Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Colette M. Taylor

Second Advisor

Keisha Scarlett

Third Advisor

Carlyn Ferrari


Women, particularly African American women, have continued to obtain certifications and fulfill degree requirements, yet are underrepresented in K–12 leadership positions (e.g., administrators, principals, and positions of superintendency; Glass & Franceschini, 2007). This qualitative research study focused on lived experiences of African American/Black women in leadership positions in school districts in the region of King County, Washington. Three research questions guided the study and centered around participants’ lived experience in K–12 leadership positions, factors that contributed to the continued engagement of African American/Black women in K–12 leadership roles, and the extent to which an organization’s culture and espoused values impacted the career progression of African American/Black women. Critical race theory, Black feminist thought, and representative bureaucracy were used as frameworks to better understand participants’ lived experiences as principals and administrators.