Superintendents are hired school districts to improve the quality of their schools and manage their staff and teachers. The majority of school superintendents are experienced educators who have held prominent leadership positions in the district. Superintendent jobs can be found in small rural towns with a few schools or in large cities with dozens of schools.
One of the responsibilities of a school superintendent is to keep track of school budgets. This includes deciding on teacher and staff pay raises. Due to budget cuts, the superintendent may have to choose between letting teachers go for the upcoming year or hiring teachers if additional funds are available in the school budget.
A school superintendent must deal with a variety of situations, including teacher misconduct complaints and other disciplinary issues. Occasionally, allegations of conduct unbecoming a teacher are made against teachers, which may or may not involve a student. It is the superintendent’s responsibility to thoroughly investigate any allegations, interview all parties involved, and report any findings to the appropriate authorities. If the teacher is found not guilty, the superintendent must determine what action should be taken against the student or other party who falsely reported the incident.
Another responsibility of the school superintendent is to serve as a media representative for athletic games and other school events. When school districts hold board meetings, the superintendent usually sends out a message to parents informing them of the meeting’s agenda. If the superintendent decides that changes in the district require a hearing, the superintendent will also send out a hearing notice so that parents can choose to attend. In the event of inclement weather, the superintendent may decide to close schools in the district and must notify the public.
Other duties of the school superintendent include dealing with construction issues such as property and school renovation bids. The superintendent must ensure that projects are completed on time in order to avoid construction projects interfering with the school year. This includes keeping school renovations within the school board’s budget and reviewing site bids, among other things.
Because a school superintendent is a high-profile leadership position, candidates for this position typically have several years of teaching experience and have previously held a position such as a school principal. This professional must show that he or she can handle administrative tasks such as budgeting, record keeping, and accountability. A superintendent must also have excellent communication skills, as much of his or her work involves dealing with teachers, parents, and the media.