“The fiscal incentive to become a superintendent, in some places, is not what it was,” he says, “so you have to be ambitious, and you have to want to take a chance on leadership to become a superintendent.”
When Osnato conducted Allendale’s previous search in 2004, he received 60 applicants; in 2011, there were only 30.
Though New Jersey’s salary cap is unusual, nearly all districts have requirements, fiscal and otherwise, that make finding a new superintendent challenging at best. Promoting an existing employee, though straightforward, is not always the best option for filling the chief seat. Assistant or deputy superintendents may not have sufficient experience in the area most important to the district, says Ricardo Medina, who directs the Superintendent Leadership Academy of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents.