Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Dr. Jeanne L. Surface


School Districts across the nation are looking for the best principals to lead their schools. There is a need for highly effective school principals in public schools for the benefit of students, staff, and the general community. The role of the principal can offer extensive challenges and elevated levels of stress. School principals face this elevated pressure and stress on a continuous basis. Veteran principals, those who have led for a decade or more, have come to understand this stress. However, the consuming impact of the COVID-19 pandemic created hyperstressful conditions for elementary principals. Hyperstressful environments are classified as intense bouts of stress experienced over long periods of time which often led to exhaustion. This study examines the stories of veteran elementary principals as they led through the hyperstressful environment of the pandemic. The method of research for this study consisted of a series of semi-structured interviews. The findings and analysis provide clarity to the complexities of leading an elementary school through the pandemic. Analysis of this qualitative data produced connected themes. The findings can be utilized by principals and school districts to help school principals prepare for hyperstress and learn from successful veterans in the profession


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