Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Wallace Southerland III


The educational problem addressed in this study was the lack of empirical research of the effects of how principal leadership characteristics and style influence the culture of multicultural schools. This qualitative case study identified and explored the leadership strategies used by a reputedly successful principal of a multicultural school. A successful principal was the case being studied. The conceptual framework was anchored in Burns' transformational leadership theory. Three research questions focused on the principal's leadership characteristics, the participants' perceptions of how the principal applied the leadership style, and the influence of the principal's leadership style on school culture. A principal, an assistant principal, and 8 lead teachers knowledgeable of the principal's leadership style participated in semistructured interviews. School climate surveys were examined to enhance understanding of school climate under the principal's leadership. Data analysis strategies included transcribing interview data, thematic development, and data triangulation. Results showed that the principal's abilities to share decision-making and communicate the school's vision were important skills. The principal had profound influence on school culture and also shaped how teachers created a safe, nurturing, and stimulating learning environment sensitive to multicultural students. A central recommendation of the study is that principals in similar settings should build trust and collaboration to create inviting and equitable learning environments for diverse students and their families. This study contributes to positive social change by providing insight that may help current and emerging principals in similar situations lead school personnel in ways that contribute to positive and productive learning environments that ultimately provide increased awareness of diversity and ensure student success.