Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Lars Björk


This dissertation examined the leadership strategies used by rural, public-school superintendents in the Central Appalachian region of Eastern Kentucky during and following the flood of 2022 that was considered a natural disaster. The context of this study was framed by a 1 in 1000-year flooding event that devastated school districts and communities in Eastern Kentucky. The geographic boundaries of this study were limited to school districts that were part of counties identified as “Appalachian” by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). In addition, school districts in this study were also identified as rural by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the U.S. Census Bureau. Data from semi-structured interviews were coded using a two-tiered approach. A sequential, two-tiered analysis that utilized inductive coding that was followed by a deductive coding. Data were analyzed using both, based on Bolman and Deal’s (2021) multi-frame thinking and Bass’s (1990) model of transformational leadership. As a result of this study, there were four leadership strategies, including multi-frame thinking, identified among rural superintendents during this period.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)