Skip to main content

Skip to Content

Report Bug

State Superintendent of Education

State Superintendent Carey M. Wright

Kim S. Benton, Ed.D.
State Superintendent of Education, Interim

Dr. Kim S. Benton became Mississippi’s Interim State Superintendent of Education on July 1, 2022. She most recently served as Interim Chief Academic Officer/ Deputy State Superintendent with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE). Prior to assuming this position, Dr. Benton served as a consultant and trainer for the Academic Development Institute providing leadership services to the National Comprehensive Center, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, as well as multiple State Departments of Education and Regional Comprehensive Centers. In addition, she served as Associate Professor in Educational Leadership at William Carey University and in an interim role as Superintendent for the Mississippi Schools for the Deaf and Blind. 

Dr. Benton served as Chief Academic Officer/Chief Deputy State Superintendent from 2012-2018 for the MDE. Under her leadership, several hallmark initiatives were implemented including the Early Childhood Collaborative Act, Mississippi K-12 College and Career Ready Standards, and the Literacy Based Promotion Act.  During her tenure, professional development, support services, and resources directed to teachers, administrators, parents, and students dramatically increased as did academic outcomes reflected on state assessments, graduation rates, and NAEP progress.  A veteran educational leader, Dr. Benton also served within the MDE as the Director of the Office of School Recovery where she was responsible for launching Mississippi’s School Improvement Grant (SIG) program. 

Prior to joining the state agency, Dr. Benton served in several capacities within the Meridian Public School District, including Executive Director of Federal Programs and Special Populations, principal, teacher, and instructional specialist. Additional educational experiences include adjunct instructor for Mississippi State University and the University of West Alabama.

Dr. Benton has been recognized as a National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, Administrator of the Year by the Mississippi Association of Elementary Principals, Mississippi State University Alumni of Year, Meridian Community College Alumni of the Year, and recipient of the Mississippi Association of School Administrators’ Golden Lamp Award. 

Dr. Benton’s professional affiliations include service on the following boards: Mississippi Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Advisory Board, Mississippi Educational Leadership Faculty Association Board of Directors, Council of Chief State School Officers (past chair of Deputy group) National Assessment Governing Board Task Force (past), Mississippi Early Childhood Association (past-president), Mississippi Professional Educators (past-president). 

Dr. Benton received her Associates of Arts degree from Meridian Community College. She received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Master’s in Elementary Education, Educational Specialist in Elementary Education & Educational Leadership, and Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction, all from Mississippi State University. She and her husband Dr. Gary Benton have five children, 13 grandchildren, and reside in Hickory, Mississippi.