Ready to lead

Thursday, July 10, 2008

When the Cape Girardeau School District developed a list of qualities the next superintendent should have, it might have written in "Jim Welker" in just about every category. Dr. Welker became the district's new superintendent July 1, and by all accounts he has the strengths the district put at the top of its priority list.

One of those is stability. After well over a decade of short-term superintendents, the district wants the leadership of someone whose style and objectives can work best over several years. Welker has lived in Cape Girardeau the past 27 years. A native of Gordonville, where he grew up on a dairy farm, Welker is a Jackson High School graduate, but two of his three children are Central High School graduates.

Another high-priority need was someone who can keep the district's finances in order. Welker for the past eight years been the assistant superintendent for finance.

There are other admirable qualities in Welker's resume. His teaching experience includes 10 years in the Delta school system. He was an administrator in the Sikeston School District. And he is familiar with the inner workings of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, where he supervised agricultural education for 10 years.

Choosing which side to root for in the annual football showdown between Central and Jackson High School won't be Welker's toughest problem as superintendent of the Cape Girardeau School District. But Welker's experience should serve him well in his newest challenge.

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