June 2022
Citizens Committee to Oversee Implementation of Bond Projects
As Belton ISD moves forward with implementing projects funded by the almost $174 million 2022 bond election, a group of citizens will have a front-row seat to the action. 
The Belton ISD Board of Trustees approved convening a Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee to review bond projects, spending and schedules during the implementation phase. The action, taken at Monday’s regular meeting, is an effort to increase community engagement and transparency.
Each trustee will submit a recommendation for one person to serve on the committee. Two additional members will be selected through an application process that will begin in July. The final slate of members will be approved by the Board at the regular meeting on Aug. 22.
The committee will meet quarterly beginning in September to hear updates on project progress, timelines, spending and cost projections to ensure the promises of the 2022 bond propositions are realized.
Student Showcase - Belton High School Cheerleaders
Members of the Belton High School varsity and junior varsity cheerleading teams injected Tiger spirit into the audience before the start of the meeting. In attendance were junior captain Addison Dunahoo, spirit captain Nate Carrasco, mascot Jezzie Gracia, Alex Yeargin, Kimora Davis, Briley Campbell, Avery Rivera, Sydney Isdale, Kelis Smith, Kimberlyn Wigginton, Gabby Rodriguez, Jaslyn Davis and Abigail Weiss. Their coach is Kristin Hennage.
Board Recognition - UIL Track and Field State Qualifiers/Medalists
Belton High School senior Ayanna Jones won the gold medal in the long jump at the UIL 6A Track and Field State Championship last month. She jumped a distance of 21’3.5” to set a personal best and a new school record. She just missed setting a new state record because of wind speed at the time of her jump. Ayanna also finished fourth in the triple jump competition. The accolades continued when Ayanna was recently named the Texas Girls Coaches Association 5A-6A Field Athlete of the Year. This is a huge honor for her and her coaches, Lindsey Flowers and Eric Regier. Congratulations!

Three students from Lake Belton High School qualified for the UIL 4A Track and Field State Championship. Madison Lux competed in the discus. Easton Hammond competed in the discus and high jump, winning the silver medal in the high jump with a jump of 6’8” and becoming the first-ever Bronco to medal at a state meet in school history. He also set a personal best and new school record in the discus. Layloni Watson competed in the 100-meter hurdles and the triple jump. She placed third in the triple jump with a jump of 39’3¼. The Lake Belton High School track and field head coaches were Callie Cameron and Brandin Byrd.
Trustees Approve 2022-2023 Compensation Plan
Trustees approved a compensation plan for the 2022-2023 school year that will provide teachers, nurses and librarians a $2,400 increase in pay, making a new starting salary for a beginner teacher $53,500. All other professional staff will receive a 4% increase while paraprofessionals and auxiliary staff will receive a 6% increase. Administrators will receive a 2% increase. All percentage increases are based on the midpoint of the position’s salary range. Additionally, pay for school nutrition workers and custodians will increase from $9.95 to $11 an hour and beginner bus driver pay will increase from $13.93 to $17 an hour.
Board Recognition -
UIL 4A Golf State Qualifiers/Medalist
The Lake Belton High School’s boys golf team competed in its second consecutive UIL 4A State Golf Championship last month at the Lake LBJ Golf Course in Kingsland. The team placed seventh, with Chandler Cook finishing third individually and winning a bronze medal. Other team members include: Hayden Nix, Chase Passentino-Slone, Colby Connor and James Bond. The boys team is coached by David Sims.

The LBHS girls golf team also qualified for the state championship and finished 12th, with Tiffany Lange finishing 12th overall. Other team members include: Katherine Moore, Shelby Chaney, Clara Brunner and Shelby Pusey. The girls team is coached by Kelli Widmer.

Congratulations to these students and their coaches for representing Belton ISD’s values and beliefs in all their efforts.
Campus Leaders Hired for 2022-2023 School Year
The Board approved the hiring of four assistant principals. Marilyn Villarreal will assume the position at Belton High School, Hunter Houston at South Belton Middle School and Jill Williams at Lake Belton High School. Candace Cohagan will be Charter Oak Elementary’s assistant principal. 
Villarreal has worked in education for seven years including three years as a teacher in Killeen ISD and four years as an assistant principal in Waco ISD. Houston has worked in education for four years at Keene ISD and Moody ISD. Williams, who has worked in education for 16 years, has served as a teacher, behavior specialist and assistant principal in Florida. Cohagan has spent her entire 17-year education career in Belton ISD, most recently serving as the district’s English, language arts and reading elementary coordinator.
Board Recognition -
UIL 4A Tennis State Qualifiers
The Lake Belton High School tennis team sent 5 athletes to the UIL 4A State Tennis Tournament in April. The advancing athletes included Brodie Reed, Sam Rahm, Caden Marshall, Cole Wieters and Jillian Webb. The head tennis coach at LBHS is Lisa DeHart. We are proud of these student-athletes for demonstrating the district’s Journey of a Graduate competencies on and off the court.
Board Committee Reports

PolicyThe policy committee met on June 6 and discussed legislative priorities for the upcoming year. The goal is to have priorities adopted by the Board by the end of September, if not sooner. Members also continued discussions about EF(LOCAL), the policy about instructional resources such as textbooks and library books.

