Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Diane Yendol-Hoppey

Second Advisor

Dr. Steve Harmon

Third Advisor

Dr. David Hoppey

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Brian Zoellner


The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for educational leaders, particularly superintendents, who have been tasked with navigating the complexities of leading during a global crisis. In this study I explored the perspectives of superintendents on leading during COVID-19 and examined the application of Complexity Leadership Theory in educational settings. Through semi-structured interviews with superintendents from diverse districts, I investigated the strategies and approaches employed by educational leaders to address the multifaceted challenges posed by the pandemic. I also examined the impact of Complexity Leadership Theory on educational practices and outcomes during the pandemic. The findings suggest that superintendents have adopted adaptive, collaborative, and innovative leadership practices informed by Complexity Leadership Theory to address the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the pandemic. The study contributes to the understanding of effective educational leadership and highlights the importance of Complexity Leadership Theory in action.