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Belton ISD Hosts Charter Oak Elementary Dedication Ceremony


Charter Oak Elementary staff and students, along with Belton ISD administrators and the Board of Trustees joined community partners and leaders Tuesday, for a dedication ceremony, officially recognizing the opening of the district’s newest elementary campus.

Principal Jennifer Conner began the event, held in the cafeteria, by welcoming guests and sharing a few anecdotes about Meet the Teacher night and the first day of school.

“It is so nice to have all of you here to commemorate this very special day,” Conner said. “It feels really good to be supported by both the Temple and Belton communities. There’s such a strong partnership there, and so it’s nice to be a part of the strengthening of these community ties through education.”  

Conner also took a few moments to recognize Charter Oak’s military Adopt A Unit, the 49th Transportation Battalion at Fort Hood.

“They’ve already had such an active role in our school and community this year,” she said. “They participated in our first-ever Freedom Walk on September 11th. The kids look forward to seeing the soldiers and spending time with them. We appreciate the partnership with Fort Hood and are proud to be the 49th’s Adopt-A School.”

Belton ISD Deputy Superintendent Robert Muller followed Conner in acknowledging community leaders and district partners in attendance including the Cities of Belton and Temple leadership, State Representative Hugh Shine, architecture and engineering firm O’Connell Robertson and contractor Cloud Construction Company, and the Belton Rotary Club.

“We wish to extend our gratitude to the Belton Rotary Club for their continued support of our district,” Muller remarked. “For several years, they’ve generously donated a flagpole to all of our new school buildings, including here at Charter Oak. It’s a big investment from them, and we thank you.”

Throughout the development of Belton ISD’s long-range facilities plan, the Board of Trustees and administration has actively involved the community and held events to seek input. Now, as projects funded through the May 2017 Bond Program reach substantial completion, Belton ISD Board of Trustees President Sue M. Jordan reflected on the importance of celebrating this important milestone with the community.

“As a destination district for many families, Belton ISD has been designated a fast-growth district,” she said. “That growth can be seen in all areas – North, South, East and West – City of Belton, City of Temple and even in the unincorporated areas. This campus is the product of that growth because one of Belton ISD’s biggest strengths is the continued involvement of our community.”

Fifth-graders Aaliyah Abddeen and Samuel Keys continued the program by reading the history of Charter Oak Elementary’s namesake, the historic live oak tree known as the Charter Oak. The tree, located along the east bank of the Leon River, near the City of Belton, was the spot chosen for the first election in Bell County in 1850.

After third-graders sang a pair of patriotic songs, Temple Chamber of Commerce President Rod Henry presented Jennifer Conner and Charter Oak Elementary with a dedication celebration plaque.

Board members, administration, project partners and students then proudly stood behind the ribbon while Conner and Jordan made the dedication of Charter Oak official with a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

“It’s wonderful that everyone came out today to spotlight our children because that’s why we’re here,” Conner said. “It’s why this building was built, and it’s important to get back to the students and the individual child. It was so great to celebrate them today.”

Additional photos can be found at

Joshua Wucher
September 24, 2019