Cape Girardeau schools superintendent announces retirement

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The superintendent of Cape Girardeau schools has announced his retirement.

Dr. James L. Welker announced he will retire effective June 2017.

After 39 years in public education, including the last nine years as Cape Girardeau Public Schools superintendent, "he will pursue other opportunities and look forward to spending time with family."

According to a press release from the schools, Welker is currently in the process of working with Hendrickson Business Advisors to implement a strategic plan that will guide the next five to 10 years for Cape Girardeau Public Schools.

"Cape Girardeau Public Schools is an excellent school system due to the great teachers, support staff, administrators, and school board. I am proud to be a Tiger," Dr. Welker said.

The school board released the following statement:

"On behalf of the district, the board would like to thank Dr. Welker for the outstanding leadership he has provided to the district. For nine years, he has provided consistent leadership with a passion for serving our students, staff and the community."

The school board will conduct a search for the next superintendent of Cape Girardeau Public Schools.

According to Jeff Glenn, Cape Girardeau School District board president, they are currently soliciting proposals and asking organizations/firms to send them a proposal.

The board will then make the determination to work with one of those firms or make a selection on their own at the board meeting next week.

Glenn said Welker's retirement announcement wasn't a surprise because he had indicated retirement was on the horizon in the past. He said Welker is completing his last contract with the district before his retirement.

According to Glenn, nine years is a good amount of time for a superintendent and said that Welker is the second longest tenured superintendent in the last 30-plus years in the district.

He said, ideally, they would like to have a superintendent selected in January for the upcoming school year.

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