Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version


Document Type



Journal of Women in Educational Leadership, Vol. 5, No.2-April 2007 ISSN: 1541-6224


Copyright © 2007 Pro>Active Publications. Used by permission.


School superintendents work in increasingly high stakes environments full of adversity. The purpose of this study was to examine how female superintendents apply strategies to confront adversity and become more resilient in the process. Fifteen female superintendents in New York State were interviewed. The findings about resilient leadership are reflected in five action themes that emerged from the data: (a) remain value-driven, not event-driven; (b) comprehensively assess past and current reality; (c) stay positive about future possibilities; (d) maintain a base of caring and support; and (e) act on the courage of your convictions. The study also reports on participant comments about the distinction between resilient female superintendents and male superintendents.