Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Systems Improvement Science

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Noelle A. Paufler

Committee Member

Dr. Brandi Hinnant-Crawford

Committee Member

Dr. Hans Klar

Committee Member

Dr. Melissa L. LaBerge


In this qualitative descriptive case study, I explored the issue of teacher retention, a growing concern within public K-12 education systems in the United States, particularly in South Carolina. I aimed to understand the unique organizational factors within individual school districts that influence retention decisions from the perspectives of teachers and administrators at the middle school level. I focused on a selected South Carolina school district (SSD) and explored the viewpoints of teachers and administrators regarding teacher retention. To better understand their lived experiences, I conducted semi-structured interviews and surveys with middle school teachers and administrators. Using an improvement science approach, I analyzed the data obtained. My findings revealed five major organizational factors that impacted teacher retention within the SSD. The first factor I identified is a need for more support and collaboration among teachers. The second factor was the excessive teaching workloads that hindered the achievement of a healthy work-life balance. The third factor was an unsupportive school culture and climate. The fourth factor was the need for more opportunities for professional development for teachers to enhance their skills and competencies. The fifth and final factor was the need for more strategies and policies for managing student behavior, coupled with insufficient training and support for teachers in effectively managing student behavior. This study provided a foundational overview of teacher retention issues within one school district. The results can inform the development of evidence-based, district-specific strategies and policies to foster sustainable improvements in retention.



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