Cape school board names new director for career center

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

When Harold Tilley, director of the Career and Technology Center in Cape Girardeau, retires at the end of the year, he will be replaced by a man who has been serving as his understudy for almost a year.

The Cape Girardeau school board approved Rich Payne, current assistant director of the CTC, as Tilley's replacement Monday night.

Tilley has been the director since 1992.

"We had a very competitive interviewing process," said Mark Bowles, assistant superintendent. "We knew we would have very large shoes to fill when Mr. Tilley leaves."

Bowles said a panel of CTC staff, board office staff and administrators narrowed the field of applicants to two finalists before making the decision to hire Payne.

"The staff of the Career and Technology Center were very comfortable with both candidates," Bowles said. "They were both excellent."

Payne has been serving the district for 13 years.

"I am very honored to get to follow in the footsteps of Gary Gilbert and Harold Tilley," Payne said. "I will work hard at it."

After teaching and coaching at Southeast Missouri State University for seven years, Payne took a job teaching social studies and physical education at Central Junior High School in 1989. He taught for five years before becoming the school's assistant principal, a position he also kept for five years, before taking his current position in July.

Payne lives in Cape Girardeau with his wife, Donna, and two daughters, Allison, 12, and Bailey, 7.

He will take over for Tilley July 1.

335-6611, extension 128

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