An Examination of the Leadership Traits Perceived Necessary for the Ideal Virtual School Leader

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Bennett, Dee
virtual school; leadership; traits; Educational Leadership
thesis / dissertation description
With the growing number of virtual school throughout the nation, school programs continued to be in need of virtual school administrators. However, few studies had focused on the leadership traits required for administrators leading in schools of the digital age. The purpose of the study was to explore the leadership traits deemed important for leading in a virtual school program. The researcher conducted a mixed-methods, explanatory design study using quantitative data from a rank-order survey and qualitative data from personal interview with virtual school teachers and administrators. The interviews were transcribed and coded to further define the traits identified by the surveys. Data analysis was conducted, and findings were compared to identify the top traits perceived as important as well as determine any significance. Additional analysis was completed for correlation to Kouzes-Posner’s list of admired leadership characteristics. The results indicated similarities of the traits identified and desired by the virtual school teacher and administrator. The findings from the study did align with Kouzes-Posner’s top traits related to leadership. The data in the current study provided school leaders and educational stakeholders information relevant about traits needed to lead the next generation of learners. The study was intended to assist professional programs designed to train future administrators and add to the body of literature related to educational leadership.