Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Education Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Lars Björk

Second Advisor

Dr. Amanda Potterton


This dissertation examined the leadership storytelling uses and practices by rural, public school superintendents in North Georgia who are engaged in change and innovation through agreements with the state in exchange for flexibility waivers from Title 20 of the Georgia Code. This study was the result of the participation of five rural, Appalachian superintendents in semi-structured interviews. Two of the districts were Strategic Waivers School Systems (SWSS) and three of them were Charter Systems. The context of this study was framed by Georgia’s broad flexibility waivers which encourage school districts to promote and pursue innovative approaches in K-12 education. The geographic boundaries of this study were limited to school districts that were part of counties identified as “Appalachian” by the ARC (Appalachian Regional Commission). In addition, school districts in this study were also identified as rural by the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) and the US Census Bureau. As a result of this study, there were four overarching storytelling patterns identified in common use among rural superintendents.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)