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Running on Faith: Factors Contributing to Catholic School Principal Retention in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

  • Author(s): Hurtt, Allison Jordan
  • Advisor(s): Cooper, Robert
  • et al.
Abstract

At both the national and state level, school leadership turnover is at an alarmingly high rate. The role of a Catholic school principal as a spiritual, educational, and managerial leader has led to an ever-increasing workload that has been attributed to increased turnover. This qualitative study examined the factors contributing to principal retention in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Exploring the factors that contribute to long-term tenure in a principal position has the potential to influence the way the Archdiocese supports principals moving forward, thus contributing to greater sustainability for Catholic schools as a whole. Data was collected through in-depth interviews from 11 lay school leaders in low-income communities who have served at least 5 years in their position as elementary Catholic school principals. The findings articulate factors contributing to principal retention as well as recommendations for effective systems of support.

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