| Login

Superintendant Dr. James L. Welker
Dr. James L. Welker


Beth Poyner
Administrative Assistant 
to the Superintendent


Cape Girardeau Public School District has a strong tradition of excellence in academics, the arts and athletics. We look forward with great anticipation to more accomplishments in the months ahead.

Last year we began the process of becoming a district-wide Professional Learning Community (PLC). This year the focus of our PLC training is Data-Driven Instruction. We certainly appreciate the help of the Regional Professional Development Center in leading us through this process.

With the help of our district PLC committee, we developed new mission and vision statements. A mission statement answers the question, “Why do we exist?” The Mission of Cape Girardeau Public Schools is to:  “Educate every student to be a successful, responsible citizen.”

A vision Statement answers the question: “What must we become to accomplish our purpose.” Our Vision statement is: “A community of learners focused on success.”

The committee also developed a slogan that supports our Mission and Vision. Our new slogan is:  “Every student…every day!”

This year the District PLC Committee will continue to work on “Collective Commitments.” These commitments describe how we must behave to achieve our mission and vision.

One of the goals of Professional Learning Communities is to develop a collaborative culture. One of the ways to promote this culture is to get various grade levels of staff together and talk about what we do at each level. This is commonly referred to as “Vertical Teaming.” This year we will begin the process of developing vertical teaming through several professional development activities.

We continue to improve our scores on the Annual Performance Report. Student achievement on the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) also continues to improve. Although our four-year graduation rate only changed slightly, our five-year graduation rate increased 14% to 86.2%.

Over a year ago a committee started researching the possibility of providing each student with a computer device. This is commonly referred to as the One-to-One Initiative.  Last November, the committee made a recommendation to move forward with implementation. In December, the Board of Education approved the One-to-One plan at the high school level. The plan was to provide teachers with a device and training over the spring, summer and fall, with students receiving a device at the start of the second semester.

We have a great school district. We have a great staff of teachers, support staff and administrators. We have a supportive community and a devoted Board of Education.  Together we can: "Educate every student to be a successful, responsible citizen;” continue to develop into: "A community of learners focused on success;” and strengthen our commitment to "Every student...every day."

Jim Welker
CapeGirardeau Public Schools


Dr. James Welker and his family have lived in Cape for more than 30 years. His two sons, Matthew and Justin, as well as his wife Terri, are proud graduates of Cape Central High School. His daughter Emily is a student at St. Louis University. Dr. Welker has served as superintendent of Cape Girardeau Public Schools since July 1, 2008.

Dr. Welker was Assistant Superintendent, Finance and Support Services, at Jackson School District for 8 years. He also was an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Educational Administration and Counseling at Southeast Missouri State University in the spring of 2008. Dr. Welker worked 2 years at Sikeston Public Schools and 10 years at Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as supervisor of Agricultural Education. Prior to that he was a teacher for 10 years at Delta R-V School District.

He holds four degrees:

  • Doctorate of Education, University of Missouri
  • Specialist in Education Administration, Southeast Missouri State University
  • Masters of Education, University of Missouri
  • Bachelors of Science, Agricultural Education, University of Missouri

Dr. Welker is the recipient of many Distinguished Service Awards. He belongs to several professional and civic organizations. In 2011 he received the New Superintendent of Schools Award for the Southeast Missouri Region from the Missouri Association of School Administrators.