They may know what TYPE of director they want, sometimes, but may not know specifically WHO they want.
People think this business is much shadier than it is. It *is* shady - but remember, a job posting isn't required to be on TMEA or even a district's website. If a school district wants to, they can put up a paper posting in their central admin office, call someone, interview them, offer the job, and move on - all without violating any "public notice" laws because technically the position WAS posted.
If the job's up on TMEA/ATSSB/ISD website, and you're selected for an interview, you have a chance to get it, full stop. You may have to beat out another candidate who seems like a better fit - or you may have to overcome other issues - but there's not nearly as many games being played as people assert. Most of that is sour grapes.