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Missouri Association of Rural Education



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Superintendent Search - Service Provided By

Missouri Association of Rural Education


The MARE consultant makes an initial trip to the district, at no charge or obligation, to discuss options with the Board and to explain the Search Service in detail. Specific items to be covered at that time include planning a tentative timeline; defining the scope of the search; and discussing qualifications, contractual details, community/staff involvement, media relations and confidentiality.


At the onset of the search, the Board should adopt the procedures that will guide it throughout the process. The consultant will present recommended procedures for the Board's consideration. Throughout the search process, the consultant will update the Board regularly about the search and meet at scheduled intervals with the Board to assist it with its responsibilities.


The consultant will develop a set of proposed criteria. Once the Board adopts the criteria, MARE will advertise the position and recruit candidates.


MARE will distribute vacancy notifications to the following agencies:

  • All Missouri Superintendents by mail
  • Missouri Administrators Job Posting
  • MO Association of School Administrators
  • MO Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
  • MO Elementary Principals Association
  • MO Association of Secondary School Principals
  • SUCCESSLINK - DESE web-site
  • MARE also will post the vacancy on its web site and in the weekly FOCUS.

MARE will develop and print a brochure, with the Board-adopted criteria, to advertise the position and to outline the search procedures. MARE will send copies of the brochure to all or some of the aforementioned organizations, to all persons requesting information about the job, to persons recommended for the position. The brochure also will be available electronically.

5. Application Guidelines

Individuals interested in the position should submit the following information to MARE for the purpose of an initial screening:

  • A letter of interest
  • An up-to-date resume', including accomplishments by position
  • A copy of the candidate's Missouri state's superintendent certificate
  • University transcripts
  • Names, addresses and telephone numbers of three to five professional references

To insure that his/her credentials will be reviewed by the Board, an individual must submit the information by a specified deadline. The consultant may recruit other individuals who have not responded to the vacancy notice and request submission of credentials from those individuals even after the established deadline.

MARE will send an employment application form to candidates who submit credentials.


When interested persons inquire, a brochure outlining system specifics and search procedures, will be sent (by mail or e-mail).

MARE checks all individuals' submissions, and creates candidate files. Any candidate who does not submit all required information is notified of deficiencies and asked to supply the needed details.


The screening process has been developed carefully to assure effectiveness, fairness and confidentiality. A screening committee is selected, consisting of a MARE search consultant and other qualified educational professionals. Committee selection is a function of the search consultant.

Referring to the Board-adopted criteria, the screening committee will assess how well the candidates' credentials match the Board's expectations.


Individuals accepted by the screening committee will be considered formal candidates for the vacancy. Following the screening committee meeting, the search consultant will return to the district to present the Board with a written report that includes the comments from the community, criteria, interviewing procedures and the candidates' names and supporting materials. The Board reserves the right to interview any or all of the recommended candidates. These materials will be subject to Missouri "Open Records Act."

The search consultant will schedule interviews for the candidates in accordance with the actions of the Board.


Consultants do not participate in the interview process. The search consultant will present interviewing and reference-checking techniques to the Board, as well as a list of sample questions to be asked of candidates. Throughout the interviewing period, the search consultant is available to research and respond to questions about salary and fringe benefits, contract details, legal concerns, etc.

The consultant also may upon request conduct post-interview debriefings to determine if candidates are still interested, hear their concerns and refer this information back to the Board before it makes subsequent decisions.


After the Board has conducted initial interviews, it may want one or more of the candidates to return for a second interview. If the Board is interested in pursuing a candidate further, it should conduct independent reference checks of current and former employers, colleagues, staff, community residents, etc. Up to this point, screening has primarily involved references solicited by the consultant, not necessarily the references submitted by the candidate. It is the responsibility of the Board to take an active role in this process.


One of the most important duties of the Board is the selection of the superintendent. This duty cannot be delegated. The search consultant's role is to advise the Board as to how to proceed with the offer as well as to explain features of an employment contract.


The Board should consider a news conference or at least prepare a press release about the new superintendent once it announces its selection. A public reception for the new superintendent, hosted by the Board, provides the community an opportunity to meet the individual.

Once the Board has made its selection, the consultant will send a letter to each candidate interviewed but not selected as superintendent, on behalf of the Board.

For more information contact Kevin Sandlin, Executive Director

Additional information