How to Be a School Superintendent

Being a school superintendent requires interacting with everyone involved in the school system. It's one of those career paths that's characterized by answering to more people the higher up you go. Performing the job effectively is a skill best learned with experience, a lot of patience and maybe some human relations homework.


    • 1

      Act like the CEO you are. Essentially, a school superintendent is the CEO of the school district responsible for all school personnel. He is the one who hires and supervises the school principal, answering only to his boss, the school board.

    • 2

      Brush up on your political science knowledge. While the school superintendent's overriding objective is to make decisions based on what's best for the students, she must learn to avail herself to a multitude of groups, each with its own interests. The superintendent deals with the principal, teachers, students, parents and staff.

    • 3

      Put on your banker's cap. While juggling day-to-day meetings with different people who have varying agendas, the school administrator must prepare a budget that meets the needs of the school and that will get passed. Once the budget is approved, he has to see to it that the money is allocated and distributed as promised.

    • 4

      Stay in touch with the community. School superintendents have to cultivate a relationship with the district's community, keeping community leadership informed of school performance, programs, policies and procedures. This will go a long way toward getting a school budget passed; the more information the community has about where its tax dollars are going, the more likely it is to lend its support.

    • 5

      Implement school maintenance and progress. It's important for the life of the school that the superintendent oversees the facilities and curriculum. She must keep the school board informed of curriculum issues and school programs, as well as acting as a leader in improving the school's facilities.

    • 6

      Remain flexible in the wake of personnel changes. The school board is the superintendent's boss and as the board members are voted in, they will change. A superintendent needs a certain amount of flexibility to foster a working relationship with the new board members as they take office.

    • 7

      Relish the role of educational leader. Ultimately, the students are the most important people in the life of the school superintendent. The most important aspect of his job is to ensure a solid and safe learning environment that allows each student to reach her maximum potential and achievement.

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