The purpose of this study was to examine the perceived effectiveness of leadership in a Missouri rural K-8 school with a high incidence of poverty that consistently met federal and state accountability mandates. The concepts of accountability as measured by student achievement, the unique educational needs of children from poverty, and the challenges of the rural school location were viewed through the lens of leadership. Ten practices of leadership that lead to consistent student achievement were suggested. They include integrity and courage, focus and vision, expectations and data evaluation, resources and empowerment, role modeling, and collaboration. Implications of this study could impact mentoring programs to support beginning and practicing administrators, leadership training in schools of education and state leadership programs, programs and instruction designed for children from poverty, and considerations of the monetary and educational cost of consolidation.

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