The perceived effectiveness of the school counselor-trained principal in Wisconsin

Mary Ann Nicoud, Marquette University


The requirement that all school principals must first be successful classroom teachers has been the norm, yet there are numerous other educational professionals who qualify for the principalship in Wisconsin. School counselors, who have completed requirements for administrative certification and who have participated in the Wisconsin Internship Program in School Counseling, were the focus of this multiple case study investigation. A review of the effective leadership and the instructional leadership literature has been presented in this research and provided standards against which school counselor trained principals in Wisconsin were measured in this study. Qualities of vision, collaboration, innovation and change, interpersonal relations, communications, selection, commitment and personal and professional development emerged as most needed for school leadership effectiveness. Using constant comparative methodology, case participants were measured against these qualities. The usefulness of counseling skills to the practice of the principalship has been presented and several measures of principal effectiveness were discussed. The case studies featured in this research were evaluated by their superintendents using an instrument adapted from the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium's Standards for School Leaders and were found to meet or exceed these standards. Cases were also asked to provide time study reports, results of which were compared to outstanding principals in an earlier study found in the literature. The school counselor trained principals who participated in this study, demonstrated a unique ability to lead schools in spite of increasingly complex social influences and were found to be mission driven and focused on quality educational programs. This group was collaborative in leadership style and placed the needs of their students above all else. Recognition of school counselor trained principals in Wisconsin, not only serves to broaden the pool of qualified administrative candidates, but highlights these school leaders as skilled crisis managers, negotiators, mediators, listeners, public relaters, counselors and instructional leaders. This uniquely prepared group of principals could well provide schools with the much-needed expertise to tackle contemporary issues effecting education and lead our schools into the 21st century.

Recommended Citation

Nicoud, Mary Ann, "The perceived effectiveness of the school counselor-trained principal in Wisconsin" (1999). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9953494.