Term of Award

Summer 1999

Degree Name

Ron Davison

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Ron Davison

Committee Member 1

T. C. Chan


This study was conducted to explore the preferences of school board members in southeast Georgia toward the selection of school superintendents. The nature of the selection process was drastically changed in many school districts in Georgia when the state constitution was amended in 1992. As a result, all public school superintendents in Georgia were appointed rather than elected. This investigator sought to probe board members concerning the preferred superintendent characteristics and skills. The subjects in this study were elected board members in seven selected school districts.

An initial focus group was utilized to collect information that led to the formation of a structured interview tool. The data gathered with this instrument revealed that there were six major characteristics or skills preferred by these respondents. They agreed that a school superintendent should be an effective communicator, be honest, be an educator, be a people person, have financial skills, and have leadership skills. Typically, they reported that they were able to find such candidates to fill the position.

The purpose of this study was to highlight the specific characteristics and skills preferred by school board members. The discussion focused on material gathered from interviews coupled with supporting research literature. The results of the study were viewed as being particularly beneficial to those aspiring to be school superintendents and to those institutions that provide superintendent training programs.


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