Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Ceceilia Parnther

Second Advisor

Anthony J. Annunziato

Third Advisor

Rosalba Corrado Del Vecchio


Relationships are central to education, especially in Catholic schools, where love for others is espoused as a core value. Most studies of professional relationships among educators are focused on routines, processes, and classroom standards. The present study aims to expand this discussion into the human, social, and spiritual dynamics of working together toward mission fulfillment. The purpose of this qualitative work was to explore and describe the professional relationships among teachers and administrators in private Catholic high schools in a large metropolitan diocese and to investigate how these relationships led to mission fulfillment. The study incorporated the theoretical frameworks of the community of practice (Wenger, 1998) and organizational citizenship behavior (Organ, 1988) as ways to identify and classify behaviors and dynamics. The study included administrators and faculty members at two Catholic high schools and answered the questions (1) How are relationships formed and maintained among teachers and administrators in a Catholic secondary school, as evidenced by organizational citizenship behavior? and (2) In what ways do these relationships affect the practices aimed at fulfilling the school's mission? Within the methodology of a multiple exploratory case study (Hancock and Algozzine, 2006; Yin, 2018), the researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with teachers and administrators, observed educators working together, and analyzed content including foundational documents and other materials relating to mission fulfillment. Coding for values and patterns (Saldaña, 2013) led to the formation of the following three themes: educators demonstrated genuine concern for others; school communities functioned as families; mission was centered in all aspects of school life. Within each of these categories fell different behaviors including altruism, courtesy, trust, service, and love for mission. Practiced daily, these led to specific actions that supported mission, such as decision making and participation in faith activities. Mission, in turn, fostered togetherness by giving educators a common purpose. The results of this study have implications for future research on relationships in both religious and secular schools; they also have the potential to change practices that isolate into those that unify. Above all, these cases demonstrate the endurance of togetherness in Catholic schools even in the most isolating circumstances.