Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ed.D.)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Anthony J Annunziato

Second Advisor

Richard Bernato

Third Advisor

James R Campbell


This study was an inquiry into the ways in which the lived experiences of school district leaders (SDLs) of English language learner/multilingual learner (ELL/ML) services informed their leadership approaches, challenges, successes, and impact. The methodology involved collecting artifacts and Seidman’s (2019) Three Series Interview protocol with member checking. The three participants of this study were SDLs of ELL/ML services from a specific region of New York State (i.e., Long Island). The purpose of this study was to understand the essence of the meanings derived from participants’ comprehensive descriptions. I provided structural and textural reports and a synthesis of the universal nature of participants’ shared experiences, which the author described as the essence. As the researcher, I designed a conceptual framework guided by: (a) advocacy, (b) best instructional practices, (c) best leadership practices, and (d) compliance and summarized data accordingly. This study also expanded understanding of culturally responsive leadership paradigms and how they disrupt past and current educational leadership in helping or hindering ELL/ML services. Federal and state efforts to support student achievement have shifted educational regulations. The roles and responsibilities of SDLs of ELL/ML services are complex. They are stewards of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the New York State Education Commissioner Regulations (CR) Part 154 2 of their school districts. These specific educational leaders have developed a range of strategies that enabled them to navigate the multidimensional aspects of their background as it correlated with the past, present, and future culture of their school district, and the education system at large. Furthermore, this study explored these experts’ predictions and plans for the future of ELL/ML services. This inquiry’s findings can significantly contribute to the educational leadership literature on a spectrum that begins with directly narrowing the ELL/ML achievement gap to tangentially enlightening society.