Date of Award

Fall 12-4-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership


Center for Leadership & Learning


College of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Christopher E. Trombly

Second Committee Member

Dr. Judy Harrison

Third Committee Member

Dr. Catherine J. Nichols

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Mary B. Gunter


The purpose of this study was to examine the history of women in the superintendency and the best practices that they have used to weather challenging conflicts to remain in the position. The research question that guided this study was: To what do successful female superintendents in Arkansas attribute their success? This qualitative research ascertained the factors needed for female superintendents in Arkansas to have long-lasting careers in that role, if they desire. Creswell (2012) recommends that for qualitative research data analysis, the researcher should arrange and structure the data, code the data, and represent the data. The data collected for this study consisted of interviews that focused on five female superintendents in Arkansas who are employed and working in P-12 public school systems, and have been in the position for five years or more. Standardized open-ended interview questions were conducted with all participants. An analysis of the interviews revealed that having a strong support system and finding a balance between work and home were key components for their success and longevity in the position of superintendent. The findings in this study lead to further questioning on the successful impact that the female superintendents have in their public school systems, which could add to their longevity.