Educational Administration, Department of


Date of this Version

Fall 12-2013


Adams, M. R. (2013). Growing as a Leader through Developing Others: The Effect of Being a Mentor Principal. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska.


A DISSERTATION presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctorate of Education, Major: Educational Administration, Under the Supervision of Professor Jody Isernhagen. Lincoln, Nebraska: December 2013.

Copyright (c) 2013 Megan Rachel Adams


Principals play a significant role in student learning. They are expected to be both instructional and organizational leaders as well as the day-to-day management of a community of individuals. The balancing of multiple roles is a dynamic task that takes education, training, coaching and ongoing developmental support. However, principals often do not have these supports to foster growth and effective practice.

This multiple case study examined the experiences of two secondary school urban principals who mentored future administrative leaders. The study also explored other elements of the practice including the necessary supports for a successful partnership, the barriers to a successful partnership, the key experiences within the mentoring work and links to adult development.

The design of the study included a series of on-site observations alongside interviews were conducted with principals and their interns in two schools over the course of the 2012-2013 academic year. Artifacts from the internship process were also collected and analyzed. This study revealed a mentoring model of effective practice based on a set of key themes: leadership style, authentic experiences, reflective conversations, reciprocal relationships and trust.

Based on the study’s findings the researcher developed a year-long structured internship calendar. This calendar details key tasks, experiences and reflective moments aligned with the Interstate School Leader Licensure Consortium Leadership Standards.

Advisor: Jody Isernhagen