You are here


For our 30th Anniversary, we're celebrating all educators' courageous work on the frontlines

Our gift to you: 30FOR30

30% discount off the original price across all our books through the end of August with code 30FOR30* at checkout

*case sensitive, enter exactly as shown above. Offer valid only when ordered through


Achieving Success for New and Aspiring Superintendents

Achieving Success for New and Aspiring Superintendents
A Practical Guide

First Edition

November 2010 | 328 pages | Corwin
The authors of this book wrote it for those aspiring to be superintendents, those new to the position and those completing their second or third year and who are looking to the future.

What makes their approach unique is the belief that talented people who aspire to be superintendents are far more likely to accomplish that goal and achieve success on the job if they understand the totality of the position. School districts are complex organizations. Providing effective leadership to these organizations requires mastery of a wide array of leadership and organizational skills. Aspiring superintendents with vision and motivation who understand the inherent challenges of the position have a great advantage over those who do not.

The book's goal is to provide readers with this advantage. This is why the book covers the full cycle of the first superintendent position: preparation, application and transition, the challenges of the first few years, and the decision to stay or move to another position. Aspiring and new superintendents who read the book will learn about the full range of skills and knowledge needed to succeed. They will be better prepared to be effective superintendents.

About the Authors
1. Becoming a Superintendent
Getting Ready

The Application Process


Site Visits

The Final Step: Your Contract


2. Transitioning to Your New District
Managing Your Transition

Addressing Personal Issues


3. Getting Started: Organizing to Lead
Scheduling for Success

Other Responsibilities


4. Moving the District Forward
Decision Making

Mastering the Budget

Improving Teaching and Learning

Goal Setting and Evaluation


5. Completing Year One, Planning Year Two: A Continuous Cycle
Determining Your Legacy Goals

Planning the Final Six Months of the School Year


6. Working With a School Board
The Basics

Communicating With the Board

Board Meetings


7. Working With Employee Groups
Establish Relationships

An Overview of Collective Bargaining

Issues Influencing Collective Bargaining


8. Negotiating Agreements
Getting Started

Organizing Negotiations

At the Table

Settling Compensation

Ratification and Next Steps


9. Communicating: Enhanced Decisions
Communicating With Parents and the Public

Working With the Media

Communicating With Staff and Students

Final Considerations


10. Looking Ahead
The Challenges


Final Thoughts


"Throughout the book, the authors illustrate the complexities of the job and offer strategies in areas such as budgeting and conducting negotiations; communicating effectively with staff, the board, unions and the media; and honing leadership and organizational skills."

Courtney Williams
District Administration Magazine, March 2012
Key features

There are a number of special features in this book. For those who aspire to be superintendents there is detailed information on how to prepare for the position and the application process. We include what to expect during the interview and any site visitation. For those newly selected there is information on contracts and the transition period as well as what to do during the first year.

We include information on strategic planning, goal setting, superintendent and administrative evaluation, meeting structures, and decision making. We provide detailed information on how to master the district's finances, work with a board and unions, lead negotiations and communicate. More importantly we focus on how to be an effective educational leader of teaching and learning.

There is also guidance on topics not normally covered in other books. For example, we address personal issues that confront new superintendents such as where to live, the effects of the job on your family and personal life, and community expectations. Throughout the book we focus on the interconnection between leadership, organization, and personal behavior.

For superintendents in their second or third years discussions are included on how to delve into the complexities of the position rather than just view each succeeding year as a repeat of year one. The importance of instituting and maintaining an "18 Month Planning Process" is stressed. We include eleven challenges that face superintendents in each succeeding year including how to provide effective leadership in a changing organization. The book concludes with a discussion of when it is time think about moving on and the implications of the decision to stay or leave a district.


Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters



Purchasing options

Volume Discounts Available

contact corwin

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781412988964

For instructors

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.

SAGE Knowledge brings together high-quality content from across our imprints, including CQ Press and Corwin titles.