chapter  5
14 Pages

Superintendent Selection and Success

The selection of a superintendent can easily be considered the most important decision that the board, and by extrapolation the community, will make regarding the quality of education offered in a given school district. Thus, it is rather curious that there is a widespread lack of written policy and explicitly stated procedures in place to guide the selection of superintendents and other school administrators (Miklos, 1988). Pringle (1989) points out that school board superintendent selection decisions have ‘a great impact on communities, districts, school personnel as a whole, and individuals’ (p. 6). Since board members are responsible for providing for the district’s future, vis-à-vis the effective schooling of its young people, it is incumbent on the board to make sound decisions regarding who will direct the schools in their mission. Such district guidance is highly complex and takes many forms involving ‘personnel matters, taxation, construction programs, and maintaining control over a sophisticated financial enterprise’ (ibid., p. 13). Thus, it is evident that the selection of the district’s top school executive is no small matter, and is not to be addressed lightly.