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ERIC Number: ED550884
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 157
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-7721-2
Successful Transition Planning for Incoming School Superintendents: A Qualitative Study of Best Practices and Strategies
Russell, Randy L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Idaho
The demands and challenges of starting a new job as a school superintendent can be overwhelming. According to Short and Scribner (2002), "the role of the school superintendent has evolved into one of the most complex leadership positions seen today" (p.1). The choice of a leader is perhaps the most important selection a school district can make (Glass, 2001). While most school districts have developed a clear list of key characteristics they seek in a new superintendent they do not develop a clear transition plan once a chief administrator has been hired. A clearly defined transition plan based on key components, clear expectations, specific goals, and areas of focus can assist a new superintendent in gathering critical information quickly about the needs of the students, staff, and community. It can help them establish a strong community presence early on by assessing the district's strengths, challenges, and opportunities for improvement and to identify critical issues necessary to improving the school district. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the practices and strategies used by school districts when undergoing a transition in school superintendent leadership. The case study was conducted with nine first-year superintendents, all located within one of the state of Washington's nine Educational Service District regions. Whenever a new school superintendent enters a school district there is a period in which they must acquaint themself with the community and staff, as well as day-to-day operations, through a professional and organizational socialization process (Heck, 1995). Leithwood, Steinbach, and Begley (1992) identified initiation, transition, and incorporation as the three stages effective leaders experience when they enter a new organization. Although the findings from this study are not generalizable to other districts, the findings indicate there are identified practices and strategies used by these nine first-year superintendents. These practices and strategies may assist first-year superintendents to develop a transition plan as they enter into their new role. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington