Evolution of the superintendent's leadership role : how components of the leadership role in the superintendency have changed over time
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The position of the school superintendent as the primary school district leader is a position that, historically, has been a symbol of respect and authority in our nation's communities and social structure. The traditional role of the superintendent has evolved over time in response to various expectations, constraints, and a heightened level of responsibility in today's climate of accountability. The areas of governance operations, communication and public relations, and student performance accountability are three areas that have increased in importance due to the changing nature of public expectation. Research suggests that change is an inevitable factor in school district leadership, and the increased expectations that have developed have altered the state of the superintendency. Significant changes in the composition of the American communities have presented new challenges to school leaders. The skill set necessary to be a highly successful school leader has been affected by the changes shaping the modern superintendency. This treatise utilizes case study design to investigate how the role of the superintendent has changed over time. From the analysis of interviews, documents, and interactions, certain themes emerged. This study suggests that the role of the superintendent has changed over time in the areas of (1) governance operations, (2) communication and public relations, and (3) student performance accountability. Additionally, this study will examine how the evolution of the superintendency has affected the skill set necessary to be a highly successful school leader. This study will contribute to the literature in the field of leadership challenges in the modern superintendency as compared to the past.