Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Michael W. Vinella


Principals in urban school districts directly and indirectly affect school communitiesthrough student achievement, teacher retention, and school climate. When a high-quality school principal leaves a school, it can negatively affect these areas due to the interruption of progress toward school improvement goals to increase student achievement. Seeking to address this issue, the purpose of this qualitative case study was to investigate the perceptions of job satisfaction among urban school district principals. The conceptual framework was Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory. The key research question concerned investigating the perceptions of job satisfaction among urban school district principals. Qualitative data were collected via virtual, semistructured interviews with 12 principals who had remained in their current roles and schools for 2 or more years. Themes were identified through an open, axial, selective hierarchical coding framework to guide the development of a project. The findings indicated the principals’ perceptions of job satisfaction were grounded in leadership training and support. Using the findings, a training and professional development project was designed to engage principals in a mentoring program during their first 3 years as leaders. This doctoral project promoted positive social change in helping the local urban school district administrators understand what they could do to retain high-quality principals. The principals in an urban school district could feel adequately supported and prepared to work with their school communities. They could see the effects in the positive ways they can influence student achievement, school climate, and teacher retention.