Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Don Jones


Teacher turnover has a significant effect on the overall success of schools. The use of comprehensive turnaround strategies such as the conservatorship process created a problem for a small Southeastern high school by affecting teacher retention rate. A qualitative approach was used to investigate how aspects of turnaround strategies influenced teacher morale, which may have contributed to the small Southeastern high school's lower than average teacher retention rate. Bandura's self-efficacy theory provided the conceptual framework for this qualitative case study. The research question addressed teachers' perspectives of morale as well as their views and experiences with the conservatorship process. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 8 teachers who were actively employed at the school before the conservatorship process and were retained by the district. After coding each interview, 6 themes emerged relating to factors that influence teachers' perspectives of morale: (a) powerlessness, (b) excessive visitations, (c) loss of confidence, (d) ineffective instructional practices, (e) stress and burnout, and (f) ineffective professional development opportunities. As a result, a professional development project was created to train administrative leaders and teachers on the benefits of the distributed leadership framework, including how to use teachers' experiences and expertise in school reform efforts. The impact of this study is the potential to affect teacher morale positively and promote positive social change in the high school by fostering an environment in which stakeholders work collaboratively to increase the teacher retention rate, furthering the success of this small Southeastern high school.