The School Superintendent Job Description is synonymous with a string that effectively coordinates all the players in the education process (students, parents, teachers, school, interest groups such as the LGBTQ community and human right groups, trade union, immediate society, and the global world) to the betterment of each and sum of the parts. This position is important to a school District as the Principals in the District report to this higher-level Administrator. The School Superintendent wears several caps and functions in various capacities.
School Superintendent Job Description
The individual who aspires to undertake this top management role in the education sector should possess the following personal attributes:
- Teaching Experience: Usually, a decade or two of experience, or even more, is required along with at least a Master’s Degree in teaching (and leadership, as the case may be). This is to ensure a thorough understanding of the entire teaching, learning, and curriculum process. To effectively plan curriculum content and ensure effective implementation, a mix of skill and experience is of uttermost importance. Experience also gives such a person who aspires to be a School Superintendent a smooth understanding of a school’s running.
- Leadership: Being the spearhead of a school system transcends technical know-how and experience to lead to incorporate the essence of this responsibility. The ideal School Superintendent should have about five to seven years of experience in school leadership roles (principal or key administrator). This is to ensure that such a person understands his responsibility and is experienced in similar roles. The School Superintendent performs the duties of planning, organizing, coordinating, analyzing parts of the education sector and reports to appropriate government authorities and school interest groups. Possession of leadership skills, qualities, and experience are essential characteristics to consider for this job.
- Emotional Intelligence: ‘The days of barking orders at subordinates are over,’ says Daniel Goleman in his book, ‘Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence.’ A School Superintendent should be an individual who creates a harmonious environment that propels effective learning. With his/her emotional intelligence savviness, the School Superintendent manages the school culture to reinforce important norms and values and spur the school towards attaining its overall vision. S/he also learns to recognize and prevent situations and events that trigger unhealthy stress in the environment.
- Liaison Officer: With the surge in the awareness of the LGBTQ community, global awareness, pandemics, single parenthood, working-class parents, various learning impairments of learners, the lead teacher is responsible for maintaining the interests of various interest groups represented in the school. S/he mediates and interfaces between the school administration, teachers, parents, students, and all interest groups to ensure that all factions are well represented and that all school activities are posited to further their interests and overall wellbeing.
- Crisis Management: Given the presence of various interest groups, conflict of interests naturally abounds. The School Superintendent is a listener whose job is to synchronize various factions in the school environment. In instances where crises arise, the lead teacher resolves such crises – keeping the school’s vision and the betterment of all.
- Employee Management: A School Superintendent has the purview of managing, coordinating, organizing the Teachers, Counsellors, Administrative, Sanitation, Health, and other staff members of a school district to ensure that they function at their maximum potential individually. Beyond individual effectiveness ensures that they act in synergy with colleagues in the districts to achieve its overall vision. Employee Management includes coaching, motivating, training, correct placement, conflict resolutions, and retrenchment, where the need may arise. This is to position the entire school district to achieve goals effectively and even for national ratings.
- Planning: The School Superintendent works with the school district’s components to forge a direction for all. S/he charts the course that in turn dictates the short-term goals of the district. S/he propels the district to technologically advanced methods of learning and teaching. Ensuring that the quality of education received is relevant outside the school’s four walls is that of the School Superintendent.
- Global Participation: In the globalized world we live in, school districts should not be left out. The School Superintendent ensures that the school district he oversees communicates effectively with other school districts and the global world. S/he organizes press conferences to respond to global issues such as the Corona Virus Pandemic. S/he does not leave the world to wonder about the position of his/her district on issues. A timely educational perspective is dished out. The School Superintendent also ensures that the school engages in International Competitions, flip classroom learning experiences, interchange learning experiences, and online training to ensure global participation. An ideal School Superintendent spurs the schools in the district to join International Bodies of Professionals and students in the education space, especially those that contribute to the districts’ goals.
- Financial Management: The Frank Tassone and Pamela Gluckin scandal in which the School Superintendent, Frank Tassone, and the Administrator, Pamela Gluckin, stole $11 million from the Roslyn School District said to be the biggest fraud in the American education sector to date. These turn of events have emphasized the finance role of a School Superintendent. A School Superintendent is charged with the responsibility of the effective use of Tax Payers’ money. The School Superintendent should ensure transparent reporting in line with the Generally Acceptable Accounting Procedures (GAAPs) that apply to their district. The School Superintendent should also perform oversight finance functions such as budgeting.
- Miscellaneous Roles: This function incorporates the varied duties a School Superintendent may perform that have not been listed above. For example, granting interviews, helping students who may like to speak with them, advisory roles for students, representing the school district at co-curricular and extra-curricular events, attending social gatherings of parents and students, and all sort duties that may arise in the ordinary course of the school year.
Also read Dean of Students Job Description