Department of Educational Administration


First Advisor

Kent Mann

Date of this Version


Document Type



Nielsen, J. (2018). The Principal Evaluation: Connecting Principals’ Evaluation to the Growth and Development Process: A Case Study.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Education, Major: Educational Administration (UNL-UNO), Under the Supervision of Professor Kent Mann. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2018

Copyright (c) 2018 Jackie Nielsen


With the evolution of the school principal, having an evaluation process which connects a principal’s growth and development to make a meaningful impact on their instructional leadership is vital to the success of K-12 education. Data were analyzed to determine if the principal evaluation process aided in the growth and development of the principal and assistant principal administrators. Data were collected in this qualitative case study from multiple sources: interviews, artifacts, observations, and evaluation documents. Seven (7) principals and one (1) assistant principal were interviewed about their perception of how the principal evaluation process connected to their growth and development as instructional leaders in their districts. Interviews took place during the 2017-2018 school year. The principal and assistant principal administrators were from two Class B schools in Nebraska. The two schools served around 2,000 students and have between 6-8 assistant or principal administrators at the K-12 level. Both schools also were located in a similar geographic location in the state of Nebraska, and each school was experiencing a rise in the student population.

The study found that principal and assistant principal perceptions in both districts varied about the impact of the principal evaluation process on their growth and development as instructional leaders. The principal and assistant principal wanted to grow and develop as strong leaders in their districts. However, the processes were not clearly in place in both districts which created disconnects between the evaluation process and the growth of the principal and assistant principal administrators.

The study concluded that strong principal evaluation processes included high-quality, frequent feedback to support the growth of the principal and assistant principal administrators. In addition, in order to create a strong evaluation process, district leaders must be visible in school buildings to develop strong relationships and a clear understanding of the principal performance.

Adviser: Kent Mann