational
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Change agent
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Convert stress into motivation
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
136
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Commitment to best practices
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Commitment to development of right and left brain abilities in students
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Commitment to Christian education
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Common Sense
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Communication - verbal and written
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
137
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Conflict management skills
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Courage
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Creative
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Create an atmosphere between permissive and legalistic
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Critical thinking skills
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
138
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Cultivate Boards who understand governance
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Cultivation of student-centered environment
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Data driven decision making
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Decisive
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Delegation
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
139
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Diplomatic
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Discernment with personnel issues - hiring, firing, interviewing
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Discernment with tough decisions
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Discipline and focus
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Does the right thing under adverse circumstances
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
140
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Don't talk about co-workers behind their back
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Educated and prepared to handle learning disabled students
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Emotional intelligence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Enhancing administrator prep programs in universities
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Entrepreneurial spirit
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
141
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Find, read, and understand research
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Financial acuity
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Flexibility
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Fluent in learning dialogue
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Followership
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
142
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Friendly
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Fundraiser/developer
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Highly productive
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Highly trained
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Hire people better than yourself
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
143
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Honesty
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Humility
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Independence from supporting church
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Innovative
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Integrity
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
144
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Intelligence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Interpersonal skills
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Keep the main thing the main thing
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Knowledge of curriculum
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Knowledge of effective teaching
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
145
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Knowledge of standards based instruction
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Let students know you say what you mean and mean what you say
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Lifelong learner
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Listening skills
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Make tough decisions when necessary
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
146
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Maintain confidentiality
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Manage people
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Marketing skills
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Master's level, ACSI certified, require it of subordinates
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Mentoring/discipleship/coaching
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
147
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Mission driven
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Mitigating the disappointment when Christian followers fail
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Modeling effective leadership
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Multi-task
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Never let friendliness be taken for weakness
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
148
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Non-specialized career track and training
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Not afraid of failure
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Organizational skills
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Oversee challenging family issues and their impact on the school
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Passion for excellence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
149
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Perfectionism
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Positive attitude
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Previous administration experience
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Provide staff development
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Public relation skills
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
150
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Recognize when you can't properly educate a student
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Recruit and train students
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Resilience
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Responsible
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Relational
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
151
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Self-controlled
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Sense of humor
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Servant's heart
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Spiritual maturity
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Strategic planning
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
152
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Succession plan developed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Sustainable business practices
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Teaching specific skills crucial to leadership
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Team builder
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Technologically efficient
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
153
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Trustworthy
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Under promise, over deliver
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Understanding of biblical integration in education
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Understand biblical principle of working under authority
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Understanding of relationship between people, program, finances, culture, funding, facilities,
legal, and political climate of the state
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
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low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Understanding of today's parents and students
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) high
Understanding of organizational development
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Understanding of 21st century learning
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Visionary
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Well-educated
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
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low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Well read
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Wisdom
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Willingness and sense of God's calling on life
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
low ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) High
Maintain balance and perspective despite challenging circumstances
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
() () () () () () () () () ()
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APPENDIX E
ROUND 3 INSTRUCTIONS
APPENDIX E
ROUND 3 INSTRUCTIONS
December 26, 2011
Dear Expert:
We have made it to the final round of the research project! Congratulations and thank you for
your participation in this doctoral research project. The final round seeks to facilitate consensus
among the experts who provided input about which leadership skills potentially have the greatest
impact on future administrators’ success.
You have been provided with your original ratings of 1 (low importance) to 10 (high
importance) and the median rating from the group of experts. This allows you to compare your
rating and provides you with an opportunity to change your original answer. You do not need to
make a change. However, if you chose to change your original answer please hit reply and
indicate what rating you are changing and your rationale for it.
If you decide to keep your original rating the same, you do not need to respond. If I have not
heard from you by January 9, 2012, I will assume you have no changes.
I want to thank you for your participation in this research. I am deeply grateful for your time and
input.
Sincerely,
Margie Baldwin
.
158
VITA
Marjorie Baldwin attended Mott High School, Warren, Michigan. In 1975, she entered Wayne
State University in Detroit, Michigan, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in May of
1979. Subsequently, she earned a Masters of Arts in Communication from Wheaton College in
1987, a Masters in Educational Leadership from Saginaw Valley State University in 2004, and a
Masters in Advanced Leadership Studies from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2009. In July,
2008, she entered the Doctoral program at Indiana Wesleyan University. Presently, she serves as
Superintendent of Southfield Christian School in Southfield, Michigan.
Permanent Address: 381 Moran, Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, 48236.
159
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