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Importance of Superintendents for Successful School Districts


Educators of all levels are essential to the success of the students they serve. Superintendents are at the top of the administrative chain and regulate the direction of their school system. A superintendent is responsible for the successes and failures of a school district. Their role is broad: it can be challenging yet rewarding. An outstanding superintendent has a distinctive skill set that enables them to work closely with others, communicate effectively and understand the merit of forming valued relationships.

A post-master's degree, the online Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership, Superintendency program from Arkansas State University (A-State) offers educators a way to become leaders in the public school system.

Necessary Skills to Be an Effective School Superintendent

A superintendent needs to have specific qualities to handle a busy and demanding position. A superintendent needs to juggle many responsibilities to be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a school district. Here are a few essential skills that are necessary to be an effective school superintendent:

  • Good communication. At the top of the list is excellent communication. Whether interacting with the board of education, a large group of stakeholders or one-on-one, a good superintendent needs to understand the audience. Crafting clear and concise messages while also being an active listener is essential. Building relationships with other school districts, local politicians, the community and the media is part of the position. Effective communication moves the overall vision of the district forward.
  • Being passionate about students and what's best for them is a crucial aspect of the school superintendent's role. An effective superintendent seeks to motivate educators and urge them to be caring and supportive of their students. A leading goal is to instill a thirst for learning in students to maximize their education.
  • Developing a powerful vision for the school district's future can increase opportunities for success. Setting clear goals so students can learn at the highest level and gain a meaningful education in a safe space will ensure that they're ready for the future.
  • Problem-solving. On any given day, a school superintendent may have to face many unique problems. Facing conflicts head on is one part of the job. Disciplinary actions, conflict resolution and making tough financial or curriculum decisions are some of the responsibilities a school superintendent may face.
  • Critical thinking. A superintendent needs the ability to think critically. To receive funding that results from standardized testing scores or implement procedures to improve the school district, they need to consider their choices and select the best course of action.
  • Being transparent with parents, the community and stakeholders is always the best idea. When conflicts arise, a solid and trustworthy superintendent should always be straightforward and let the district's stakeholders address the issues and determining solutions.

What's Next

A-State's Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in Educational Leadership, Superintendent online program offers the same tuition to all U.S. residents and features accelerated coursework and multiple start dates a year. Convenient and flexible for working professionals, this online program is for students with master's degrees from accredited schools and three years of teaching experience. Students will take classes such as School Personnel Administration, Contemporary Issues in American Education, Curriculum Theory and Practice, Schooling in a Pluralistic Society, Management of Operational Systems and more.

Learn more about Arkansas State University's online Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership, Superintendent program.



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