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. Anne Swanson

Second Advisor

Dr. Daniel Dinsmore

Third Advisor

Dr. Carolyne Ali-Khan

Fourth Advisor

Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder

Department Chair

Dr. Elizabeth Gregg

College Dean

Dr. Dianne Yendol-Hoppey


The job of the local school superintendent is one of the most difficult chief executive undertakings in America today. Of the nation’s roughly 14,000 traditional public school superintendents, a mere 1,984 are women, according to the U. S. Department of Education. Yet, nationally over 75% of all K-12 educators are women. The purpose of this explorative quantitative study is to analyze the demographic profiles of public school districts in four of the nation’s largest states – California, Michigan, New York, and Texas - to see if there is a pattern of district types and sizes that women lead. Then the study will compare those districts that women lead to those that men lead. The districts were identified using the following variables: locale of districts, the size of the districts, diversity of student population, and poverty level. Looking through the lens of Bourdieu’s social reproduction theory, this study sought to show that resources and institutions are reproduced, or passed on, to those sharing similar social capital. Chi-square with cross-tabulations was conducted to determine if certain district characteristics would allow one to infer the gender of the superintendent leading that district. Additionally, a binominal logistic regression was used to see if there was a relationship between the district types and the gender of the superintendent. The results of the study identified that there was no relationship between the locales of the districts and the gender of the superintendents, but female superintendents were more prevalent in smaller districts with high diversity and high poverty.