Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dr. Robert DiFlorio

Second Supervisor

Dr. Danielle Dehm


Studies show that the immediate effects and the impact of emergencies on adolescent mental health can result in posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. Thus, schools create emergency management or safety plans to prepare for, mitigate, respond to, and recover from these emergencies. Although recovery is a key phase of emergency management, New York State does not require including recovery in school emergency plans. This study discovered how secondary school leaders support their students’ emotional recovery after an emergency. This descriptive phenomenology included nine participants who engaged in semi-structured interviews about their experiences leading their schools through an emergency. The interviews also focused on the leaders’ perceptions of recovery and practices that support emotional recovery. The findings highlight the importance of having a cohesive emergency team, an effective and regularly evaluated emergency plan, and a recovery plan. Recovery plans can be delineated between the immediate recovery needs and the potential for long-term recovery interventions and support options. Participants’ responses suggest a greater need for long term recovery support for school staff, as they frequently address the emotional needs of students in their buildings.

Included in

Education Commons