This article, excerpted from Dr. Blane Covert's doctoral dissertation, examines Board Member turnover and its relationship to Head of School and Superintendent tenure.
School Board Member turnover has been a growing source of concern for both Headmasters and Superintendents. McCarthy (1990) found that high rates of Superintendent turnover were directly related to high rates of Board Member turnover. In fact, Hayes (2001) noted that “frequent changes in board leadership create unique problems for a Superintendent” (p. 2).
In related findings, Castallo (2003) suggested that the relationship between a Head of School and the Board of Trustees is at risk not only because of Board turnover, but also because of personality clashes with Board Members and the accompanying school politics. According to Edwards (2006), “School board members are not remaining on boards for as long as they used to. It is not even unusual for most of the board to turn over in three to four years” (p. 54). However, Glass and Franceschini (2007) noted that “In 2006, board tenure was 6 years, a bit more than in 2000” (p. 76). In short, when the composition of your board shifts, Head of School or Superintendent turnover will most likely increase.
If your school or district is embarking on a search for its next Head of School or Superintendent, Academy Educational Consulting can help. Dr. Blane Covert dedicated his doctoral research to Head of School/Superintendent turnover; now, he prepares School Boards for executive searches so that they can recruit and ultimately hire the right candidate. To learn more about how to make your next Head of School/Superintendent search a success, contact Academy today at 501-230-0881.