Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Karen Sumner


The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of The Leader in Me (TLIM) program and philosophy on a highly diverse, rural elementary school in North Carolina. TLIM is a program for school-wide transformation that seeks to teach all students 21st century leadership and life skills. TLIM is based on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Covey (1989) and is an integrated approach to teaching leadership development. The study took place at School X, which has over 440 students. School X is diverse: 46% of the students are Hispanic; 41% are White; and 13% are Asian, African-American, or American Indian. School X is considered a Title I school, with 87% of its students receiving free or reduced lunch. The chosen elementary school suffered from a disjointed school culture: teachers who were ill equipped with how to meet the challenge of growing students living in poverty, student conduct issues, high teacher turnover, and a lack of a common mission or vision. The researcher analyzed both quantitative and qualitative data to answer research questions centered on school culture, effects TLIM had on student conduct, and effects on academic achievement scores. The researcher also analyzed the specific effects TLIM had on Hispanic students at School X.

This research provides evidence that teaching students social-emotional skills and soft skills can impact the overall culture of a school and improve the conduct of the students. This study reveals that TLIM impacts a school’s culture regardless of race, economic status, or size. TLIM can be used to actively support educators at a school that has extremely high diversity and poverty rates.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.