February 2022
Board Approves Hiring of Assistant Principal
The Belton ISD Board of Trustees approved the hiring of Joe Underwood as assistant principal at High Point Elementary at a meeting on Monday. 
Underwood is in his 15th year in education, including previous assistant principal roles in Gatesville ISD and Copperas Cove ISD. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and a master’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Student Showcase -
Belton High School Madrigal
Belton High School’s Madrigal Show Choir performed their submission for the International Championship of High School A Cappella tournament. The competition set consisted of three songs — “Red Desert,” “Water,” and “If You Feel the Way I Do” — all arranged by BHS graduate Ben Holcomb. The choreography was created by the students in the ensemble. The group will find out if they advance in the competition in a couple of weeks. This program is a great example of the inspiring instruction offered in Belton ISD. 

Ensemble members include: Juniors Amy Villanueva and Maverick Shepherd; and seniors Jordan Pilgrim, Megan Sloane, Sarah Millington, Joshua Martinez, Jason Blattner, Nicholas Wagner, Daniel Holcomb, William Hayes, Samuel McCollough, Jackson Reasoner, Corban Hammonds, Mackenzie Bramlett, Grace Taggart, Annalysse Miller, Sarah McGraw and Ashland Reyes.
Trustees Discuss Progress Toward Goal 1
During the workshop portion of the evening, Board members discussed continued progress the district is making toward Goal 1 to “strengthen and support the engagement of all stakeholders in the pursuit of the BISD vision.” 
Trustees learned about current initiatives, like the launch of a new district-wide parent newsletter and expanded partnerships with parents related to curriculum. They also reviewed recent efforts to engage stakeholders such as student focus groups about the Journey of a Graduate competencies, student voice in the elementary school design process and the Bond Exploration Committee.
Board Recognition -
National Football Foundation National High School Academic Excellence Award
BISD’s Journey of a Graduate is reflected in the Texas High School Coaches Association's recent recognition of the Lake Belton High School football team. The team was named a finalist for the National Football Foundation National High School Academic Excellence Award. It’s an honor given to high school teams that maintain a 3.0 grade point average or above throughout the regular football season. The award is the first nationwide recognition honoring individual high school football teams for excellence in the classroom.
Board Approves Renewing District of Innovation Plan
The Board approved renewing the District of Innovation Plan. The plan, which was set to expire this month, was first approved for the 2017-2018 school year. It will allow the district flexibility in setting the school calendar and minimum attendance requirements as well as exploring innovative ways to find highly qualified individuals for hard-to-fill positions.
Board Recognition -
Texas Music Educators Association All-State Band Students
We have several fine arts recognitions that demonstrate the BISD Journey of a Graduate competencies. Senior Ethan Rasmussen from Belton High School and junior Sam Fothergill and sophomore Jacob Wiley from Belton New Tech High @Waskow were selected for the TMEA 6A All-State Band. Ethan and Sam are percussionists, while Jacob plays the French horn. Shannon Gill is the director of bands at BHS and assistant band directors are Kevin Kwaku, Ian Smith and Chris Kreger.
Board Committee Reports

PolicyThe policy committee met on Feb. 7 to review and discuss the Texas Association of School Board's Initiated Localized Policy Update 118 with additional district changes to DFE(LOCAL) and FEC(LOCAL). Update 118 most covers recommended (LOCAL) policy revisions to address new laws enacted from the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, and changes to the Texas Education Agency's "Financial Accountability System Resource Guide."

Facilities: The facilities committee did not meet in February.
Board Recognition -
Texas Music Educators Association All-State Choir Students
Belton High School seniors Sarah Millington, Jordan Pilgrim, Daniel Holcomb, Jackson Reasoner and Ashland Reyes earned a spot in the TMEA All-State Choir. All five musicians sing with BHS’ A Cappella Choir and Madrigal Show Choir, under the direction of Tonya Lovorn and assistant Christopher Orr.

