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Cape Girardeau Public Schools (CGPS) has announced changes to the District’s leadership team that will allow for more academic support at the building level. Dr. Howard Benyon, the newly appointed superintendent for next school year, shared plans to replace one Deputy Superintendent position and shift duties to allow for more direct academic support to buildings under an Assistant Superintendent of Academic Services. Benyon currently serves as the Deputy Superintendent of Elementary Education. That position will not be filled and will be eliminated.

Mr. Brice Beck will remain in his current Deputy Superintendent position but will now add elementary supervision to his current duties which include secondary education and human resources. Mr. Jamie Russell, the District’s current Education Technology Instructional Instructional Specialist, will now serve as the Assistant Superintendent of Academic Services.  

Mr. Russell brings a wealth of knowledge in curriculum, data, assessment, and instructional coaching. He has served in public schools for over 17 years. Mr. Russell is currently serving his eighth year as the Instructional Technology Specialist, where he helped facilitate and implement the District’s current and previous CSIPs, facilitated many curriculum rewrites, and organized professional development opportunities for CGPS. Previously, he taught Social Studies grades 6-12 for 9 years.

“Mr. Russell is such a trusted resource for so many of us here in the District,” said Benyon. “More students will benefit from Mr. Russell’s expertise in this new position.

Mrs. Tina Schuessler will now be the District’s Elementary Academic Services Coordinator (K-6). Mrs. Schuessler is currently serving her fifth year as an Education Technology Instructional Coach and previously served as a Library Media Specialist, as well as an elementary classroom teacher.  She has been with the District for 17 years. Throughout the years, Mrs. Schuessler has served on and facilitated numerous curriculum rewrites as well as participated in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Assessment Item Specifications development.

Mr. Nick Cato will serve as the Secondary Academic Services Coordinator (7-12). Mr. Cato is currently serving his third year as the Library Media Specialist at Cape Central High and previously taught secondary English for 12 years. He has earned his Specialist degree in Teacher Leadership with a concentration in curriculum and data. Mr. Cato has participated in EOC assessment development committees for DESE.

“Edtech will continue to be a vital piece of Mrs. Schuessler and Mr. Cato’s work but they will be taking on more duties,” said Benyon. “I know how much these two individuals are respected within our school district and cannot wait to see how they are able to provide much-needed instructional resources directly to buildings.”

These changes will help the District achieve some of the academic goals that were identified in the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP), allowing the expansion of academic support across the District without an increase to the budget.

Congratulations to Mr. Russell, Mrs. Schuessler, and Mr. Cato! We are proud of you all and thankful you are part of our Tiger family!