Since their inception, all schools of the Sacred Heart have been headed by nuns of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus [RSCJ]. As the years have passed, many RSCJ nuns have aged and retired leaving vacancies that have proven difficult to fill. In this qualitative study, the characteristics, commonalities, and personal motivations of Sacred Heart administrators were examined in order to create a description of the qualities that should be possessed by future school leaders. A 15-item open-ended questionnaire, developed around the research questions, was used to gather demographic information, reasons why each participant chose to become an administrator, and the opinion of each individual in regards to the identification and recruitment of future school leaders. Twenty-two current Sacred Heart administrators, serving as Principals, Heads of School, or Division Heads acted as participants. Based upon the findings, it was determined that Sacred Heart administrators share many characteristics: being members of the Roman Catholic Church; having curricular areas of expertise in liberal arts fields (i.e. English and history); and possessing advanced degrees. Participants' top three reasons for entering the administrative realm included possessing a dedication to the mission, being inspired by a co-worker, and having the idea suggested by an alumnus; whereas, common ideals concerning what characteristics future school leaders should possess were a personal and active relationship with Christ, dedication to the Goals and Criteria, and a knowledge of the history and philosophy of the Society of the Sacred Heart. It was recommended that this study be repeated in other parochial schools in order to test the applicability of these findings to schools sharing the same goals and values of the Network of the Sacred Heart. Placing the responsibility of identifying potential leaders and providing professional development opportunities to layperson candidates on Heads of Schools was also suggested. Results of this study should be provided to Boards of Trustees and Heads of School for use as a tool to identify and recruit administrators for future vacancies thus reducing the chance of experiencing a shortage of qualified candidates for these important positions.
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/06, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, School administration, Religious education|
|Keywords:||Administration, Commonalities, Leadership, Private school, Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus|
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