Frequently Asked Questions

For Applicants

Can I apply for too many positions?

A board hires only one person to be its superintendent. This means that a number of well-qualified candidates must be passed over, so you should not feel discouraged. Apply for any position for which you feel qualified, but applicants should not apply for positions that they wouldn’t accept if offered.

Does Texas honor other states' certifications?

In general, yes. Texas has rigid certification requirements for educators. Texas does have reciprocity with other states, so an applicant with a certificate from another state can qualify for a temporary certificate until obtaining a permanent one. Inquiries about education certification should be directed to the Texas Education Agency. For other professional qualifications, applicants should contact the corresponding licensing agency in Texas. Most of these agencies are accessible on line.

How long should an application packet be?

The application packet should be long enough for you to “sell” yourself to a prospective board of trustees. The best way to do this is to stress accomplishments and show a positive track record. When all required documents are submitted and combined, the application packet should not exceed 30 pages.

How much information is needed to support my application?

The application should contain enough information for you to "sell" yourself to a prospective employer. The best way to do this is to stress accomplishments and show a positive track record.

I'm a superintendent in a 1A district. Do I have a chance of being considered in a 5A district?

Probably not, but it always depends on the applicant pool and what the employing board wants in the new superintendent. The general rule of thumb is that a superintendent can skip one classification—for example, from a 1A to a 3A position—but there are many examples to refute this. If a position looks attractive, you should apply, but keep your expectations realistic.

Is a doctorate necessary?

Rarely do school boards require a doctorate; those that do are usually larger districts.

Is a superintendent's certificate necessary?

Yes. Texas has a very rigid certification requirement. An applicant must have or be eligible to receive a valid Texas superintendent’s certificate. Texas does have reciprocity with other states, so an applicant with a superintendent’s certificate from another state can qualify for a temporary certificate until obtaining a permanent one. Inquiries should be directed to the Texas Education Agency.

Should I contact the employing board or district?

If the board has hired a consultant, then all contacts should be with the consultant. If a board is handling its own search, then a call to the board president or designated contact for instructions might be appropriate.

Will my application be confidential?

Yes. Executive Search Services makes every effort to maintain strict confidentiality of applicant names and materials submitted with an application.

School Boards

Can you help us find an interim superintendent?

Yes, we can provide suitable candidates for an interim superintendent position, and we offer this as a free service. Contact us for more information.

Do you have a stable of candidates?

No. We are in the business to help organizations find executives, not to help executives find jobs. We are committed to helping the employing board find the very best applicants possible.

How are the community and staff involved in the search?

It is important that the staff and community be involved in developing the profile. This gives them a voice in the process.

The review of the applications and the interview process is strictly a board function in which the consultant assists.

How long will a search take?

Ideally, a search takes up to four months from the day the search is opened until the new chief executive is hired. This gives ample time to develop a profile, advertise the position, and conduct interviews.

Sometimes a board feels it must shorten the process, and ESS will work with the board to establish a suitable time line.

Is a site visit to the top candidate’s home district really necessary?

Yes, we believe so. The visit allows the board to confirm its impressions of the top applicant.

Is continuing education credit available?

Yes. Up to three hours of continuing education credit is awarded to trustees attending the session on preparing for interviews.

What if we don't find the right person?

As your membership organization, we are committed to serving school boards, and we understand the importance of finding the right superintendent for the district. ESS will continue the search until the board finds a candidate that fits the bill.

What is your success record?

Since 1988, ESS consultants have conducted more than 600 searches for organizations ranging from fewer than 100 to more than 194,000 students. And our placements are successful: More than 90 percent of the superintendents ESS placed in the past four years are still in their districts.

In many of these, we have conducted more than one search, which is a compliment to our record. Our service allows each trustee of an employing board to evaluate the search process once it is completed, and the majority of responses have been highly complimentary.

About Our Process

How long should an application packet be?

The application packet should be long enough for you to “sell” yourself to a prospective board of trustees. The best way to do this is to stress accomplishments and show a positive track record. When all required documents are submitted and combined, the application packet should not exceed 30 pages.

How long will a search take?

Ideally, a search takes up to four months from the day the search is opened until the new chief executive is hired. This gives ample time to develop a profile, advertise the position, and conduct interviews.

Sometimes a board feels it must shorten the process, and ESS will work with the board to establish a suitable time line.

How much information is needed to support my application?

The application should contain enough information for you to "sell" yourself to a prospective employer. The best way to do this is to stress accomplishments and show a positive track record.

Is a site visit to the top candidate’s home district really necessary?

Yes, we believe so. The visit allows the board to confirm its impressions of the top applicant.

Will my application be confidential?

Yes. Executive Search Services makes every effort to maintain strict confidentiality of applicant names and materials submitted with an application.