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November 20, 2019
Several Veterans Day activities were held this month including South Belton Middle School's annual Take a Vet to School Day. Veterans were treated to breakfast before they were honored at an assembly where Retired Sergeant Major Don Garner (also lead custodian at SBMS) served as guest speaker. The crowd enjoyed performances by the SBMS choir and band, and the colors were posted by the BHS MCJROTC.
Message from the School Board President:

Dear

In this season of giving thanks and coming together, the connections between our schools and this community continue to give us all so much to be grateful for.

I stood in amazement at the large crowd of Belton ISD students and staff huddled together in the freezing rain alongside community members for the annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Food Rally. A tremendous thanks to the sponsors, Belton H-E-B and Belton FFA, for their partnership of over 20 years to hold this food rally to provide holiday meals for local food banks in our area. It was such a sight to see, over 90 teams of Belton ISD students, staff and community members charging into the store at 6 a.m. ready to fill their baskets with food from a printed list of grocery items the fastest.

Congratulations to the winning team from Southwest Elementary who completed their run in under 15 minutes. This is such a wonderful event for our Big Red Community to come together and help organizations like Helping Hands Ministry and Belton Church of Christ who collected the food donations at the race’s conclusion. And a big thank you to Brad Hobbs, Belton High School agriculture teacher and FFA sponsor, who co-organizes this event every year, and always works so hard to make it memorable for our kids, staff and the community.

I’m also thankful to my fellow board members for their dedication and determination throughout the superintendent search process. We all went through a gamut of emotions at the departure of our superintendent this August, but the board was able to come together, stay focused and make the decision to hire Thompson & Horton, LLP, to lead the search for our next leader. With David Thompson and Dr. Mike Moses at the helm, I know the ship is sailing straight, and we’re going to get exactly where we need to be. And a major part of that involves the Big Red Community.

The Board recognizes the role that our community plays in identifying how the next superintendent can continue to lead Belton ISD into the future, building upon our successes and using our strengths. My fellow board members and I are so appreciative to the dozens of residents who participated in focus groups facilitated by Thompson & Horton. We were well represented in the community, and I’m thankful folks had the opportunity to speak their minds candidly. And I also appreciate the more than 150 respondents to our online community survey. To all who participated in these information gathering efforts, please know that your voices have been and will continue to be heard by the Board throughout this superintendent search process.

The next steps in the proposed timeline are: candidate application deadline on December 2; the first round of interviews between January 6-8, 2020; the second round of interviews between January 21-22, 2020; naming of finalist(s) on January 27, 2020; the board considers contract on February 17, 2020; and the new superintendent begins their service in March.

Thank you for your continued support, and I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with joy.

Sincerely,

Suzanne M. McDonald
President, Board of Trustees
Fall festivals are happening all over the district and Belton's FFA had an incredible turnout for its annual food rally with over 90 teams participating for this worthy cause! Thank you to Belton H-E-B for allowing us to have this event each year. What a great service to our community!
The Board had a recent look of Lake Belton High School where w ork has progressed to include more than 90% of exterior walls complete and will soon include a Bronco on the student entrance side. You can view more photos of the progress at LBHS here .
BOARD COMMITTEE REPORTS
Policy: This committee will meet next on December 2 to begin reviewing the Texas Association of School Boards' Policy Update 114 and continue review of the Board's Standard Operating Procedures.

Facilities: The facilities committee will meet today to consider improvements to lighting at the BHS baseball field and to receive an update on the capital improvements list. The committee also discussed the District's growth based upon the recent demographic report presented by Templeton Demographics.
For more information on the Belton ISD Superintendent Search Process timeline, visit the district website here.
CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION
BHS senior Elizabeth Moctezuma-Manzanero and her parents were surprised last week when an admissions counselor from the University of Texas announced Elizabeth's college acceptance and presented a $48,000 scholarship to attend the school. She was awarded the Impact Scholarship for making a difference in her community. UT was the only college Elizabeth applied to, and going there is a dream she's had since the fifth grade. She will be a first generation college student and plans to study textiles and apparels. Congratulations Elizabeth!
STUDENT SERVICES
We will begin publicizing that our friends in law enforcement are welcome to eat at any of our cafeterias for free through our Law Enforcement “Dine With Us” Program . Nutrition Services is working on the program that says “thank you” to law enforcement officers and gives us a greater police presence on all of our campuses.
COMMUNICATIONS
Elementary students voted for their new mascots for the 2020-2021 school year on Election Day! The results are: Charter Oak Cheetahs, Chisholm Trail Blazers, High Point Colts, Lakewood Leopards, Leon Heights Lions, Miller Heights Knights, Pirtle Panthers, Southwest Jaguars, Sparta Saber Cats and Tarver Timberwolves.
Congratulations to these Lady Tiger athletes who signed to play at the collegiate level last week : Abbey Karcher, volleyball at Stephen F. Austin University; Emily Holder, volleyball at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; Bayley Cox, soccer at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor; and Abby Lucksinger, soccer at Texas State.
Superintendent Snippets :

  • Thanks to Southwest and Miller Heights Elementary Schools for hosting our School Board on Friday, November 15. Board members visited dual language learning programs at both campuses and were very impressed with the staffs' passion for our children.
  • We hosted a Leadership Lunch on November 13 comprised of community and school leaders. The gathering was exceptional as attendees identified seven topics for future discussion including health and safety, transportation and mental illness among others. We will bring the leaders back in January 2020. Special thanks goes to our culinary arts students who prepared a fabulous meal for our guests!
  • Thank you to Baylor Scott & White for providing the Rejuvenate Program for our staff. Rejuvenate teaches stress management skills, coping skills and relaxation techniques.
  • Congratulations to our recent Big Red Heart Award recipients for their high level of service to our students, families, schools, district and community. If you know of a special Belton ISD employee who deserves recognition, please submit a Big Red Heart Award nomination through this form available on the district website.

As we prepare for our Thanksgiving Break next week, I am personally thankful for the support of our staff and the community who work to make sure our district is a great place for students. I wish all of you and your families a happy, healthy and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday!

Robin Battershell, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent, Belton ISD