Leadership and Sustainability: Continually Making a Difference as an Educational Leader Over Time in Challenging Contexts and Changing Times
Schoenfeld, Ryan Scott
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Findings of an initial case study revealed that a principal had used the core leadership practices of setting direction, developing people, and redesigning the organization. The enabling principles of accountability, caring, and learning were also present. This paper is based on a follow-up qualitative research study conducted at the same school with the same principal and includes: interviews, a focus group, observation, and primary documents. Research on the topic of sustainability is lacking. This research can add to leadership and sustainability findings and strengthen the body of literature present. Findings from this research, seven years later, revealed the same core leadership practices and enabling principles intact, with the prominent addition of distributed leadership. Sustainability was fostered by the principal and staff. During the research project there was a change in student demographics, school budget woes, high accountability, and the middle school was reconfigured into an intermediate school model. These challenges were managed by the principal through quiet passion, commitment, relational trust, and elements of sustainability.