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What it takes to be a superintendent

10.22.2015 | By:
Learn the role and skills it takes to be a successful superintendent.

Doing research to earn your superintendent certificate? If you want to work in education but don’t want to work in the classroom, being a superintendent could be perfect for you. But it takes a certain type of educator to be able to run a school district like a successful business. Here are a few of the things it takes to succeed after you’ve earned your superintendent certificate.

Business Skills

The superintendent is the CEO of the school district. And like any good CEO, a superintendent should have an understanding of every aspect of the “business,” from finances to hiring. The ability to make decisions about programs, staffing and the maintenance of facilities is vital to serving a school district as superintendent. Just like any leader, superintendents should be confident, aware of deadlines and able to put the people they serve first. For superintendents, those people include staff, faculty, parents, students, school board members, the media, local politicians and community members.

The Ability to Delegate and Work with a Team

Individuals are in charge of many people playing many different roles as a superintendent. They all have the same goal: To provide the best tools, resources and education to their students. Open communications and the ability to delegate are important for a superintendent. On top of keeping their students’ educational needs met, they’ll need to focus on the job satisfaction of their teachers and staff members, and keep school board members informed. Superintendents truly need to be team players!

A Passion for Education

Just because a superintendent isn’t seated at the head of the classroom, that does not mean that they don’t need a passion for education. The superintendent is the person who will be praised when a school succeeds, and have to take the criticism when the school fails. Making sure that the school curriculum is up to district, state and national standards will be a challenge, but one that is necessary to overcome in order to succeed as a superintendent.


A superintendent should always be looking for new ways to improve their district, which can happen through new programs and curriculum, improving bus routes so that students spend less time getting to and from school or hiring an exceptional teacher. Setting personal goals and goals for the district overall is important to help reach important milestones. The classes you will take as part of earning your superintendent certificate will help you figure out the goals you may want to set.


Much of a district’s success relies on the superintendent’s ability to handle all of his or her responsibilities. And that includes some overtime. Weekend and evening events such as sporting events and school board meetings happen regularly, and the superintendent is expected to be present. They also need to jump from finances to community matters to curriculum. It’s an exciting and challenging field that leads to fulfilling careers.

If you’re ready to make the leap and earn your superintendent certificate, contact us today!

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