the impact of governance change on principal leadership: The new Catholic school academy model

Evette Marie Ngadi, Fordham University


In this comparative case study, I explored how governance change in a diocese's elementary schools from a parish to an academy model affected school principals' spiritual, managerial, and instructional leadership. The five principals included two from the parish model and three from the academy model. Data were collected via personal interviews, observations, and documents. Academy principals worked collaboratively with a lay board, the parish principals worked hierarchically with the pastor. Academy principals felt freer to focus on instructional and spiritual leadership because the lay board's collective financial and management expertise relieved them of their managerial responsibilities. The three major conclusions based on the data were included: (a) academy principals' increased focus on instructional leadership enhanced the Catholic school's legacy of academic excellence; (b) the academy principals could allocate more time to spiritual leadership. However, the parish principals reported that the pastors' primary focus on spiritual leadership, diminished their power their attention to school matters; and (c) the principals believed that the developing a Catholic identity is essential for preserving the Church's mission—holistic faith-based education. Academy principals viewed collaborative governance as a viable means for sustainable Catholic schools by making Catholic education more accessible and affordable. The strategic governance change reflected in the academy model enhanced progress at the Diocesan and community levels via the lay board's skills.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|School administration

Recommended Citation

Ngadi, Evette Marie, "the impact of governance change on principal leadership: The new Catholic school academy model" (2015). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3716163.