Another term for the director of a school district is superintendent. In order to be hired for such a position, you do need to hold at least a Master of Education degree, and teacher certification in your area of expertise. It is also essential that you have teaching experience as well as administrative experience as a principal or voice-principal of a school. Your personal vision of education should be in line with the mission statement and vision of the school board. As director, you will be responsible for all the schools in the district – overseeing the budgets, the teaching and non-teaching staff and the maintenance of the buildings. In your capacity, you will report to the elected school board of the area, which represents the parents.
As director of the school district, you should demonstrate commitment to ensuring that the mandated state curriculum is taught in all schools in the district. In accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act, your duties include responsibility for seeing that all teachers are committed to ensuring that all children succeed. You will also deal with the administration of the schools as well as the personnel at the district level, which includes the coordinators of the various content areas. Your past experience as a leader and teacher should demonstrate you have a high vision for education and that you show integrity and respect when dealing with others.
School-based decision-making is the way schools operate in the 21st century. Therefore, in order to be hired for the position of director of a school district you should not only have an in-depth knowledge of how this process works, but you should demonstrate that you can step back and let the administration of the schools make the decisions that affect them. At the same time, you will need to have your finger on the pulse of every action and know whether or not it is the best decision to make. You may have to intervene on occasion and consult with the administration and others to come up with alternate answers to a problem.
A director of a school district is also responsible for collective bargaining with the various labour unions in the schools of the district. Therefore, knowledge of and experience in negotiating contracts is an essential part of this job. You do need to be able to plan for events that might cause schools to close and present these to the school board for approval. Consultation with other school districts is also an important part of this position. You need to know what is happening in other school districts so that you can bring innovative techniques and methodologies to your school district.
As director of a school district, you must possess business skills, teaching skills, communication skills, and public speaking skills. You must demonstrate that you are a lifelong learner who is committed to providing professional development to the staff of the schools under your command. Therefore, you will spend a lot of your time consulting and in meetings in order for you and your staff to stay current in the field of education.