Successful and sustained leadership: A case study of a Jesuit high school president

Guillermo M Garcia-Tunon, Florida International University


Fr. Marcelino García, S.J. has been the president of Belen Jesuit Preparatory School for 25 years. The longevity and success of his tenure is an exemplary case of effective leadership and provided significant insight into what constitutes effective school leadership. The target population for this case study consisted of the school’s 7 administrators, 90 faculty members, 10 English-speaking staff members, and 3 key informants. Data were collected using Bolman and Deal’s (1997) Leadership Orientation Survey along with the Jesuit Secondary Education Administration’s (1994) Administrative Leadership Profile Survey (ALPS). Data collected from the surveys were analyzed using the SPSS, version 10. The study also included data collected from focus interviews with Fr. García and six other significant members of the school community. The interviews were approximately 1-hour individual interviews that employed a semi-structured guide. A concurrent triangulation method was used that directly compared the results from these data collection methods. This was done by looking at the data as a whole and in parts. The parts were internal (faculty, administrators, and staff) and external (parents, alumni, and the superior of the Jesuit community) sectors. The comparison of the findings was then examined in terms of each research question. Analysis of the data revealed that while Fr. García’s predominant leadership style reflected the typical Bolman and Deal characteristics associated with the political frame, his leadership demonstrates access to all four frames. Research has found a correlation between multiple frame use and successful leadership. Relatedly, Fr. García’s capacity to approach his administration from various perspectives is indicative of success. In addition, from the perspective of Jesuit education, an analysis of Fr. García’s leadership indicated recurring themes that contributed to the school’s organizational health. The results of this study provide an extensive analysis of the administration of a unique leader. An analysis of Fr. García’s leadership style from two perspectives gives fresh insight into sustained and successful leadership.

Subject Area

School administration

Recommended Citation

Garcia-Tunon, Guillermo M, "Successful and sustained leadership: A case study of a Jesuit high school president" (2008). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3358433.