November 2021
Belton ISD Earns Top Rating on Annual Fiscal Accountability Review for 10th Straight Year

Belton ISD has earned a “Superior Achievement” rating on the annual state fiscal accountability review for the 10th year in a row. 

Robert Muller, the district’s interim chief financial officer, shared with the Board of Trustees at its November meeting results from the 2021 School FIRST (Financial Accountability Rating System of Texas) Report issued by the Texas Education Agency. 

The 2021 rating is based on data from the 2019-2020 school year and evaluates school districts on 20 indicators, including the findings of external auditors, cash on-hand, debt and staffing levels. Using the 20 indicators, school districts are scored on a 100-point scale. Belton ISD received 98 possible points.
Student Showcase -
North Belton Middle School Advanced Treble Choir
Students in the Advanced Treble Choir at North Belton Middle School performed “Shine Like Stars” by Pinkzebra, “Home” arranged by Janet Day and “That’s Christmas to Me” by Kevin Olusola and Scott Hoying before the start of the meeting. Members of the group are: Elizabeth Baxter, Peyton Beaver, Annie Brown, Leah Bruno, Izabell Dixon, Leila Duttine, Maryah Espinoza, Landry Hargrove, Abbigial Hoffman, McKenna Koontz, Alexa Miller, Megan Ogden, Alayna Prager, Emma Scholz, Bailey Schorn, Wirhalex Toledo, Amy Wallar and Katelyn Ward. The group is under the direction of Aleisha Martinez.
Board Approves Hiring of Communications Director
The Board approved the hiring of Jennifer Bailey as the district’s new executive director of communications and community engagement. She replaces Elizabeth Cox, who is leaving the position to spend more time with her family.

Bailey has 15 years of experience in school communications, most recently serving as director of communications in Jarrell ISD. She has also held communication roles in Georgetown ISD and Leander ISD. 

Bailey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communication from Texas A&M University and Certification in Public Communication from Texas Christian University.
Board Recognition -
College Board National Recognition Program Scholars
Four Belton ISD juniors have been named College Board National Recognition Program Scholars for top performances on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT). The students were among the top 2.5 percent of test takers who identify as one or more of the following: African American, Hispanic American or Latinx, Indigenous or attend school in a rural area or are from a small town.

Belton High School juniors Caleb Bovell and Elon Point Du Jour were named African American Scholars. Lake Belton High School junior Benjamin Colbath and BHS junior Jisella Wightman were named a Hispanic American Scholars. To qualify for the recognition, the students’ had to achieve a minimum PSAT score and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Board Committee Reports

Policy: The policy committee met on Nov. 1 to continue discussions about EIC(LOCAL), the policy about class rank, and BED(LOCAL), the policy about public comments.

Facilities: The facilities committee met on Nov. 10. Committee members heard an update on the Bond Exploration Committee and reviewed the group's initial recommendations and priorities. The committee also heard an update on the process of creating a new elementary school design and what the concept might look like based on feedback from parents, teachers and students.
Board Recognition -
SPECmix Junior Bricklayer 500 Winners
Three Belton High School students took first place at the SPECmix Junior Bricklayer 500 regional competition last month in Fort Worth. This event is considered the Super Bowl of bricklaying and tests the attributes that make a great mason — skill, speed and stamina. We are proud to recognize seniors Rayhan Shah and Kyler Peter and junior Nathaniel Hernandez for this accomplishment. Rayhan was the team’s mason with Kyler and Nathaniel serving as tenders, or assistants to the stonemason. Michael Carrillo is the school’s construction instructor. Representatives from the Texas Masonry Council, Austin Block and Quarry, LLC and SPECmix were on hand for the recognition.
Superintendent's Report

  • Dr. Smith provide a brief update on things he was thankful for — teachers, support staff, students, the community and Board of Trustees — including examples of how each are making the Big Red Community a great place to work and learn.
Board Recognition -
State Qualifier: Cross Country
Belton High School freshman Olivia Brillhart ran in the State cross country meet on Nov. 6 and placed 53rd out of 145 runners. She qualified for State after placing 14th overall in the Region II 6A cross country meet at Lynn Creek Park/Joe Pool Lake in Grand Prairie on Oct. 25.
Consent Agenda Highlights

  • Unaudited financial report for the month ending October 31, 2021
  • Expenditures over $50,000 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Supply, equipment and service bids (RFPs for kitchen repairs/services and a new crew cab truck)
  • Adult breakfast prices for 2021-2022
  • New courses for the 2022-2023 school year
  • Resolution authorizing purchase of real property on Charter Oak Drive

To review Belton ISD board meeting agendas and full packet materials, click here.
Board Recognition -
State Qualifier: LBHS Stampede Marching Band
The Lake Belton High School Stampede Marching Band qualified to compete in the 4A UIL Marching Band contest on Nov. 10 at the Alamodome after earning Superior ratings at the UIL Region 8 Marching competition last month. Their 2021 show was called “Dreamscapes.” The band is under the direction of Bobby Yerigan, Craig George, Jacob Guerrero, and Jessie Arbolay.
Board Recognition -
Temple Rotary Club's Educator of the Month
Jessica Coufal, a special education resource math teacher at Lake Belton High School, was recognized for earning the designation of Temple Rotary Club Educator of the Month. She is in her 17th year in education and her 16th year with Belton ISD. Jessica is full of spirit; so much so that she established the student-led spirit section called The Herd. She helps to create a culture where each and every student feels welcome, and she helps to ensure they find a place, club, organization or hangout where they feel included.