The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

John Eller

Second Advisor

Nick Miller

Third Advisor

Greg Vandal

Fourth Advisor

Roger Worner

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The purpose of the study was to examine select principal’s perspectives of the role of principals in supporting teacher leaders in one Midwestern public school district. The researcher intended to explore the conditions principals employed to support teacher leaders, the communication channels employed to support teacher leaders, and principals’ perceptions of the work of teacher leaders. A case study was used to examine the research questions that relate to the role of the principal in supporting teacher leaders. Four principals from one school district were selected as study participants. The case study format allowed for the collection of individual interview responses from the principals’ perspectives.

Analysis of the data for research question one revealed that the principals provided several supportive conditions including: establishing the teacher leader position, selection of teacher leaders, school district and teacher leader goals, professional development for teacher leaders, and involving teacher leaders in developing school district initiatives.

The findings from research question two revealed that the respondent principals use 10 communication channels to communicate the work of teacher leaders to promote support of their roles throughout the school district. These communication channels are organized into four categories: superintendent to principal, principals to teacher leaders, principals to classroom teachers, and teacher leader to teacher leader.

Research question three examined respondent principals’ perceptions of the work of teacher leaders. Three areas were examined: beneficial skills, work benefits, and challenges experienced with teacher leaders. Principals indicated establishing relationships and content knowledge were beneficial skills teacher leaders must possess in order to be effective. The principals’ responses revealed three benefits of the teacher leaders. The benefits identified by the principals were: providing instructional and curriculum support to classroom teachers, contributing to student achievement growth, and providing and creating consistency among schools. The findings also revealed challenges experienced with teacher leaders. The respondent principals reported the following challenges: teacher leaders report to four principals and work at four buildings, a job description was not written for the teacher leaders, and the three elementary schools are different demographically and in student enrollment.


To Dr. John Eller, my dissertation committee chair, for his guidance and knowledgeable contributions throughout the dissertation journey.

To Dr. Nick Miller, Dr. Greg Vandal, and Dr. Roger Worner, my dissertation committee members, for their support and knowledgeable contributions.



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