Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version



Zuckerman, S. J., Teahon, M., Surface, J., Mausbach, A. T., Riley, K. (2023). Rural superintendent turnover in challenging times: A review of the literature. The Rural Educator, 44(1), 56-68.


© 2023. This work is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 license.


The Covid-19 pandemic has shown a light on structural problems in education. Changing conditions, policy recommendations, and pressure from local communities have caused strain among educators and administrators across the nation. For rural districts already strained by shortages of teachers and administrators, the pandemic particularly raised alarms about the potential for accelerating superintendent turnover. By examining the superintendent turnover literature through the lens of district leadership roles and critical leadership of place, this review can support research to address superintendent turnover, provide guidance for preparation programs that aim to reduce the instability of rural district leadership, and the preparation of administrators for crisis situations.