The purpose of this review andexamine the literature as it pertains to rural superintendents, turnover,challenges, retention, preparatory programs and school board relations. Thisreview of previous research provides a framework for understanding the rural superintendent,the reasons for superintendent turnover, the impact of turnover and comprehensionof the many roles and responsibilities related to being the CEO of a schooldistrict. Strong leaders must anticipatethe needs of all stakeholders when planning a vision for the district thatpositively impacts all stakeholders within the community. In addition toneeding to assess stakeholder needs, a superintendent must also successfullynavigate the politics and school board issues that exist within communities.When superintendent turnover in districts is frequent, there is bound to be aninfluence on the organizational ability to provide systematic and systematicallytransformation. Leaders that have neglected to create a vision, trust andmeaning have failed to empower those within their organizations (Bennis &Nanus, 2007).
All the researchliterature reviewed includes empirical research, case studies, ethnographic studies,and only a small sample is theoretical. This insight was relative to the studyin determining the direction of the study and the questions to be posed toparticipants to determine the influence of superintendent turnover on thedistrict. Therural superintendent is a challenging and all-encompassing position thatrequires highly developed communication, management and organization skills. Theliterature surrounding the rural superintendent has some gaps in the research. Thefirst recommendation is to have more targeted and specific superintendenteducation preparatory programs for all potentialsuperintendents. These superintendent programs would develop standards andcurriculafocused on leadership practices for both rural and urban school districts.
Thiswould include a comprehensive field study specifically design to enhance handson application of theory and involvement with school board members andcommunity stakeholders. Two key elements of focus would be the importance ofrelationshipsand communication. The curriculum would also focus on relationships and communicationwithin the context of specific districts.