Dr. Kim S. Benton is the Chief Academic Officer at the Mississippi Department of Education. A lifelong educator and educational leader, Dr. Benton previously served MDE as Chief Deputy State Superintendent for Instructional Enhancement and Internal Operations and Bureau Manager in the Office of School Recovery within the Office of School Improvement, Oversight and Recovery. In the Office of School Recovery, she was responsible for overseeing Mississippi’s School Improvement Grants (SIG) program, specifically managing the fiscal and program development, technical support, and accountability for the program.
Prior to joining MDE, Dr. Benton was the Executive Director of Federal Programs and Special Populations for the Meridian Public Schools in Mississippi. In other education-related capacities, she has been an elementary school teacher, reading specialist, principal, central office administrator, and university adjunct instructor.
Dr. Benton is the chair of the Mississippi Reading Panel and has served as president and on the boards of the Mississippi Early Childhood Association and the Mississippi Professional Educators. She has been named a National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals and administrator of the year by the Mississippi Association of Elementary Principals, the Meridian Public Schools, and Phi Delta Kappa.
Dr. Benton received her doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a minor in Education Leadership and Administration from Mississippi State University. She and her husband have two daughters and three sons and reside in Hickory, Mississippi.