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A Portrait of the Turnover of Nebraska Female Public School Superintendents

James Alan Blake, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this study was to show the turnover of Nebraska female public school superintendents for the past twenty years. This portrait allows aspiring female superintendents of Nebraska to predict their own career trajectory questions. The results also inform those districts and institutions of higher education wanting to improve the superintendency for women. The researcher used a quantitative approach, utilizing data from the Nebraska Department of Education Directory and Helpdesk. The Nebraska State Library also provided a source of historical data for legislation documented throughout the study. This census study provides complete data about female superintendents in Nebraska. Ninety-six women superintendents served 115 districts with an average longevity of tenure of 3.7 years from 1996 to 2016. The geographic data tells us that less than half of the superintendent community moves were from rural to more urban settings. There were even fewer female superintendent movers in district class compared to community size. Twenty-seven individual superintendents served 32 short term tenures during the twenty years of the study. Many female superintendents also wore many hats, serving most often as principal in addition to superintendent duties. They also served as teachers and special education directors, along with other miscellaneous roles. One finding of the study that is very clear is that women have not risen to be more than 10% of the superintendents in Nebraska in the last twenty years. This study identifies a need to go out and ask questions to determine why women are so greatly underrepresented in the highest position of public schools.

Subject Area

School administration

Recommended Citation

Blake, James Alan, "A Portrait of the Turnover of Nebraska Female Public School Superintendents" (2017). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10269551.