Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Janice Kelly

Second Supervisor

Byron K. Hargrove


Given the recent decline in the number of Black male principals, the purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the teacher-to-principal pipeline recruitment process and retention strategies for Black male principals from the perspective of Black male principals in two urban school districts. Nine current and retired Black male principals from the New York City and Washington, DC public school districts were interviewed. Prior to becoming principals, these nine participants worked as teachers and as assistant principals. There were seven major findings: these nine participants (a) were unaware of any specific initiatives used to recruit Black male principals, (b) believed that they were not dissuaded against becoming an principal, (c) expressed that having confidence is one of the important factors necessary for becoming a principal, (d) school districts should develop targeted recruitment initiatives for Black male (and other underrepresented) teachers, (e) believed that there were not any targeted initiatives in their districts to retain the current Black male principals, (f) agreed that there is an overall lack of representation of Black male principals, and (g) school districts should develop and implement targeted retention initiatives for current Black male principals. Implications for future research, training programs, policy development, and practice were discussed.

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