Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education

First Advisor

Kent Seidel, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Maria Guajardo

Third Advisor

Susan Korach


Broad academy for superintendents, Major general to superintendent, Military to superintendent, Nontraditional, Non traditional superintendent, Superintendent


In June of 2006, Urban School District appointed the individual who is the focus of this study, a retired Air Force Two Star Major General, as its new superintendent. Although the appointment represents the first nontraditional superintendent to lead Urban School District, it was one of several such appointments to large, urban school districts throughout the nation. This study investigates his transition from military leader to urban school superintendent, using a case study approach.

The study presents findings in response to the research question: How did the Participant transition from military leadership to urban school superintendent? The findings of the research indicate the Participant transitioned from retired military to public school superintendent by way of the extensive leadership training detailed by Benton (2005) in the United States Air Force Officer's Guide regarding the personal character of military officers. The personal character traits include flexibility, humility, and empathy. The development of the Participant's personal character was exemplified by a successful experience as a career officer in the Air Force. The Participant was able to transition from military to public school superintendent through personal integrity, flexibility and other character traits supported by leadership skills applicable in any organization. The study also proposes consideration of a 21st century education model of leadership as defined by the military model of leadership. Education leaders of the 21st century would be defined by the mission to educate children and would demonstrate the emotional intelligence enabling them to manage systems and lead people to successfully accomplish the mission. A further adaptation of the military model of leadership to consider would be a biannual rotation of principal interns or principals to various education settings so as to develop and strengthen leadership characteristics such as political awareness and flexibility.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Luiza Miera Hernandez


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

101 p.


Education policy, Educational administration, Educational leadership