Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




James H. Stronge


The major purpose of this study was to identify and document the responsibilities of current assistant principals in the Commonwealth of Virginia and compare them to those found in the extant literature on the assistant principalship, as well as the responsibilities outlined in the Code of Virginia. Additionally, the responsibilities of current assistant principals were compared to the responsibilities of current principals in Virginia.;A survey instrument adapted from the Maine Principals' Study of 2001 was used to collect data from a random stratified sample of 50 elementary, 50 middle, and 50 high school assistant principals, and 50 elementary, 50 middle, and 50 high school principals from Virginia. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was employed to determine whether any significant differences existed between the mean averages that assistant principals reported for seven Activity Clusters when considering the gender, school level, or ethnicity of assistant principals (p < .05).;Student discipline, supervising and evaluating teachers, responding to teachers' needs, contacting parents about their children, and working with special needs student issues were reported as the top five responsibilities performed by assistant principals. However, the data also confirmed that assistant principals in Virginia occasionally to often perform duties in the Activity Clusters of personnel and student management, instructional leadership, professional development, interactions with education hierarchy, and public relations. Further, assistant principal respondents consistently reported that they rarely to occasionally perform duties in the Activity Cluster of resource management and lack exposure to the responsibilities of budget preparation and purchasing and accounting procedures. Assistant principal respondents seemed to have a clear picture of the duties that they reported performing and complimented the duties of their principals in 15 out of 38 identified individual responsibilities. These results did not support the findings reported within the literature, which portrays assistant principals as devoting the majority of their time to student discipline and personnel supervision and evaluation.;No significant differences were reported in the responsibilities of assistant principals when compared by gender and ethnicity. The Activity Cluster of instructional leadership reported a significant difference between the mean averages of middle and high school assistant principals at the .05 confidence level.;Virginia assistant principals perform a wide variety of duties that fulfill the 15 expectations set forth for principals in the Code of Virginia. However, they reported that they lack preparation in resource management, particularly in areas dealing with the budget, budget preparation, and accounting procedures.;Assistant principals and principals in Virginia showed strong comparability among the seven activity clusters. No significant differences were reported between the reported mean averages of assistant principals and principals within these seven Activity Clusters. Assistant principals in Virginia reported spending less time than their principals in budget and purchasing procedures.;Ninety-five percent (95%) of assistant principal and principal respondents reported that assistant principal duties are assigned by the principal. Two-thirds (66%) of current assistant principals aspire to a principalship. The remaining assistant principals indicated that they desire to become career assistant principals, retire, or assume a central office position, such as a superintendency.



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