March 28, 2019
In honor of Texas Public Schools Week, a luncheon was held at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor to celebrate our schools and our community. Special musical performances celebrated our extraordinary students.


This year, we've aspired to focus on connecting with our students to create moments that matter as we meet our mission of providing an education that challenges every student to excel. Our hope is that one day our students will reflect back on their time in our schools with fond memories of moments that mattered.
At our recent Public Schools Week luncheon, our Big Red Community celebrated many of those moments created this year. We highlighted how some of our students, teachers and staff created meaningful experiences and defining moments. Our extraordinary student guests represented multiple program areas including academics, fine arts, special education, Career and Technical Education and athletics, and they were joined by staff and teachers from departments including transportation, custodial and curriculum. I enjoyed watching a number of wonderful performances from our students, including those who have achieved state recognition.
A favorite moment of mine was sharing the video of kindergartner Joel Perez narrating a story he wrote for Miller Heights Elementary's Little Tiger Bookstore. Students wrote and illustrated their own stories, sold copies to visitors, some of whom were lucky enough to secure autographs from these future best-selling authors. Joel's work for the bookstore is a wonderful example of our district priority of implementing curriculum and instructional practices across all content areas with an emphasis on writing.
And one of my proudest moments from the luncheon was highlighting the remarkable seven seniors who achieved National Merit and National Hispanic recognition: Marcus Ake, Jacob Jimenez, Bradin McDonald, Peter Morris, Sarah Batson, Mariah Montgomery and Maia Borchardt. Of the 1.6 million entrants who take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, only about 34,000 receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise. Shining the spotlight on each of the National Merit commended scholars is important, and I'm confident we will have even more next year.
Each of these seven seniors is part of our Superintendent Scholars program, which furthers the district's priority of advancing our highest performing academic students. During last month's Superintendent Scholars Award Ceremony, Jacob Jimenez gave a wonderful speech about what the program meant to him. He spoke directly to his younger classmates, who were also honored for their top academic performance in eighth-11th grades, about how the Superintendent Scholars program is beneficial because students are surrounded by peers with similar ambition. "No one in this room is going to make fun of you for studying for standardized tests," he said. "The Superintendent Scholars, more than anything, provide people you can trust and learn from. Smart people, and good role models." Jacob perfectly summed up the aim of the Superintendent Scholars program: to help students realize their full potential. 
As I reflect on these wonderful moments, I'm equally enthusiastic about sharing the moments still to come this school year including the completion of Charter Oak Elementary, the placement of the last beam as a significant milestone in the construction of Lake Belton High School, senior scholarship awards, and graduation. 

Susan Kincannon, Ed.D.

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Our campuses celebrated Public Schools Week with special performances, displays and activities by our students during Open Houses and special events across the District.
What a beautiful celebration of life for  Coach Shelly Splittgerber. K-5 students wrapped around a purple crepe myrtle generously donated by  Heart of Texas Landscape & Irrigation Co., Inc.   
Message from the School Board President:

The relationship between a community and its public schools is paramount to ensuring the success of our kids. In Belton ISD, we enjoy a wonderful partnership between our schools and our community, and together we are making a difference for our kids.
A wonderful opportunity provided to our students that gave them historical insight and perspective from another's point of view occurred last month when Belton High School freshmen had a unique Black History Month lesson while visiting the Harris Community Center. The students met with Dr. Lela Butler and Reverend Roscoe Harrison, two former students who attended Harris School in the 1950s and 60s, which housed all 12 grades for black students in Belton during segregation. Dr. Butler and Rev. Harrison shared stories of pain and progress living through segregation. I'm very thankful the students could receive this kind of personalized history lesson, and I believe Dr. Butler's message about the importance of education and acceptance will continue resonating with students. "I want students to never stop learning about others," Dr. Butler said. "Always be open to others and to learn something new from somebody else."
An essential way to learn from others is through reading, and that's exactly what a special group of community volunteers from First Community Title and the United Way of Central Texas did at Southwest Elementary School to celebrate Read Across America Day on March 1. I loved seeing pictures of students and staff dressed up as Dr. Seuss characters like the Cat in the Hat and Cindy Loo Who as they listened to volunteers read stories in the library. National Read Across America Day is an annual celebration of reading and literacy that coincides with the birthday of children's author, Dr. Seuss.
Community partners provide invaluable support to Belton ISD, and that's why we were delighted to recognize a number of supporters of public schools at our Texas Public Schools Week Luncheon on March 7.
Please join us in honoring:
  • New Partners of the Year: The Central Texas Council of Governments Emergency Services, Emergency Services Program Manager Jesse Hennage
  • Business Partner of the Year: R.K. Bass Electric Inc., Andy Bass
  • Education Partner of the Year: Heart of Texas Regional Advisory Council, Executive Director Christine Reeves
  • Community Partner of the Year: Josh Weaver, Temple Daily Telegram Sports
  • Volunteers of the Year: Wendi Fitzwater, Melanie McCarthy, LTC Don Kirby
  • Distinguished Alumni of the Year: CPT Larkin O'Hern and Rachel O'Hern
  • Posthumous Distinguished Alumnus - Dr. Billy Wilbanks
Each of these individuals and organizations has demonstrated a commitment to our schools and our community. Thank you for your continued support of public education and for making an strong impact on our kids!

Sue M. Jordan
President, Board of Trustees

We hope you will join us for this year's Annual BEEF Golf and Tennis Tournaments. Tee off and grab your racquet to support our students, teachers and staff! Check out BEEF's website for more information.
Belton ISD  proudly supports the continued achievement of academically talented students. They help us continue to raise expectations for everyone. We were very excited to celebrate our S uperintendent Scholars  last month and be joined by  Belton Educational Enrichment Foundation , who awarded six $5,000 scholarships.