The purpose of this review and
examine the literature as it pertains to rural superintendents, turnover,
challenges, retention, preparatory programs and school board relations. This
review of previous research provides a framework for understanding the rural superintendent,
the reasons for superintendent turnover, the impact of turnover and comprehension
of the many roles and responsibilities related to being the CEO of a school
district.  Strong leaders must anticipate
the needs of all stakeholders when planning a vision for the district that
positively impacts all stakeholders within the community. In addition to
needing to assess stakeholder needs, a superintendent must also successfully
navigate the politics and school board issues that exist within communities.
When superintendent turnover in districts is frequent, there is bound to be an
influence on the organizational ability to provide systematic and systematically
transformation. Leaders that have neglected to create a vision, trust and
meaning have failed to empower those within their organizations (Bennis &
Nanus, 2007).

All the research
literature reviewed includes empirical research, case studies, ethnographic studies,
and only a small sample is theoretical. This insight was relative to the study
in determining the direction of the study and the questions to be posed to
participants to determine the influence of superintendent turnover on the
district. The
rural superintendent is a challenging and all-encompassing position that
requires highly developed communication, management and organization skills. The
literature surrounding the rural superintendent has some gaps in the research. The
first recommendation is to have more targeted and specific superintendent
education preparatory programs for all potential
superintendents. These superintendent programs would develop standards and
curricula
focused on leadership practices for both rural and urban school districts. This
would include a comprehensive field study specifically design to enhance hands
on application of theory and involvement with school board members and
community stakeholders. Two key elements of focus would be the importance of
relationships
and communication. The curriculum would also focus on relationships and communication
within the context of specific districts. 

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