Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Anthony Annunziato

Second Advisor

Richard Bernato

Third Advisor

James Campbell


“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

The purpose of this explanatory, sequential design, mixed methodology case study was to examine the implementation process of The Leader in Me at a suburban elementary school. In the study, the researcher examined the actions that educational leaders took to implement The Leader in Me and examined the challenges that leaders faced throughout the implementation process within a suburban elementary school.

The Leader in Me is an evidence-based, social-emotional, learning process that (a) was developed in partnership with educators, and (b) empowers students with the leadership and life skills that they need to thrive in the 21st century. The specific skills that The Leader in Me focuses on are student self-confidence, teamwork, initiative, responsibility, communication, creativity, self-direction, leadership, problem solving, and social etiquette.

There is a missing piece in American education policy. The connection between students’ academic learning and social-emotional learning is complicated; however, it is necessary to recognize it. Respect, responsibility, honesty, trust, positive relationships, justice, integrity, and good citizenship are necessary elements for classrooms and schools to function and for the adults in the school to serve as educators and role models for students.

The participants in the study include an administrator and teachers who were involved with the implementation process of The Leader in Me at one suburban elementary school.

In this case study, the researcher used mixed methods data collection techniques to collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data. The data collection instruments used in this study included one-on-one interviews, artifact analysis, and a survey. The findings of this study gave the researcher information about (a) the process of implementing The Leader in Me, (b) the actions that were taken to do so, and (c) the challenges that were faced. The researcher also gained knowledge about the culture that existed at the school so that the program could be implemented and maintained.