Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Barbara Strobert, Ed.D

Committee Member

Daniel Gutmore, Ph.D

Committee Member

Michael Osnato, Ed.D


Latinas, superintendents, barriers, career paths, challenges, role models, mentoring, women in leadership, immigrant shifts, networking


Latinas¹ have been known for certain leadership roles throughout the history of the United States. They have impacted the country’s government as having the reputation of being strong, resilient women capable of great ingenuity and creating paradigm shifts for the welfare of Americans. These endeavors are a demonstration to other Latinas in the United States that they too are capable of attaining any profession they prepare themselves to embrace. It is that si se puede² attitude that such role models express by their examples in positions of power that with perseverance cumpliendo metas³ is possible.

The focus of this dissertation was to explore the reasons why there is such minute representation of Latinas employed in powerful positions such as the superintendency in United States public school districts. The numbers have increased and movement is seen in the hiring of Latinas to lead school districts, yet they are not moving at the same speed as other minorities or Caucasian women in general. In this study, with New Jersey as its focus, Latina school administrators aspiring to become superintendents were questioned, and the study’s findings help describe their plight, as well as discussing challenges faced by Latinas aspiring to become superintendents and support the public school communities they currently serve.

This study was conducted using qualitative methodology. Its findings yielded important information regarding Latina superintendents and their journeys to the superintendency, challenges they have faced, and attributes and skills necessary to succeed as school leaders. The importance of being role models for the growing population of Hispanic children in New Jersey public school districts also surfaced in the participants’ responses.

¹ It is important to note that the terms “Hispanic or Latino/a” and “Hispanic” will be used interchangeably in this research, as it is used in the 2010 United States Census.

² yes you can, Spanish

³ reaching goals, Spanish