Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Educational Leadership

Committee Member

Dr. Robert Knoeppel, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Russ Marion

Committee Member

Dr. Joanne Avery

Committee Member

Dr. Barbara Nesbitt


This study examined the predictive relationship of school leadership on school culture. Given the demands of standards based education reform, the goal of every school is student achievement. The literature review examines the previous studies showing significance of leadership on culture, leadership on teacher retention, and leadership and school culture on student achievement. This study uses the School Culture Survey developed by Gruenert and Valentine (1998). It is a 35-item Likert-scale survey defining six variables; Collaborative Leadership, Teacher Collaboration, Professional Development, Unity of Purpose, Collegial Support, and Learning Partnerships. The survey was distributed electronically to an upstate South Carolina school district's elementary school. The analysis of the responses was done with stepwise multiple regression and hierarchical linear modeling. By using the combination of these methods it was confirmed that leadership does have a statistically significant impact on school culture. A Post hoc test was used to determine the relationship between school culture and teacher retention and school culture and student achievement. A positive relationship was found to exist between schools with a Culture of Learning Partnerships and teacher retention and between schools with a Culture of Learning Partnerships and student achievement. Recommendations for future research and for practice are offered.