Balancing the scales of wellness: a multidimensional analysis of high school principals' wellness
The job of high school principal is demanding and time consuming. Often principals must make sacrifices or compromises with their health, time, social life, and core values in order to meet the needs of all stakeholders in their community. Using a multidimensional wellness model as a framework, this qualitative research reports how 10 high school principals in Kansas perceived their own wellness and whether or not their jobs contributed to, or detracted from, their wellness overall. The risk of burnout and possible turnover when a principal is not well is costly to a school district and its community. The findings indicate that while participants found aspects of the job fulfilling, enriching, and an enhancement to their wellness, certain stressors routinely experienced on the job compromised their wellness in other dimensions. Half the principals in this study left the job in the same year I conducted the research with a third indicating they left due to overwhelming job demands. This research suggests school districts and local school boards consider how to mitigate the damaging effects of a job that is vital to student success but often too costly to the personal wellness of its employees.