Steel lantanas: A case study of women superintendents surviving and thriving in West Texas



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This qualitative case study sought to explore and explain the experiences and perceptions of four successful women superintendents in West Texas; the literature indicates the percentage in this geographical area lags behind the state and national averages. A lantana plant became representative of the literature, served as a springboard for constructing the conceptual framework, and was later revisited during synthesis. Six themes were identified and interpreted, and the following conclusions were made: these successful superintendents, the Steel Lantanas, were handling isolation and loneliness; and they were beacons of positive role models for other women aspiring to the superintendency. Recommendations for further research studies were made. It is believed that an understanding of the strategies and coping mechanisms necessary for women superintendents to be successful and sustain longevity in this particular geographical area would provide insight for women seeking or starting in a superintendency, as well as serving as a historical reference for a future where gender is no longer a mitigating factor in who serves as a superintendent in West Texas.



Superintendents, Women superintendents, Case study, Feminist theory, Isolation and loneliness, Role model