Publication Date

Spring 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)




Arnold Danzig


administrator, Administrator Stress Index, Covid, Crisis leadership, Public school, Wellness

Subject Areas

Educational leadership


Public school site administrators face enormous challenges day in and day out. COVID-19 has created more challenges than ever for any organization, but for public school site administrators these types of challenges are once in a lifetime. When crisis hits, leaders are expected to be strong and levelheaded. However, these leaders are experiencing high levels of stress which can lead to burnout, depersonalization, or worse. Using a quantitative method, the study was done to better understand the stress public school site administrators are under. Public school administrators in Silicon Valley were surveyed using the Administrator Stress Index, which is the first phase of the administrator stress cycle developed by Dr. Walter Gmelch. Using statistical analysis, the study analyzed the stressors that the public school administrators in Santa Clara County are under and fall under these four categories: (1) role-based stress, (2) task-based stress, (3) boundary spanning stress, and (4) conflict mediation stress. In addition, the study sought to better understand the stress that public school administers are under by asking participants to provide responses to three open-ended questions on the survey. Findings show the COVID-19 crisis has created more stress overall and made managing a school site very challenging during the pandemic. In addition, it was evident that site administrators value collaboration and inclusion. Recommendations to reduce stress and increase well-being include building support groups, communication enhancements, and structural support for crisis leadership.