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What To Do After Being




Hundreds of superintendent tenures nationwide end each year before the incumbent is necessarily expecting it.

Resign or Buy Time. If you expect the board of education to fire you, consider the option of resigning. It’s a slightly better move. Some job applications now want disclosure if you were asked to resign. A better approach is buying time by working with the board. Be nice, but be gone as soon as possible. Realize the clock is ticking a little faster every day you remain.

Resist Legal Action. There are legitimate occasions when superintendents should legally fight termination, although it is an uphill battle. Retaining a lawyer early on in the process may initiate a professional settlement prior to much negative exposure. Winning in court, however, does little to help secure future employment. Applications ask if candidates have ever filed a lawsuit or grievance against an employer. They do not ask who prevailed.

Test the Market While Being Realistic. Pump out as many job applications as you can to test the market. Do not count on friendly search consultants because recommending “tarnished” superintendents is not good for their business. The public is increasingly upset with boards that even interview superintendent candidates who have had negative experiences.

Recognize few boards have the time to digest the whole context and give candidates a second chance. Electronic applications are even more unforgiving, as some words automatically screen out candidates. Create a simple phrase to describe what happened.

Find Employment Fast in Non-Superintendent Roles. The best strategy for those still interested in serving as a superintendent is to quickly land a job associated with education. There are plenty of roles in for-profit and nonprofit organizations. The superintendency may have to wait until time takes the edge off your situation.

Use your network. Contact other superintendents. Explain your dilemma with all honesty. Outline your skills. Express your loyalty in service to another superintendent. You have much to offer — don’t easily quit but don’t perseverate. Mount a comeback on different terrain.


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