EDL 5200: Case Study 2 – Leadership Traits and Theories 1
There will be 3 case study prompts posted in the forum. Please post a response to each case presented. Remember, there is no wrong answer; however, you must justify your response and provide evidence to support your stance when necessary. Please review the handout on leadership and leadership traits and theories on Moodle. The cases are based on traits outlined in the handout.
Hiring a New Assistant Middle School Principal
An affluent public-school district in the Midwest is completing construction on a new middle school housing students in Grades 5–8. The school is slated to open in the fall, and the district administrative team has filled all the building’s leadership positions except for the assistant principal. The role of assistant principal includes managing school operations, discipline, parent conferences, and instruction planning.
Maureen Moser, a dynamic, engaging, intelligent leader with eight years of building-level administrative experience, is being transferred to the new building as its lead principal. She has a reputation for being confident, determined, and sociable with all members of the staff and community. Maureen assembled a team of five individuals comprising teachers, support staff, and parents to assist her in selecting the new assistant principal.
Most of the applications received are from certified administrators with no administrative experience. After two months of screening applications, the team has interviewed the five most qualified candidates. The only two candidates with any formal administrative experience are interviewed but dismissed for various reasons. The interviewing team has selected two finalists but is divided on which one would be the better fit for the new school and best serve in the capacity as the assistant. Maureen has strong feelings toward one of the two candidates. While she sees one as a mirror image of herself, she admits the other has complementary traits that would make a well-rounded teammate.
One finalist is Jamie Patte, a fifth-grade teacher at a neighboring progressive suburban elementary school. She is in her ninth year of teaching, all in Grade 5 in the same district. Most recently, Jamie completed her administrative certification program through a prestigious state university. Jamie’s references describe her as organized, dependable, creative, accepting, trusting, and nurturing. These traits surfaced during her first-round interview through her interactions with committee members and responses to the various questions. During a tour of the new building, Jamie was curious about its layout, noted some possible safety issues, and asked insightful questions about how the building meets the needs of the students and programs.
The second finalist is Dwayne Boren, a seventh-grade language arts teacher at a middle school in an urban district. He has 10 years of teaching experience spanning Grades 6–8 mainly in language arts, but also has taught study skills and coached middle school basketball. He completed his administrative certification program at a large urban university with a positive reputation. Dwayne’s references describe him as assertive, positive, decisive, confident, and determined. During the interview, the committee was impressed with his intelligence and the level of confidence that came from Dwayne’s responses. The committee members also remarked on his self-confidence and how engaging he was throughout the entire process.
Please compose a response and address each set of questions. Your response should be a minimum of two (2) paragraphs.
1. Based on leadership traits, which of the two candidates do you believe is most like Maureen? Use specific traits to justify your response.
2. Explain why the candidate not chosen in Question 1 may be more complementary and less a mirror image. Use specific traits to justify your response.
3. The committee is composed of educators and parents. What traits from each candidate do you think most appeal to the teachers? What traits from each candidate do you think most appeal to the parents?
4. Maureen was identified as an effective building leader, thus being transferred to the head principal position in the new building. Do the traits she has justify her success? Explain.
5. In what ways could the weaknesses of the trait approach affect the selection of a candidate and his or her long-term success in this role?
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