Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Velma D. Menchaca

Second Advisor

Dr. Veronica Estrada

Third Advisor

Dr. Miguel de los Santos


Underrepresentation of women in the position of school superintendent is an ongoing dilemma impacting social constructs, as well as public education. The few Hispanic females that lead schools tend to be employed in rural schools. The dearth of female Hispanic school superintendents questions the factors impacting such a trend. This study explored the factors contributing to the low rate of Hispanic female superintendents; attempted to understand the extent to which Hispanic women are more likely to secure positions in small rural school districts; and examined the discrimination issues these women may have experienced. A qualitative, case study methodology was used and employed purposeful sampling, specifically criterion sampling, to select the case study participants. Four themes emerged from the data analysis: extended parental support, familial work environment, networks, and versatility. Findings suggest there were numerous commonalities, differences, and unique points to each participants' experiences. Further research is recommended to explore other racial or ethnic groups to identify if similar limitations and factors affect other women superintendents of other minority groups. Finally, it is recommended that the findings of this study be used to develop a quantitative examination of the specific factors identified herein to offer the ability to provide generalizations to a larger population of female superintendents.


Copyright 2016 Irma C. Castillo. All Rights Reserved.