This study profiles superintendents in North Carolina public-school districts for academic year 2020-2021. We focus on superintendent gender, race, educational experiences, highest degrees earned, and professional longevity; and personal characteristics such as age and marital and parenting status, and the relationship between gender and race and geographic region served.

Data sources included a survey of all of North Carolina’s public-school district human resources directors; licensure and payroll records from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) for the years 2000, 2010, and 2021; and The American Superintendent: 2020 Decennial Study from the American Association of School Administrators.

Despite progress, we found significant disparities between superintendent demographics and their communities. Amid growing diversity, only 26% of public- school districts were led by females and 22% percent by an African American or Latinx. We also noted high turnover, inexperience, and interim appointments as red flags. We recommend actionable steps for research, policy, and practice.

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