School superintendent jobs include a wide range of different tasks focused on the strategic vision and management of a school system or board. A school superintendent is the equivalent to a senior manager and executive with a large corporation. He or she operates at the highest levels of the organization, reporting directly to a board of trustees or similar arrangement.
There are two major areas of focus in school superintendent jobs: education quality and cost containment. In order to reach these goals, the superintendent is responsible for working with school principals, administrators, and government agencies. In most organizations, access to the school superintendent is limited to principals or senior management. The principal is effectively the location manager, and the school superintendent is the regional district manager.
In order to qualify for school superintendent jobs in most areas, you will need to be a fully certified school teacher and have experience working as a school principal. Most school superintendents are promoted from principal after five to 10 years of experience working at that level. It takes many years of consistent performance and additional post-secondary training to qualify for a superintendent position.
The most important of all the school superintendent jobs is delivery of quality education. The superintendent is the person ultimately responsible for the policies and decisions made at the local school level. As a result, he or she works closely with principals and school administrators to ensure proper procedures are followed.
Keeping costs down by reducing inefficiencies, creating partnerships, and implementing tried and true processes are all very important in this role. One of the most important school superintendent jobs is to ensure that schools are run as well as possible on reduced budgets. This aspect of being a school superintendent typically requires assistance from purchasing, distribution, and the administrative support team of the larger school board. It is very easy for a school board to exceed its budget in a desire to provide a quality education to students. Balancing these two priorities is an essential part of this role.
In most organizations, the school superintendent reports to the board of trustees or a government agency or school board. He or she is responsible for implementing government mandates, meeting quality program requirements, and bringing important matters to the board's attention. In many cases, the board of trustees was involved in the hiring process and often has the power to terminate the school superintendent, should that become necessary.
People who report the greatest satisfaction in school superintendent jobs enjoy challenging problems, are able to dedicate themselves to work, and can devise creative solutions to problems. Dedication and excellent interpersonal skills are very important in this type of job. This position is one of the highest ranked positions in school administration and provides opportunities to make huge changes and a positive impact on a large number of people.