Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Kathryn Swetnam


Retention of quality high school assistant principals is a problem in a suburban Georgia school district, where 35% of administrators left their schools in a 3-year period. Researchers indicated that high turnover rates in school leadership influence student achievement and school climate. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the perceptions of high school assistant principals concerning factors that influence them to stay in their current roles. Herzberg's 2-factor framework was used to explore the perceptions of 10 high school assistant principals regarding their decisions to remain in their administrative positions. The research questions examined how high school assistant principals in a suburban Georgian school district perceived motivating and hygiene factors that influenced them to remain at the school district or leave their job roles. Open coding was used to identify patterns and themes. Findings from the data collected with semi structured interviews revealed (a) 3 themes related to motivating factors that included relationships with students, teachers and leaders, and (b) 2 themes related to hygiene factors regarding external issues outside assistant principals' control but may influence job retention. The resulting project consisted of a white paper that recommended the school district institute the initiation of an assistant principal leadership academy as well as an assistant principal open forum to minimize the negative influence of the 2 identified hygiene factors on assistant principals' job retention. The project contributes to positive social change by providing insights to potentially stabilize the attrition of high school assistant principals and improve student and academic achievement.

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