Breaking News: RSD announces new Superintendent, Dr. Curtis Cain

Wentzville School District Superintendent switches to Rockwood


photo courtesy of Curtis Cain

Rockwood School District announced Jan. 27 that Curtis Cain, the Superintendent of the Wentzville School District, will be the new Superintendent for Rockwood. Cain has been with the Wentzville School District since 2013 and was named the 2022 Missouri Superintendent of the Year in November of 2021. Cain would be instated on July 1, 2022.

Makayla Archambeault

After almost a year of searching, this morning it was announced that Curtis Cain will be taking the position of Superintendent of Rockwood School District (RSD). Cain is currently Wentzville School District Superintendent and Missouri 2022 Superintendent of the Year.

After being named the Missouri 2022 Superintendent of the Year, Cain went on to be one of four finalists of the School Superintendents Association (AASA) 2022 National Superintendent of the Year.

Currently, the Wentzville School District has 22 schools. Similar to Rockwood, it has four high schools. Wentzville has almost 17,400 students and nearly 2,700 employees and is the ninth-largest school district in Missouri. Rockwood ranks third in size with 22,268 students. Recently, the Wentzville School District has made headlines over its school board decisions concerning mask mandates and the removal of The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison from their libraries.

Cain earned his Ph.D and Education Administration degree at Iowa State University and worked in the Park Hill School District for six years in Kansas City, Missouri and the Shawnee Mission School District for five years in Overland Park, Kansas. For the past nine years, Cain has worked in the Wentzville School District in Wentzville. Overall, he has over 24 years of experience in educational leadership.

Jamie Bayes, President of the Board of Education, said Cain is a perfect superintendent for the district.

“Dr. Cain was chosen as our next superintendent because of his visionary leadership and vast experience. He is a perfect fit for Rockwood as he is focused on student achievement and relationships to help all students realize their potential,” Bayes said. “He is a leader locally as well as nationally and we are very fortunate to bring that expertise to Rockwood.”

** Updated Feb. 23, 2022

On Feb. 10, Cain met with student journalists across Rockwood to answer questions about his plans when he becomes superintendent. Cain said the reason he wanted to join the district is because it is special. 

“There’s a reputation about Rockwood that is very special. It’s one that’s been earned, and there’s a sense of pride. My goal is that we not only honor that but enhance that as we move forward,” Cain said.

Cain was awarded the National Superintendent of the Year by the School Superintendents Association (AASA) on Feb. 17, following being named the 2022 Missouri Superintendent of the Year on Nov. 6, 2021. In preparation for his position, he said he acknowledges the importance of listening to all community members when it comes to policy decisions. 

“I intend for us to always keep focused on what’s in the best interest of students with all of our decisions, we have to have a middle [ground]. Everyone isn’t going to agree with those decisions, but we have to have a middle [ground],” Cain said. 

 In reference to community feedback, Cain said he also has some ideas in different ways to try and understand specifically what students need. 

“I’m already having thoughts about advisory councils at each high school because we make a lot of decisions, there’s a lot of conversations focused around students, but I want to hear through these two ears what it is that you all are experiencing as students because decisions that are made have a direct impact on you and I want to be very considerate of student perspective when it comes to those decisions,” Cain said. 

In a video posted to the Rockwood website from the AASA, Cain said he advises educators to not feel discouraged.  

“There’s season in life and we are in a tough spot right now. But, if we’ve learned anything, it’s how to persevere, how to problem-solve and really how to ultimately prioritize what is most important, despite the varying perspectives with that. We’ve learned how to do that and I think those are really important lessons and skill sets that we are going to absolutely need moving forward,” he said.