Perceptions of the Ideal Superintendent Candidate as Viewed by Illinois School Board Members and Superintendents

by Dean Romano

Institution: Aurora University
Year: 2017
Keywords: Educational leadership; Educational administration; Education
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2219771
Full text PDF: http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10272866


A mixed method study with a statewide sampling of both superintendents (N = 258) and school board members (N = 543) within the State of Illinois designed to identify the perceptions of the ideal superintendent candidate. Using the study defined professional standard sub-components of the superintendency developed from the American Association of School Administrators Professional Standards for the Superintendency (Hoyle, Bjork, Collier, & Glass, 2005), a quantitative survey was develop and distributed to each superintendent and school board member within the State of Illinois. The following analysis provides a ranking of standard sub-components for each group, along with perception data comparing population characteristics including gender, tenure, type of district and size of district. Continuing from the quantitative analysis, four participants representing an even distribution of superintendents, school board members and gender were selected and interviewed. This qualitative stage of the study was conducted using semi-structured and open ended questioning to delve deeper into the quantitative findings. This study brings affirmation of the importance of the identified professional standard sub-components while expanding on the perceptions of the role of superintendent through the lived experience of people within and overseeing this critical educational leadership position. The quantitative analysis found that of the twenty-two standard sub-components included within the study, Leadership Qualities (Ethics & Values) was consistently found across both populations as ranking the highest. This was similarly found for the standard sub-component of Strong Communication Skills which was ranked second for both populations. The sub-component of Community / Public Relations Skills was found to be ranked in the top five most highly ranked sub-components for both populations. The qualitative analysis provides a categorical breakdown of each of the twenty identified themes relating to superintendency within three key indicator groupings including Situational, Personal Traits and Skills/Abilities. Incongruency was identified between the quantitative and qualitative analyses of this study in a single area. Across the quantitative analysis, a total of 19 of the 22 sub-components were found to hold a statistically significant difference between male and female responses. This was in direct contrast to the consistent opinion held by each of the interview participants that gender held no impact on perceptions of the ideal superintendent candidate.