Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2020

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Sheryl Cowart Moss, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Kristina Brezicha, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Susan Ogletree, Ph.D.

Abstract

Latinx school leaders in Georgia experience inequitable representation. Currently, less than one percent of administrators in the state are Latinx, while 16 percent of students identify as Latinx. (“Downloadable Data | The Governor's Office of Student Achievement,” n.d.). To date, exhaustive database searches have not provided evidence of existing research examining Latinx school leaders in Georgia, and this study adds to the greater body of literature by bringing to light the stories of four Latinx individuals who serve in leadership capacities in the state. This in depth, qualitative Portraiture study explores the lived experiences of these four Latinx school leaders, addressing the question, “What are the lived experiences of four Latinx school leaders in Georgia?” Utilizing a phenomenological approach (van Manen, 1997), the personal and professional experiences of the Latinx school leaders were explored through semi-structured interviews, observations, document analysis, and reflections on the poem América by Richard Blanco (1998). The data were then examined according to Eisner's theory of Connoisseurship (2002) and Tracy’s “Big-Tent” Criteria (2010). Results were presented through the lens of Portraiture (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Davis, 2002). Major findings of this study revealed the following emergent themes in the experiences of all four Latinx school leaders: (a) support of family (b) assimilation (c) experiences of prejudice and racism (d) giving back to the community and (e) ESOL and foundational literacy. This in-depth composite portrait creates new understandings about the lived experiences of Latinx school leaders currently working in the state of Georgia.

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