Superintendents years. Although 21% of the superintendents

Superintendents
in smaller, rural communities often must assume responsibility for a wider
array of tasks. For many superintendents it is common standard operating
procedure for a district superintendent to serve concurrently as an elementary
principal, high school principal, athletic director or curriculum specialist. This
is often the expectations for other district employees such as, the Human
Resource Officer, Chief Financial Officer; all have multiple areas of
responsibilities and assignments as well.

In
order to gain a broad understanding concerning rural superintendent succession,
superintendent tenure must be addressed. According to a study conducted by
Metzger (1997), “The superintendency is the least stable and secure position in
education” (p. 44).  The length of time
he or she holds the title of superintendent of schools. Natkin, Cooper,
Alborano, Padillo, & Ghosh, (2002) research displays the ranges of average
length of tenure of a superintendent in the same Iowa rural district are
between 2.5 years and 6.43 years. This is quite disconcerting to the future
administrator seeking a career in educational leadership. In defining
superintendent tenure, the time a leader is in office.  A number of researchers have reported (Cooper,
Fusarelli, & Carella, 2005), there are many superintendents who remain on
the job for more than 12 years. Although 21% of the superintendents maintained
the position between 14 and 15 years (Glass, Bjork, & Brunner, 2006), the
greater percentage, 79% averaged only two to six years. However, Glass and
Franceshini (2007) discuss the fact that it must be noted the approximate
average length of tenure in any given school district is five years. 

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