Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Mary Jo Abascal-Hildebrand, EdD, Director; Gail Perez, PhD, Committee Member; Alberto Ochoa, PhD, Committee Member


California, discrimination, exclusion, K-12, Latinos, Leadership studies, minority & ethnic groups, multiple-case study, school administration, qualitative


Many scholars, practitioners, and policy makers know very little about individual Latino administrators' cultural and professional experiences, responses to discrimination, and patterns or institutional conditions which relate to K-12 ethnic minority administrators' success. Moreover, many are also unaware that as ethnic diversity increases, the relative proportion of minority administrators, many of whom could be role models, shrinks. Once we can recognize this as seeds for inequity in society, we might be able to consider the ways in which our educational institution reinforces or counters societal inequities. By specifically exploring Latino administrators' experiences, because of the large Latino California presence, we may gain insight into the larger societal or organizational context. That data may, in turn, help scholars, practitioners and policy makers become more equitable and democratic. This study is important because, in a heightened way, educators and other public officials are charged with drawing forth and making real what we represent: the democratic ideal. Through a qualitative multiple-case study approach, I carried out a series of in-depth interviews for exploring Latino administrators' experiences and understandings related to white privilege, inequities and the challenges to democracy in K-12 education. The data suggests that the participants work in educational settings which are often characterized by blunt and persistent exclusion. Nonetheless, in spite of many obstacles, participants appear to have achieved both cultural integrity and professional advancement without remaining limited by the isolation created by white privilege. In many cases, subjects are educational or professional pioneers, carving their own paths and building their own support networks for other Latinos' benefit.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access