This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Alabama Superintendents’ Perceptions of Staying or Leaving the Position




Pruitt, Kimberly Washington

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The purpose of this study is to determine reasons superintendents choose to stay or leave the superintendency. By analyzing reasons why superintendents stay or leave, the data collected may provide further insight on effective practices of leadership that directly affect the longevity of their superintendency. The population for this study was all superintendents in the State of Alabama. According to the School Superintendent Association, the state of Alabama is comprised of 138 public school systems and within the 138 public school systems, there are 37 elected superintendents and 101 appointed. The total number of superintendents serving school districts on a city level is 71 and county level is 67. This includes city and public-school districts throughout the state of Alabama. Public school superintendents were invited to complete a Likert-type questions measured their perceptions. The survey also included a demographic section that addressed twelve demographic variables. Ninety-two superintendents responded to the survey, yielding a total of 67% response rate. The investigator sought to answer the following questions: (a) To what extent to leadership factors influence a superintendent’s decision to leave their current position? And (b) To what extent do leadership factors influence a superintendent’s decision to stay in their current position? The results from this study found that most superintendents remain in the district for reasons such as vision, job satisfaction, community, commitment, and positive board relations. The dissatisfaction that causes superintendents to want to leave their position are dependent on reasons such as opportunities, retirement age, politics, health and stress, and school board issues.