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


Beth Poyner
Administrative Assistant 
to the Superintendent


Cape Girardeau Public Schools has a proud tradition ofexcellence in the arts, academics and athletics. This is possible because ofthe dedication of our staff and support of parents and the community.  We look forward with great anticipation tothe future accomplishments of our students.

This fall we will begin the process of updating ourstrategic plan, also known as the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan.  A local company, Hendrickson BusinessAdvisors, will facilitate the process which is designed to be very transparentand open.  There will be focus groupmeetings, a survey, and the formation of a steering committee. We hope togather as much input and data as possible to make sure that everyone has theopportunity to share their opinions.  Thefinal product of this effort will be a new strategic plan which will guide thework of the district in the next five to ten years.

With the help of Bond Issues in 2010 and 2015, the districthas been able to make major improvements to buildings and facilities. Newfacilities were added including classroom additions, a performing arts hall andathletic stadium at the high school, and a new Franklin Elementary. Inaddition, improvements were made to classrooms, roofs, HVAC systems, parkinglots, and safety and security measures. As of the beginning of this school year, two projects are still underway including the renovation of the Central Junior High and an additionalclassroom building at the Career and Technology Center. These, along with othermiscellaneous projects, have resulted in excellent facilities for our students.

CGPS continues to invest in technology resources in order toenhance the educational experience for our students. Computer tablets, whichcan be taken home, are provided for students in grades seven through twelve. Studentsat the Middle School will have access to tablets in their classrooms. Staffcontinue to receive professional development to update instructional practicesutilizing technology. Our desire is to prepare all students to be college andcareer ready.

Through a partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS)we have formed what is known as the ABCToday network. ABCToday is aschool-based (K-12), collective impact model using existing student andcommunity resources to improve student (A) attendance, (B) behavior, and (C) courseperformance in reading and math. The network consists of school staff alongwith partners from business/ corporations, faith and community basedorganizations, higher education, and others interested in supporting localschools. Their goal is to increase collaboration, decrease complexity, andimprove student outcomes.

These are just a few of the wonderful things happening atCape Girardeau Public Schools. We are proud of our students, our staff, and ourcommunity as we work together to continue to “Educate every student to be asuccessful, responsible citizen.” For more information, check us out on Facebook and Twitter. 

Facebook: Cape Girardeau Public Schools
Twitter: CapeTigers

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.