THE ROLE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT AND SCHOOL BOARD CHAIR IN BUILDING RELATIONAL TRUST WITH NEWLY ELECTED BOARD MEMBERS IN SMALL RURAL WASHINGTON SCHOOL DISTRICTS
Ament, Thu Huu
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Trust and trusting relationships appear to be critical resources for schools helping superintendents and their school board members build teamwork within their district's vision,mission, and goals. This study examined and analyzed data of the superintendents, board chairs,and newly-inducted board members of the three school districts in small rural districts in Washington.Overall, school board service can be both time consuming and stressful, especially as board members engage constituents and attend district events as they work to gain knowledge,build networks, and solicit support for the school system. McAdams (2006) advocates the importance of developing district systems that afford board members an ability to remain organized in the midst of multiple demands on their time as they seek to build relationships and foster the power of ideas that are directly related to the trust and efforts between superintendents and school board members. To explore how trust is understood, fostered and developed, superintendents, board chairs, and newly-elected board members were interviewed. Using qualitative narrative analysis, their interview responses were coded to explore emerging themes.The emerging themes (Communication, Board Governance, Building Relational Trust) were further analyzed using Tschannon-Moran (2004) Relational Trust Framework. As a result of collaborative analysis with the superintendent, board chairs, and new board members, a number of conclusions and recommendations were generated.
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