Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-6-2023


Superintendent of Schools is uniquely critical in a school district due to its tremendous effect on the operational and cultural bearing of the organization (Myers, 2011). Superintendent turnover can hinder district reform and improvement (Grissom & Andersen, 2012; Marzano, 2006). The United States and New Mexico struggle with superintendent retention and northern New Mexico is especially plagued with short superintendent tenure (Grissom & Andersen, 2012; NMPED Stat Books, 2021; Sawchuck, 2022). In this study, I investigated the initial selection and subsequent interactions and relationships between school board members and superintendents. Using a phenomenological approach, I interviewed two superintendents and four school board members from a northern New Mexico school district with anomalously stable superintendent retention to investigate their lived experiences. From 1997 to 2023, the district has had only two superintendents. This study yielded 47 distinct recommendations in nine categories for superintendents and districts pursuing healthy relationships.


Educational Leadership, School Board, Superintendent, Relationship, Phenomenology, Tenure

Document Type




Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Allison M. Borden

Second Committee Member

Viola Florez

Third Committee Member

Tyson Marsh

Fourth Committee Member

Trenia Walker