ERIC Number: EJ1000068
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Superintendents' Husbands: Encourage, Support and Bide Their Free Time
Goldman, Jay P.
School Administrator, v69 n10 p22-23 Nov 2012
When Karen Rue was on the verge of accepting her first superintendent appointment 11 years ago, her husband Gary anticipated he might be asked to play the role of "first spouse," serving as informal ambassador for the school district. He was correct. Gary Rue, a retired physical education teacher, has willingly served as his wife's fill-in at charitable events, golf tournaments and bowl-a-thons to which the superintendent had been invited. "He did not see himself as a public figure, just as my favorite volunteer," says Karen Rue, superintendent of the Northwest Independent School District in Julian, Texas. Throughout his wife's tenure as a superintendent of two school districts, Gary Rue has acclimated himself to being background support. The Rues' relationship is a personification of the findings of the only two studies that have specifically examined the impact of the superintendent's husband on her decisions regarding job acceptance, performance and retention. One researcher framed the issue as the ability of the superintendent's husband "to adapt to, adjust to and cope with a role to which he may not necessarily be accustomed or for which he may not be prepared." With the American Association of School Administrators' (AASA's) latest national survey reporting that females now hold 24 percent of all superintendent positions, the implications of this research may have greater bearing on who enters the profession and how they perform once in the superintendency. Their research findings largely came to the same conclusions about the role of the female superintendent's spouse as a supporter and encourager. Study findings on husbands' careers, tradeoffs and adjustments, nontraditional marriages, and mobility are also discussed.
Descriptors: Superintendents, Spouses, Adjustment (to Environment), Careers, Individual Characteristics, Marriage, Occupational Mobility
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aasa.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Idaho; New York; Texas