Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Patrick Allen, PhD

Second Advisor

Terry Huffman, PhD

Third Advisor

Gary Sehorn, Ed.D


This dissertation describes research where multiple case studies of principals that have successfully implemented innovative practices were conducted and analyzed. The researcher used visual ethnographic techniques to conduct interviews with three principals who have led their schools from Priority or Focus status to a high level of performance. In addition, school improvement coaches were interviewed and school improvement documents were reviewed. The journey of each school is described, and the actions of each principal are analyzed using transformational leadership theory as a framework to establish successful patterns of leadership for implementing innovations. The researcher recommends 18 questions derived from the analysis that a school leader should consider to create an innovative school.