By Cassidy Pate, News Editor
Monday evening, the Belton Board of Trustees spent a large part of their regular meeting recognizing outstanding Belton ISD students and faculty and members of the community.
Following a 20-year hiatus, Belton ISD’s Special Programs Department began recruiting a team of competitors to participate in the Special Olympics in 2017. 10 high school student athletes – Inez Aguilar, Josh Barney, Kandis Brashear, Hunter Busby, Hunter Goonan, Markeith Hawkins, Michael Lunceford, Zoe Moore, Mario Ortega and Matthew Ortega – were presented with the first ever Belton High School (BHS) Special Olympics Letter Jackets for their participation in at least one competition for two years.
President of the Board Suzanne McDonald said her son is a part of this program and introduced the recognition as “an auspicious occasion, and such a proud moment.”
“…thank you to the coaches for this particular program; you all are awesome,” McDonald said. “I’ve watched you coach these kiddos, and these are some very special students.”
Showcasing their talents for the Kodaly Educators of Texas, the Leon Heights Elementary School Honor Choir, led by Debra Johnson, was one of eight elementary choirs chosen to perform at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention last week.
Five BHS student vocalists were announced as members of the Texas All-State Choir. Kara Fish, Gracie Krieg, Ethan Matous, Jackson Reasoner and Rachel Schiller performed at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention last week amongst talented singers from across the state. Grace Fothergill, senior at BHS and captain of the Belton Magic Belles, was recognized for being selected as an All-State Dancer.
Tyler Garrett, senior at BHS, and Alexis Kaer, senior at Belton New Tech High School @ Waskow, represented the Belton Academic University Interscholastic League (UIL) through their participation at the State Congress Debate Competition.
Four Future Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) students – Ekan Moozemmel, Maya Miller, Elizabeth Bastow and Frida Cabrera – qualified to compete at state at the Spring Leadership Conference in April, and seven Business Professionals of America (BPA) students – Tyler Garrett, Kabyl Utley, Kage Dunn, Karianne Hosch, Jackie Stokes, Alvin Packard and Chloe Aparicio – qualified for the BPA state competition in March.
Caitlin Johnson, Like Skills Teacher at BHS, was recognized as the Rotary Educator of the Quarter – Belton by the Belton Rotary Club, and Emma Ziegler, English Teacher at BHS, was recognized as the Rotary Educator of the Month – Temple by the Temple Rotary Club. The ESC Region 12 Counseling Services was announced as the February Big Red Community Partner for assisting Belton ISD in Senate Bill 11, threat assessment and mass reunification training.
Dr. Robin Battershell was honored for stepping into the role of interim superintendent in August 2019 and supporting the boar during the superintendent search process.
“We had high hopes, but what we ended up getting was so, so much more than that,” Board Member Janet Leigh said. “What you are is a person who leads with grace and integrity, and you respect people, and you empowered us to make the decisions for the future.”
A standing ovation followed this speech, as Battershell became a revered district leader in a short amount of time.
“We began as strangers, we became colleagues, and we end as friends, so thank you so much,” Battershell said in the direction of the board.