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Principals come to their leadership roles with a wide variety of backgrounds. These individuals have received graduate degrees that enable them to assume the role of principal. Some individuals may have had preparation as PreK–3 teachers; however, others may have had preparation to teach older elementary students, middle school students, or even high school students.

The path to the role of principal varies from setting to setting. Rural settings may have very different administrative configurations than urban settings have. The number of students enrolled in a rural district often dictates the number of administrators in a district as well as the individual who will be responsible for the early childhood program.

A review of the states’ department of education websites provides an example of differences that ...

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