Facilities: The facilities committee met on June 13. Members heard updates on additions being completed at Belton New Tech and reviewed the naming policy process in anticipation of soliciting suggestions for the naming of the soon-to-be constructed Elementary #12 and Elementary #13.
Board Recognition -
Athletic Academic All-State
Belton High School is celebrating 40 student-athletes who were named to Texas High School Coaches Association Academic All-State teams. To be nominated, seniors must be in good standing with their team, of good moral character and have an overall GPA of 92 or above. Class rank and SAT/ACT test scores are also taken into consideration. 

This year’s recipients include:  

Baseball: Making second team were Thomas Johnson and Caleb Lamm. Earning honerable mention were Jackson Shirkey, Kade Norwood, Tanner Conroy, Garrison Lane, Aaron Bain and Josh Westbrook.

Softball: Making first team was Aliuana Schorn. Earning second team honors were McKenzie Drake and Mia Garza.

Boys Track: Making second team were Josiah Kahler, Thomas Johnson and Zach Dennison. Earning honorable mention were Cooper Fix and Jackson Engelke.

Girls Track: Making first team were Kendall Dollar, Sara Navarro and Shannon Cook. Earning second team were Lesa Doskocil, Jennie Bonnett, McKenzie Drake, Ayanna Jones and McKenzie Mansell.

Additionally, the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches recognized senior Sara Navarro for maintaining a 90 or higher GPA all four years of high school. She was also selected to play in the TASCO Senior All-Star Game.

The Texas Tennis Coaches Association recognized seniors Hannah Abraham, Jason Blattner, Anna Cate Cox, Rijul Gupta, Axel Hernandez, Daniel Holcomb, Anuraag Jha, Colin MaGowan, Linda Nieto-Martinez, Sergio Ochoa, Miguel Olvera, Krithika Rajesh, Maheshwari Rajesh, Disha Sharma, Kara Shin and Sierra Stage.
Superintendent's Report

  • Dr. Smith called out several highlights from the month, including graduation ceremonies for Belton High School and Belton New Tech. He said it's special to see the smiles from students as he shakes their hands.
  • He noted that summer programs are in full swing. Enrollment is up by more than 900 students from pre-pandemic programming in 2019. Dr. Smith said the district has been working hard to make the opportunities more accessible to all students.
  • Timely, thoughtful professional learning is ongoing for staff through the summer.
  • School safety discussions are continuing this summer. More information about plans for the upcoming school year will be communicated in July.
  • Work on 2022 bond projects is getting underway.
  • District leaders held another meeting with local faith-based leaders this month. Dr. Smith hopes to expand this network of resources to benefit kids.
Board Recognition -
2022 American Geoscience Institute/ExxonMobil Geoscience and STEM Teacher Leadership Academy Participant
Trustees celebrated the success of one of our world-class employees who was recently selected to attend a national teacher leadership academy.

Jomari Ruiz, a science teacher at South Belton Middle School, will participate in the 2022 American Geoscience Institute/ExxonMobil Geoscience and STEM Teacher Leadership Academy. The virtual academy will allow her to build her knowledge in geoscience and STEM education and as a leader. As a participant, Mrs. Ruiz will receive an allowance for supplies and a $500 stipend for her participation.

Congratulations and thank you to Mrs. Ruiz for modeling a mindset of continuous improvement, one of Belton ISD’s values and beliefs.
Consent Agenda Highlights

  • Unaudited financial report for the month ending May 31, 2022
  • Budget amendment #8 for 2021-2022
  • Gifts, grants and bequests
  • Expenditures over $50,000 (including contract renewals for instructional materials and with Communities in Schools, College Board, Renaissance Learning, Emergent Tree, GoGuardian and Skyward and repairs at LBHS and an HVAC system at Belton New Tech)
  • School Resource Officer interlocal agreement between the City of Temple and BISD
  • EIE(LOCAL): Academic Achievement - Retention and Promotion - 2nd reading

To review Belton ISD board meeting agendas and full packet materials, click here.