Novice Hispanic Principals’ Perceptions of Principal Turnover as Related to Principal Retention: A Narrative Inquiry


Deborah Mabry

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Educational Administration

Date of Award

Spring 2021


Principal retention is a concern for school districts nationwide and in Texas. Many factors influence why school principals quickly leave their roles, such as school culture and climate, teacher attrition, and school district finances. Nationally, 8.2% of all principals are Hispanic, while 10.1% of Hispanic school principals leave in their position after their 1st year in the role. Comparatively, 78% are non-Hispanic White, while 10.0% of non-Hispanic White school principals leave the role. On the other hand, 11% are non-Hispanic Black, while 8.9 % of non-Hispanic Black school principals leave (Goldring & Taie, 2018; Taie & Goldring, 2017). Nationally, 50% of the new principals leave their role within three years of their employment (Superville, 2019). In Texas, 30% of the first-year principals resign after one year on the job (Dixon, 2019). The collective exodus of new principals may potentially harm school improvement (Snodgrass Rangel, 2018). The retention of school principals' benefits students academically and influences the school's level of refinement. The purpose of this narrative inquiry was to discover the perceptions of novice Hispanic school principals about their experiences with the position and to learn how these experiences might relate to principal retention. The researcher applied the theoretical framework as a paradigm of functionalism. Three research questions supported the study's purpose: (a) How do novice Hispanic school principals learn, grow, and adapt to the position? (b) What supports do novice Hispanic school principals receive during their first year in the role? (c) What supports do novice Hispanic school principals believe would increase their retention? The researcher interviewed eight Texas novice Hispanic school principals via Zoom. Each participant shared story-driven perspectives of their experiences. The participants served one year in that same position not to exceed three years in the role. The findings may prove useful as a resource for novice principals and to assist district policymakers in strategic planning for principal retention. The following six themes emerged to answer the research questions during analysis: (a) have a willingness to listen and learn, (b) set goals to achieve growth, (c) identify challenges with people and procedures, (d) diverse supports received, (e) principal strategic development, and (f) principal mentoring. The results in this current study offer an opportunity to understand solutions based on how the novice Hispanic learns, grows, and adapts to the position within the first three years in efforts to improve retention.


Melissa Arrambide

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Administration and Supervision