Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Jared Schlenker


Consistent growth, expansion, and construction in high enrollment North Dakota school districts and across the country lead to the addition of principal positions. This study closely examined the internal recruitment and selection of the building principal. Experienced principals who have led both a new and existing North Dakota public school with high enrollment served as field expert participants in a Delphi Study and qualitative document review. Ten Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) were used by participants as competencies to first identify which have been more important when considering leading both a newly built school and an existing school. After three rounds of iterative Delphi surveys, consensus was reached, finding the three most important competencies to be: (a) Community of Care and Support for Students, (b) Mission, Vision, and Core Values, and (c) Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. This study also confirmed the presence and/or absence of each competency within a principal job description and two sets of interview questions. Despite their deemed importance, eighty percent of the competencies were found to be over or underrepresented within the documents, only two of the ten were considered reasonably represented. This report presents the findings of relevant literature, Delphi Study competency identification, as well as a document review detailing importance and presence comparisons within recruitment and selection documents. A White Paper is included, intended to support district leadership in sharing results of this study as well as five considerations for action based on key findings.