Postprint version. Published in Democracy in Educational Leadership: The Unfinished Journey Toward Justice, November 1, 2005. 18 pages. Copyright 2005 University Council for Educational Administration. The definitive version is available online at http://coe.ksu.edu/ucea/2005/PetersenUCEA2005.pdf.
The ability of the superintendent to communicate ethical leadership to the community and demonstrate a positive relationship with the board president and the board of education has considerable influence on communities’ perceptions of the quality of educational programs and the academic achievement of children. This investigation employed social capital theory as a conceptual lens to investigate these relationships. Our findings suggest that district superintendents tread a fragile bridge where the sustainability of their leadership is dependent upon their mastery of the interplay among ethics, advocacy, and community relations.