The Board President and Superintendent Relationship

By Doug Eadie

My last three columns (which you can find online at examined practical ways to build and maintain a close, positive, and enduring school board-superintendent partnership, paying close attention to the superintendent evaluation process. In this and the following column, I’ll focus on another piece of the partnership puzzle: the board president-superintendent working relationship.

Specifically, I’ll answer the question: What can the board president expect the superintendent to do to ensure that this very precious working relationship is healthy and productive?

The strongest board president-superintendent partnerships I’ve observed over the years have been supported by board-savvy superintendents who:

• Bring a positive attitude to their working relationship with the board president.

• Take the trouble to get to know the president.

• Reach agreement on the basic division of labor with the board president.

• Make sure the president succeeds as chair of the board.

• Help the board president achieve his or her professional objectives.

In this column, I’ll discuss the first two expectations, and I’ll deal with the other three in my next column.

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