A successful rural school model as perceived by local stakeholders in the Pinewoods Independent School District, Texas
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This research was a qualitative case study involving 24 participants of a rural junior/senior high school in East Texas. The purpose of this study was to document the perceptions of students, faculty, administration, and community members in a small rural Texas community, exploring why they perceive their school to be a successful learning environment. The main objective of this basic interpretative case study was to interpret the meaning of how the participants make sense of their lives and their worlds. This study was guided by the following research questions: What factors determine success as identified by stakeholders in Pinewoods Independent School District? How do stakeholders in Pinewoods Independent School District perceive success in their junior/senior high school? The method of inquiry was an informal conversational interview with each participant. These interviews triangulated with a focus group, examination of historical documents, observations, and member checks. The themes revealed in the research included: (a) the rural advantage with three sub-themes, community safe and supportive of its citizens, a community without racial tension, and a nurturing community; (b) pride and tradition with two sub-themes, high expectations and competitive nature of school and school pride; and (c) quality of the school, Pinewoods style with four sub-themes, good discipline in school, dedicated teachers, high expectations in academic and extracurricular activities, and Pinewoods as a successful school. There are implications for policy, practice, and additional research that are necessary for all demographic factors of a rural community. The demographic factors include administrators, teachers, students, and citizens. The intent of the researcher is that the findings of this study be shared with other interested individuals throughout the state and nation to help them better understand how students are taught by a dedicated faculty, staff, and administration, while working through various difficulties such as low socioeconomic students, a continually decreasing community economy, and a lack of sufficient resources for the school.
Centilli, Jeroladette (2008). A successful rural school model as perceived by local stakeholders in the Pinewoods Independent School District, Texas. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from