Electronic Theses and Dissertations




Sharon Knafo



Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Leadership and Policy Studies


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Larry McNeal

Committee Member

Reginald Green

Committee Member

Ernest A Rakow

Committee Member

Cynthia L Martin


This study examined the relationship between turnover of school leadership personnel and school climate as perceived by teachers. The study focused on Jewish day schools in the United States in different cities and states. Fifty Jewish day schools (ranging from preschool age to high school) participated in the study with 200 teachers from these schools taking part in the study and 45 teachers completing the researcher designed questionnaire. Using school climate as the unit of analysis, the questionnaire outlined and measured six elements related to school climate (personal relationships, resourcefulness, professional collaboration, management, professional performance, and growth climate of the school). These six elements comprised a total school climate score which was the dependent variable in the study while the independent variable was the number of leadership personnel (heads of school, principals, and religious studies directors) that changed over the five years between 2006 and 2011. In addition, each of the six categories of school climate was used as a dependent variable and its relationship to the turnover of school heads in Jewish day schools between 2006 and 2011 was examined individually. The results pointed out that the perception of school climate by teachers was generally lower in schools that experienced a high volume of leadership personnel change. Moreover, these findings indicated a significant relationship between changes in academic leaders in Jewish day schools and the school climate as perceived by the teachers at these schools. The study also illustrated that the most significant climate indicators relating to leadership personnel change were growth climate, academic performance, management, and resourcefulness respectively. This research concluded with recommendations to organizations, schools, independent schools, and Jewish day schools, to enhance the stability of leadership positions and plan changes in school leadership personnel carefully. Instead of seeking a “knight on a white horse,” school boards and lay leadership should unite forces toward establishing a system of support that enables and empowers school administration to overcome current economic and educational challenges, and lead the school.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.