Date of Award


Degree Type

Education Specialist

Degree Name

Education Specialist


Education, Leadership and Public Service


Educational Administration: Administration and Supervision (MAE)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Bethney Bergh


The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the leadership styles present during change in secondary education. Four high school teachers, from various districts in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, were interviewed about their experiences with leadership through the change of school structure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the teachers’ perspectives, the researcher determined which leadership styles were present and resulted in a feeling of support during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study sought to understand what leadership styles are present during times of drastic and/or unexpected change. The review of literature provides the reader with a brief overview of prominent leadership styles within the field of education. The leadership styles include invitational, transformational, transactional, situational, and servant. Also in the literature review are a few key leadership traits which include developing a shared vision, trust, lifelong learning, shared leadership, and responding ethically. Two main theories make up the framework for this project, crisis theory and change theory. The five themes discovered in the qualitative analysis include

  • transparent, thoughtful, and complete communication,
  • a quick response from leadership on how to provide instruction, while allowing flexibility of the type of instruction,
  • a show of support by being available and offering themselves and resources,
  • providing opportunity and structure for collaboration,
  • showing trust for staff by responding with grace and providing flexibility as teachers figure out how to best transition to online learning with little to no time or warning.

Access Type

Open Access