School Board Outlines Qualifications for Next Superintendent

After receiving community input through an online survey, focus groups and community meeting, the Des Moines School Board today outlined the qualifications it will seek in the next Superintendent of Iowa’s largest provider of public education.

“The leader of our school district plays an important role for our entire community, and on behalf of the Board I want to thank citizens who provided their input on the qualities we should have in our next Superintendent,” said Dick Murphy, chair of the Des Moines School Board. “This brings focus to the skills and abilities we will be seeking in applicants for this position.”

The desired qualifications sought in a new Superintendent were discussed by the Board today at a work session and will be voted on tomorrow. They are as follows:

  • Possesses the leadership skills required to respond to the challenges presented by an ethnically and culturally diverse community.
  • Inspires trust, self-confidence, and models high standards of integrity and personal performance with the ability to develop and communicate a vision of quality education for the future to the board, staff and community.
  • Is a strong communicator; speaking, listening and writing.
  • Is strongly committed to a “student first” philosophy in all decisions.
  • Possesses excellent people skills, presents a positive image of the district and will listen to input and make a decision when necessary.
  • Possesses the ability to enhance student performance, especially in identifying and closing or narrowing the gaps in student achievement.
  • Has knowledge of emerging research and best practice in the area of curriculum/instructional design and practice.
  • Has experience in the management of district resources and knowledge of sound fiscal procedures.
  • Is able to identify and select building and central office administrators who are capable of advancing the district vision.
  • Has the ability to develop and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship between the business community and the school district.

Nearly 1,000 people participated in an online survey, focus group or community meeting on the qualifications sought in a new Superintendent for Des Moines. Applications for the Superintendent position will be available starting December 10. For more information, visit