Faculty & Staff

Kim Benton

Part-time Assistant Professor of Education
Part-time Assistant Professor of Education
Dr. Benton has worked in public education in Mississippi for 37 years. She began her work in education as a teacher’s assistant and spent her career in the Meridian Public School District as a teacher, principal and executive director of special populations and federal programs before joining the MS Department of Education in 2010.

In 2013, she was appointed to the position of Chief Academic Officer / Chief Deputy Superintendent and served in that capacity until her retirement in June 2018. Dr. Benton joined the department at an exciting time, as the state was just beginning to implement major education reform efforts that have resulted in achievement gains for MS students on both state and national measures. At the MDE, Dr. Benton oversaw the launch of the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program, implementation of college and career ready standards, the Literacy-Based Promotion Act and the Early Learning Collaborative Act, on-demand professional development for schools and districts, and was instrumental in advancing the State Board of Education’s Strategic Plan.

In addition to her work in PK-12, she has served as an adjunct instructor for Mississippi State University and the University of West Alabama teaching courses in leadership and curriculum and instruction. She has served in a variety leadership of roles within state and national organizations.

She and her husband, Dr. Gary Benton, retired Chair of Education at MS State University Meridian, have five children and twelve grandchildren. They are active members of First Baptist Newton and reside in Hickory, Mississippi.

Degrees and Certifications:

Ed.D., Curriculum and Instruction – Elementary Education, Mississippi State University, 2000
Specialist – Elementary Education/ Educational Leadership, Mississippi State University,1991
Master’s – Elementary Education, Mississippi State University, 1986
Bachelor’s, Elementary Education, Mississippi State University, 1982
486 Career Level Administrator
487 Career Level Elementary Principal
489 Special Subj Sup (K-12)
492 Elementary Supervisor
116 Elementary Ed (K-3)
117 Elementary Ed (4-6)
174 Reading (K-12)
221 Mild/Mod Disabilities (K-12)
(601) 318-6122