Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Susanna Thornhill, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dane Joseph, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Gary Sehorn, Ed.D.


This narrative qualitative study endeavored to learn from teachers’ stories regarding the significance of a school-based health center. This study took place at North High School (pseudonym), an urban high school within a large metropolitan school district in the Pacific Northwest. The study used a three-interview series to elicit stories about the school-based health center and students’ experiences with it. Several themes were evident across teachers’ stories: 1) the school-based health center made a notable difference in the typical markers of academic success, 2) students who previously did not have an adult they trusted changed significantly when they got established with the school-based health center, 3) the school-based health center shifted the school culture to one of more transparency, sharing, and added support, and 4) teachers indicated some lingering logistical issues related to balancing academic and healthcare aims for students. Recommendations for practice suggest the importance of communication and collaboration between teachers, school staff, and school-based health center staff to provide appropriate and timely student intervention services. Clear and consistent communication is critical to sustain and enhance the work of the school-based health center. This research enhances the field’s knowledge by illuminating teacher perspectives on school-based health centers and contributes to Geierstanger et al.’s (2004) theoretical framework by exploring the relationship between a school-based health center and academic outcomes.

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