Lake Belton High School sophomore Erin Hankins made history by becoming her school’s first-ever student to receive state choir recognition with her placement in the Small School Choir All-State Mixed Choir. Terrance Livingston is the head choir director at LBHS.
Superintendent's Report

  • Dr. Smith highlighted several events that have happened in February, including World Read Aloud Day, the Bell County Youth Fair, the district's first-ever Recharge Conference and World Stampede Day at LBHS, LBMS and NBMS.
  • Dr. Smith also noted that he's been hosting principal check-ins and updated trustees on the ramifications of winter weather on Feb. 4.
Board Recognition -
Texas Dance Educators Association All-State Dance Students
Senior Maggie Hodnick from Belton High School and junior Kaylee Rivera from Lake Belton High School were recently named All-State dancers by the Texas Dance Educators Association. Both girls serve as captains of their respective dance teams, the Magic Belles and Silver Spurs. The Magic Belles are under the direction of Rachel Hill and Emma Soard. The Silver Spurs directors are Erin Choats and Shelby Carney.
Board Recognition -
Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) State Qualifiers
Future Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) students competed in area events last month with 10 advancing to state competitions in April. We are proud of how these students demonstrate Journey of a Graduate competencies in this CTE program.

Students qualifying from Belton High School were all seniors. They are: Esohe Agbonghae, Emma Andrews and Diana Orona in public service announcement; Jennie Bonnet and Raymundo Martinez in emergency medical technician; Sarah Bowden in biomedical laboratory science; and Enedina Granados in veterinary science. Stephanie Yaryan and CoryLynn Upton are the HOSA sponsors at BHS.

Advancing from Lake Belton High School are: junior Kyle Trehern in cultural diversities and disparities; sophomore Shrey Gupta in medical spelling; and freshman Olivia Gallant in personal care. LBHS HOSA sponsors are Mary Keeton and Cathy Bruggman.
Consent Agenda Highlights

  • Unaudited financial report for the month ending Jan. 31, 2022
  • Supply, equipment and service bids (RFPs for books; fine arts contracted services; transportation parts, supplies, equipment and services; maintenance, repair and operation services, equipment and supplies; and survey services)
  • Budget amendment #4 for 2021-2022
  • Resolution concerning payment to district employees during emergency closure due to inclement weather and reduction in educator required days of service
  • Gifts, grants and bequests
  • Expenditures over $50,000 (power lift)

To review Belton ISD board meeting agendas and full packet materials, click here.
Board Recognition -
Temple Rotary Club'sEducator of the Month
Kim Dragoo is being recognized by the Temple Rotary Club for the month of January for her outstanding service to Belton ISD. Kim serves as an English teacher at North Belton Middle School. She is in her 24th year in education, all in Belton ISD.
Mrs. Dragoo goes to great depths to reach her students. She spends hours outside the school day to create and engineer assignments that will engage each and every one of her students. She tirelessly strives to increase her students' reading levels which positively impacts their future success.
Board Recognition -
Belton Rotary Club's Educator of the Quarter
Ashley Vernon is being recognized by the Belton Rotary Club for her outstanding service to Belton ISD. Ashley serves as an early childhood special education teacher at Belton Early Childhood School. She is in her sixth year in education, all of which are with Belton ISD.

Ashley advocates for her students and works tirelessly to create an environment where they can reach their full potential. Her classroom is often their first school experience, and she works hard to maintain a safe place where they can grow to love school.
Board Recognition -
Texas Association of School Business Officials Award of Excellence in Financial Management
Belton ISD is proud to be among the second group of educational institutions recognized by the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) with the prestigious Award of Excellence in Financial Management. This recognition highlights BISD’s commitment to financial stewardship and fiscal responsibility.
Established in 2020, the award is given to Texas school districts, open-enrollment charter schools, and education service centers that demonstrate professional standards, best practices, and innovations in the area of financial management and reporting. 
The criteria to qualify for the Award of Excellence in Financial Management is stringent, based on financial accounting and reporting guidelines identified by the Texas Education Agency Financial Accountability System Resource Guide (FASRG). Applicants must submit documents across 11 key areas, which are reviewed by a TASBO accounting subcommittee.
Members of the district’s finance team will be honored at an awards reception on March 2 during the 2022 TASBO annual conference.