Document Type



Doctor of Education


Educational Practice

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Marvin Berkowitz, PhD


Melinda Bier, PhD

Thomas Hoerr, PhD

Kashina Bell, EdD


Teacher attrition, the percentage of teachers who leave the field of education, has been a critical issue for many years. From general education teachers to special education teachers, from elementary to secondary, from public to private schools, and from rural to urban schools, much human and monetary capital are being spent to recruit and retain quality teachers; however, with very little success. Some research reports that the turnover rate is much larger for teachers than in other professions in the United States (Ingersoll, 2001). Ingersoll exclaimed that the teacher attrition rate was “twice the rate of nurses and five times the rate of lawyers” (p. 2). The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported data from their 2008-2009 teacher follow-up survey (Keigher, 2010). Studies have shown student achievement to be closely dependent upon exposure to highly qualified teachers (Ronfeldt, Lankford, Loeb & Wyckoff, 2011). It is for this reason that attracting and retaining such teachers should be school administrators’ top priorities. The goal of this work is to provide a universal meaning for the concept of principal support for teachers, identify the attributes a supportive building principal should possess, and develop professional training formats that serve to increase the effectiveness of principals as they realize their power over teacher retention.