Born to Make a Difference…

Alumna Yolanda Cargile Has Made Her Life's Work Positively Impacting the Lives of Future Generations

As she envisions her upcoming role as Superintendent in the Hickman Mills C-1 School District, Yolanda Cargile, Ed.D, reflects how her undergraduate degree from the University of Central Missouri in social work positioned her to be well-equipped for the role.

“My degree [in social work] has always impacted me,” says Dr. Cargile. “It made me a better teacher, a better principal and better director of student services—it’s the framework that’s helped me throughout my entire professional life.”

Dr. Mama J_2

UCM alumnus Jim Crane, owner of the 2017 World Series team the Houston Astros, speaks to the 2018 First Pitch attendees.

   As she envisions her upcoming role as Superintendent in the Hickman Mills C-1 School District, Yolanda Cargile, Ed.D, reflects how her undergraduate degree from the University of Central Missouri in social work positioned her to be well-equipped for the role.

   “My degree [in social work] has always impacted me,” says Dr. Cargile. “It made me a better teacher, a better principal and better director of student services—it’s the framework that’s helped me throughout my entire professional life.”

   The importance of education is something Cargile embraced from a very young age. She remained focused and committed to her studies in the district where she will assume her new role.

   “Focusing on my studies was instilled in me by my Mom and Dad,” she explains. “We lived in a flourishing community at the time, but honestly, we were a low income family and didn’t have the best of everything—I knew that education was the key for a better future.”
As the oldest of four children, Cargile was motivated to excel in her studies. “I knew I had to be a role model for my younger siblings,” she reflects. “I also wanted to make my parents proud.”

   Cargile knew what she had to do to create more opportunities for herself. “I always knew I’d go for my bachelor’s, so I chose ‘CMSU’ as it was at the time,” she remembers. 

   Her experience at Central helped her harness her talents, with a few influential people supporting her along the way. Professor Emeritus, M. Jenise Comer, MSW, LCSW, ACSW, was particularly instrumental in creating an engaged-learning environment.

   “Professor Comer really had an impact on me,” Cargile remembers. “She shared her experiences as a social worker and helped us to engage in the program to experience what it would be like as a professional.” 

   After graduation, Cargile went on to use her talents to impact the lives of children and students for several years as a social worker in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From there, she went on to earn a Master of Arts in Educational Policy and Leadership from Marquette University; Master of Arts in Administration Leadership from Alverno College; and Doctoral of Education degree in Educational Leadership from National-Louis Wheeling. 

   “I set a goal and then achieved it, but with a lot of support from so many different people,” she remarks.

   Among her many accomplishments, Cargile served five years as director of student services in the Wisconsin School District of Janesville. While in Wisconsin, Cargile also served on the superintendent’s cabinet, oversaw student services programs and staff for 10,400 students, provided leadership to the development, maintenance and evaluation of student services, as well as alternate programs.

   Throughout her entire career, Cargile has implemented programs to reduce expulsions and addressed the achievement gap between minority and non-minority students. Cargile has also led district-wide professional development in the areas of racial equity, bullying prevention, and pupil non-discrimination. She has also led crisis management teams to maintain a safe learning environment.

   In 2015, she returned “home” to the Hickman Mills District as the executive director of student services and was promoted to associate superintendent. 

   Cargile is excited to assume her new role as superintendent in the fall. “I have such a deep understanding of the community and district from growing up here,” she explains. “I am looking forward to connecting with the families, staff and local community to help our students excel at high levels.”

   Her loyalty to her hometown and school district ignites her passion even more. “I have a vested interest in working with all stakeholders to positively impact student achievement for generations to come.”

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