Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership


Center for Leadership & Learning


College of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Sarah Gordon

Second Committee Member

Dr. Ellen Treadway

Third Committee Member

Dr. Charles Cudney

Program Director

Dr. John A. Freeman

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Jeff Robertson


One of the most important endeavors a school board will complete is the hiring of a district superintendent. This study focused on Northwest Arkansas school board members’ perceptions of criteria used for hiring practices and review how or if they align with the professional leadership standards. The research concentrated on the 16 Northwest Arkansas School Boards and examined hiring criteria via an electronic survey questionnaire which was adapted from Klamfoth (2013). Following the survey, three face-to-face interviews were conducted for clarification. The Person-Fit Theory (Kristof, 1996) guided the research and through the study the results indicated many Northwest Arkansas school boards hire based on fit or need, rather than qualifications. The results of this study may be used to determine if more training on hiring practices should be considered for school boards. The results also indicated school boards should consider reviewing the educational leadership standards in relationship to what is considered a quality leader by the Professional Standards of Educational Leadership (PSEL, 2015).