This qualitative study explored principal leadership practices in addressing teacher recruitment and retention in rural schools. One-to-one interviews, a focus group interview, and a review of documents were the data sources for the study. The study produced three emergent themes from collected data: Influence of Structured Mentoring on Teacher Recruitment, Aligning Leadership with Rural Contextual Changes, and Leveraging Intentional Principal Support. Findings from the study conclude that principal leadership practices, including building supportive and transparent relationships with teachers and community, influence teacher recruitment and retention in rural school districts. The following recommendations are offered for related research in the field of principal leadership practices in addressing teacher recruitment and retention in rural schools. Rural teacher perspectives on principal leadership practices that influence teacher retention, rural teacher perspectives on factors affecting job embeddedness, and a study of rural school principal leadership practices in highly effective schools are recommended.

Date Dissertation Completed


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education


Education Studies

Dissertation Advisor

Barbara Holmes

Dissertation Committee Members

DeJuanna Parker, Leo Brown, Joey Page




Information provided by the author: Amanda K. Durnen,

B.A. Gustavus Adolphus College;

M.A. Teaching and Learning, Saint Mary’s University

Ed.S., K-12 Administration, Winona State University

Ed.D., Winona State University

Chair of Advisory Committee: Dr. Barbara D. Holmes



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