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Rockwood Board of Education Unanimously Selects Dr. Curtis Cain as the Next Superintendent

Dr. Curtis CainThe Rockwood Board of Education has selected Dr. Curtis Cain as the district’s new superintendent beginning July 1, 2022. Dr. Cain replaces Dr. Timothy Ricker, who has been serving as interim superintendent since July following the retirement of Dr. Mark Miles. The announcement follows a national search conducted by School Exec Connect, a consultant firm in Oak Park, Illinois. The search was based on student, staff and public input around Rockwood’s strengths, challenges, what the new superintendent's first priorities should be and the most important qualities, skills and experiences that the new superintendent should have.

Dr. Cain currently serves as the superintendent of the Wentzville School District, where he has worked since 2013. Prior to that, he was an associate superintendent for educational services in the Shawnee Mission School District in Overland Park, Kansas, for six years. Dr. Cain is a nationally certified superintendent who was named the 2022 Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA) Superintendent of the Year and is currently one of four finalists for National Superintendent of the Year. In 2016, he was named the MASA New Superintendent of the Year for the St. Louis region. Dr. Cain is also a certified lead auditor with Curriculum Management Systems Incorporated (CMSi) and has served on audits across 11 states and in the nation of Bermuda. He is also currently serving as president of MASA.

Dr. Cain holds a doctorate degree and a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Iowa State University and a Bachelor of Science in Social Science Education from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. While at Iowa State, he was named a George Washington Carver Doctoral Fellow and awarded the Jordan Larsen Outstanding Dissertation in Educational Administration Award. In 2009, he was also honored as the Iowa State University Outstanding Young Professional Award winner by the College of Human Sciences.

“Dr. Cain is a highly accomplished, visionary leader who is known and respected across the state and the country,” said Board of Education President Jaime Bayes. “His classroom focus and dedication to every student’s potential for success align perfectly with Rockwood’s mission, vision and values. Additionally, his qualities, skills and experiences are exactly what our stakeholders shared that they wanted to see in our next superintendent. We are extremely fortunate to have someone with his credentials, experience and integrity to lead our district going forward.”

“I am both humbled and honored to be joining the Rockwood School District,” said Dr. Cain. “This is a proud district with a noteworthy tradition of educational excellence. I look forward to moving into the district and becoming an active member of the community, building relationships and partnerships that will continue to support outstanding opportunities for students. I plan to spend a great deal of time listening and learning and bringing people together to focus on all students and their growth. I'm truly grateful and excited to join the Rockwood family.”

Dr. Cain began his teaching career at Dollarway Junior High School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where he taught social studies. From there, he was a senior research associate and then a program manager of the School Improvement Model Center at Iowa State. He also served five years as the director of curriculum and professional development at the Park Hill School District in Kansas City, Missouri.

Dr. Cain is a member of the Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Emerging Leader programs. In 2018, he completed the American Association of School Administrators National Superintendent Certification Program. Nationally, he also serves on the PDK International Board and currently serves as the Chair of the PDK Foundation Board. Dr. Cain serves on the Missouri Commissioner of Education Advisory Council, the Kansas/Missouri Superintendent Leadership Forum Advisory Board and the Missouri State High School Activities Association Constitutional Committee. He also volunteers locally on the St. Charles Economic Development Council Board of Directors and serves on the St. Charles County Partners for Progress Education Committee, Compass Health Network Governing Board of Directors, the Partners for Progress Healthy St. Charles Leadership Council and the Barnes-Jewish St. Peters and Progress West Foundation Board. He also served as the president of the St. Charles County Centers for Advanced Professional Studies. 

Dr. Cain was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he attended Milwaukee Public Schools and is a graduate of Rufus King High School. His wife, Dr. Tori Cain, is currently the director of student services for the Pattonville School District. They have two children: Kailey, a freshman at the University of Kentucky, and Kaden, a fourth-grader.  

Rockwood is St. Louis County’s largest school district and one of the largest in Missouri, with an enrollment of over 20,000 students in an area covering 150 square miles.