Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Frances Wills

Second Supervisor

Cassandra Hyacinthe


African American women educators who possess the leadership characteristics to become superintendents of schools in New York State are not rising to top positions at the same rate as women of other racial and ethnic groups. There is limited research on the barriers and challenges experienced by African American women as well as the strategies that aided in their maintenance of the position. This phenomenological qualitative research study examined the perceptions of African American women who successfully obtained the position of superintendents of schools in New York State at suburban public schools, the barriers and challenges they overcame, and the strategies that made them successful. The findings aimed to highlight the barriers, the challenges, and the strategies as well as to offer recommendations to school boards and educational institutions to aid in increasing the numbers of African American women superintendents of schools in order to ensure a more diverse workforce.

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