Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Margaret E Constantino

Committee Member

Steven R Staples

Committee Member

Amy C Colley


The purpose of the study was to gain deeper understanding of the PBIS process in high schools and high school principal perceptions of leadership qualities that enable, and challenge, school-wide change to facilitate PBIS successfully. The study provided an opportunity for high school principals to give a voice to PBIS leadership through sharing their personal experiences leading high schools through the PBIS process. A gap exists in the research regarding experience leading PBIS in high schools; it is important to provide high school principals the opportunity to share their experiences with PBIS while leading in a culture of change. Data were collected from high school principals, who completed a survey and participated in a focus group interview or individual interviews. Survey responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics, while a focus group and one-on-one interviews were coded and analyzed to answer three research questions: How do principals describe the process of initiating, implementing, and institutionalizing PBIS regarding data analysis, staff buy-in and staff engagement, and school culture, and how principals perceive the components of effective leadership to be essential to, and exist in, their practice in the successful implementation of PBIS. I found high school principals value: targeted division support for the PBIS process; collective buy-in and engagement cultivated through empowering teachers, building relationships, fostering a sense of community, and embedding PBIS in daily life; an environment where risk-taking is encouraged; transparency in data sharing and analysis with PBIS, especially in creating plans for support and recognition; and carefully planning the initiative.




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