Rural and Small School Principal Candidates: Perspectives of Hiring Superintendents

Patricia A. Cruzeiro, Mike Boone


This article reports the results of an inquiry into the dynamics of principal selection in rural school districts in two mid-American states with high numbers of rural schools. The study focuses on two questions: (1) are rural school districts experiencing a shortage of qualified applicants for vacant principal’s positions; and (2) what professional and personal characteristics do superintendents seek in selecting principals for rural schools? Data for the study were collected through a review of the relevant research literature and interviews with superintendents of rural school districts. The study confirmed that rural school districts in these two states are in fact not experiencing a shortage of qualified principal applicants and delineates specific professional and personal characteristics superintendents seek in the principals who lead rural schools.


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