Date of Award

December 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Professional Studies


Teaching and Leadership


Joseph B. Shedd


Annual Professional Performance Review, Attractants, Deterrents, Leadership, Management, Principal Role

Subject Categories



This qualitative research study sought to uncover the attractants and deterrents of educational administrative positions in Upstate Central New York (CNY) public schools by exploring the perspectives of both practicing principals and those that are certified but not currently employed in an administrative position. The study posed three research questions. First, how do educators who are certified as administrators in Upstate Central New York describe experiences that have influenced them to pursue or not pursue the principalship? Second, what do certified administrators perceive as the attractants and deterrents to the principalship in Upstate Central New York and which of these are factors in their decision to apply for and accept principalships? Finally, how have the attractants and deterrents to the principalship changed in the recent years covered by this study? Participants in the study included certified educational administrators that are both practicing principals as well as those that have not yet assumed an administrative position. Purposeful and snowball sampling techniques were utilized to include participants from rural, urban, and suburban settings in CNY. Two separate cohorts, interviewed five years apart, provided insight into the changing landscape of the principalship. Findings addressing the research questions are based on five themes that emerged during the study: Accountability, Nature of the Job, Terms and Conditions of Employment, Climate, and Personal Factors. The longitudinal nature of this study revealed the emergence of the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) requirements as a recent major factor impacting the decision of certified administrators to seek, accept, and remain in the principalship in New York State. The conclusions of this study have potential significance to assist decision makers of CNY public schools to better understand and attract high quality candidates from the available candidate pool. Recommendations and implications are enumerated and proposed for educational constituent groups in New York State including Superintendents and Boards of Education, the New York State Education Department and State Government, Public and Private Universities with preparation programs in Educational Leadership, Professional Associations (SAANYS, NYSSBA, NYSCSS), and the Central New York School Study Council. School districts need to provide a rich professional fulfilling work environment to both attract and retain principals. As the principal is the key to promoting academic excellence, a supportive work environment that accentuates the attractants and minimizes the deterrents will facilitate the provision of a high quality, equitable education to all children throughout the diverse communities of CNY.


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