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Trustees Commission Long-Range Facilities Planning Team

Belton ISD is expanding efforts to include multiple voices in planning for the future of the school district.

At its regular meeting on Monday, the Board of Trustees approved the commissioning of a long-range facilities planning team. The team will establish a partnership of staff, parents and community members who serve as advisors to district administrators as they continue planning to address fast growth and aging facilities in Belton ISD.

“They’ll meet about five times a year to analyze data, evaluate potential solutions and then make recommendations to administrators,” said Michael Morgan, assistant superintendent of operations. “We want their input on planning educational facilities that will meet the changing needs of the Big Red Community.” 

The planning team will also contribute to the development and refinement of the district's long-range facilities master plan through focus groups.

The Board also heard updates on facility projects at Belton New Tech @Waskow that will enable the campus to better serve students when it opens in August as a stand-alone school of choice. As part of the change, students will be able to choose from more than a dozen new course offerings at the school.

Updates include the gym being painted and the floor refinished to support the additions of physical education and athletics programs. Renovated classroom and shop spaces in an area previously used for storage will now house the unmanned drone and robotics programs. Another space has been remodeled for use as two art classrooms with a kiln room. Classrooms for a state-of-the-art maker space, library, and Career and Technical Education legal pathway, with a mock courtroom, have also been designated using existing campus spaces. The new theater program will use the Pittenger Fine Arts Center and a portable classroom. A second portable will be used to support two additional core classes until permanent homes can be found.  

“It is really exciting to watch New Tech come into its own,” said Superintendent Matt Smith. “As a district, we’re all about creating exceptional opportunities for students, and the teachers and staff at New Tech are doing exactly that. I’m very proud of the work being done.”  

In other news, trustees heard an update from Ellen Burnett, president of the Belton Educational Enrichment Foundation, on the impact the organization made across the district during the 2021-2022 school year. BEEF awarded more than $117,000 in teacher and campus grants to 19 teachers at 12 different schools. Fifteen paraprofessionals received scholarships totaling $24,000 and 62 students received another $15,000 to participate in dual credit courses. The largest dollar-amount impact came from BEEF awarding more than $300,000 in scholarships to seniors from Belton High School and Belton New Tech @Waskow. 

“Our partnership with BEEF is a reflection of our belief that learning experiences for our students are enhanced through the engagement of our community,” Smith said. “We can’t thank BEEF enough, and the community members who give generously to BEEF, for their ongoing, never wavering support of Belton ISD students and staff.”

The Board also approved the hiring of three assistant principals — Timothy Jones at Belton High School, Nicole Suman at Belton Middle School and Rana Allbritton at North Belton Middle School.

Jones has worked in education for eight years, including as a teacher at Lake Belton Middle School and Belton High School. He most recently served as an instructional coach at BHS.

Jones holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and a Master of Education in Education Administration from Texas A&M University.

Suman has worked in education for seven years, including six years as a teacher in Killeen ISD. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Armstrong State University and a Master of Arts from Lamar University.

Allbritton has worked in education for 10 years as a middle school teacher, instructional coach and secondary mathematics coordinator. Her positions have spanned multiple school districts, including Elgin ISD, Austin ISD, Pflugerville ISD, and most recently, Belton ISD. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas and a Master of Education in educational leadership and administration from Concordia University.

July 25, 2022