Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Kay A. Keiser


The purpose of this study was to determine motivators that influence Midwest public school principals’ career plans. A coming shortage of school principals has been recognized nationally. This new phenomenon has been labeled by some as Principal “Churn” or “Turnover”. Principals are leaving the position and education for various reasons. School district personnel may now find themselves looking to replace these individuals who take with them years of experience, knowledge, and people skills. This study consisted of a three-part survey instrument which included the Principal Index of Motivators (PIM), an open-ended comment section and demographic information. The PIM was adapted from the Administrator Index of Motivators (AIM) a Nebraska study of teacher and assistant principal perspectives on conditions affecting decisions to seek assistant principal or principal positions. The PIM was completed by 99 Nebraska principals during March of the 2022 -2023 school year. Principals were leaders of elementary, secondary, rural, urban, and suburban school settings. This study found motivators that influence principal career decisions in the Midwest based upon five “REAC2H” factors. Reality of the Role, Expectations of Opportunities, Absolutes in the System, Collaboration vs. Conflict, and Hurdles to Security. The five factors revealed the most influential motivators that influence principal career decisions during the principalship to remain as building principals or to seek other opportunities within or outside of education.


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