Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Leadership & Policy Studies

Committee Chair

Steven Nelson

Committee Member

Derrick Robinson

Committee Member

Derrick Robinson

Committee Member

Tonya D Cooper

Committee Member

Ladrica Menson-Furr


Abstract There is a scarcity of research about the inputs of Academic Optimism, Leader Mindfulness, dispositions, and beliefs of effective turnaround principals, especially since turnaround principals serve almost entirely African American and Hispanic student populations. The purpose of this study was to examine three turnaround school principals, staff, and environments to gain insights on how effective principals utilized the specific inputs of academic optimism and leader mindfulness, their dispositions, and beliefs, to implement effective turnaround policies. The analysis revealed 5 common themes among the 3 schools: Elementary School 1, which progressed from TVAAS1 to TVAAS4; Middle School 1, which improved from TVAAS1 to TVAAS3; and Middle School 2, which declined from TVAAS5 to TVAAS1, but had a significant increase in student attendance, parent, and community engagement, and decline in disciplinary incidents. The interview data were collected using a semi-structured format and were analyzed thematically following the six-step thematic analysis guide. The results were generated from the individual interview data collected from one principal and two staff from each of the three schools selected in this study. The themes included communicator as a trait of a successful turnaround principal; focusing on academics and school culture; defining the success of the turnaround process; intentionality of actions; and leaders lead, followers follow. Principals should maintain open communication, a focus on academics and school culture, successful turnaround objectives, the intentionality behind their choices and actions, and mindfulness of their employees to inspire motivation and job success. Key Words: principals, turnaround, leadership, mindfulness, school, academic turnaround, academic optimism


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open Access