By Devin Corbitt
The Belton Journal
Monday night’s Belton Independent School District Board of Trustees meeting began with a workshop finalizing plans for the Ag Barn Construction Project, set to begin next Monday. Changes to the project included authorizing Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon to oversee the project as the contractor and adding a fire hydrant along the entrance road.
Once completed, the project will house 30 small animal pens, five steer pens, a steer wash pen, six hog wash pens and a compost building. The project has been allotted a $650,000 budget.
The plan was approved as part of the consent agenda during the regular meeting. Actual construction should begin in early December and be completed by the end of this school year.
The board began their regular meeting with a multitude of recognitions, including senior Tristan Boss, who was selected as a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship program. Finalists will be chosen in February.
Also recognized were 78 high school students for their performance in AP programs and exams.
Students earning a 3 of 5 or higher on three or more AP exams were designated AP Scholars. Those 34 students are Nicholas Amato, Christina Arellano, Margueret Betbeze, Rachel Brauns, Christopher Carter, Jacob Cheek, Harrison Craven, Steven De Keratry, Emilio Delgado, Marcela Diazdeleon, John Edwards, Christina Gaw, Meera Gopal, Nikhil Gopal, Brooke Haugeberg, Mary Hinze, Eindra Lwin, Quadreon Miller, Ryan Parker, Hannah Pavel, Paige Pruett, Adrianne Reichl, Tess Rudasill, Crisna Seng, Somatra Seng, Kayla Sohns, Samantha Stapper, Travis Stevenson, Michael Torres Rivera, Colton Tuma, Madison Vincent, Ryan Ward, Alyson Win and Bretta Winters.
Students who earned a 3.25 average score and at least a 3 on four exams were designated AP Scholars with Honors. Those 17 students include Macy Banfield, Ethan Becker, Jessica Bonner, Anusha Bontha, Ariel Davis, Christian Escobar, William Goodridge, Kevin Hauger, Emily Lin, Machaela Moore, Dakota Popelka, Caroline Rock, Meredith Rowe, Thomas Shelburne, Emma Villamaria and Lauren Woodson.
AP Scholars with Distinction received an average score of at least 3.5 and scored 3 or higher on five or more exams. Those students are Tristan Boss, Robert Brooks, Dustin Chen, Shelby Clemons, Hannah Devault, Brittan Elliott, Kale Evans, August Farek, Brody Grogan, Manolo Guillen, Manuel Hernandez, John Jennings, Mark Jennings, Samantha Kagel, Matthew Kondrat, Sarah Lairmore, Nishanth Lavendra, Connor Leigh, Montana Minnis, Anthony Mohammad, Megan Nitcher, Gehrig Rock, Christopher Sauceda, Emily Schiller, Luke Simerly, Chad Wallace and Wilson Whitener.
Four students, John Jennings , Sarah Lairmore, Nishanth Lavendra and Montana Minnis, also earned the title of National AP Scholar for averaging at least a 4 on all AP exams and scoring 4 or higher on eight or more exams.
The board also recognized the seven students who participated in the 2014 Lone Star Leadership Academy over the summer. Annie Bailey, Brandon Hopkins, Jennifer Lu, Tabitha Rhymes, Christian Rogers, Jessica Scheffler and Corey Williams spent their time at the camp learning about prominent Texas leaders and honing their own leadership skills through activities and workshops.
The Rotary Educator of the Month for Temple and Educator of the Quarter for Belton were brought before the board. Educator of the Month Brittany Roberts, a theater arts teacher at North Belton Middle School, was recognized for her work in growing the theater arts program at Belton Middle School and now NBMS. She is also the Cheer sponsor and assists with the Spring Talent Show. Educator of the Quarter Caren Bowling teaches Algebra I at Belton High School, where she is the team leader of the Algebra I staff. She has been key in revising Algebra I curriculum to better suit students in BISD. Bowling also tutors students during the summer to help ensure their further success.
During her Superintendent’s Report, Kincannon informed the board that construction on the Belton Early Childhood Development building was complete and final payments had been made. Chisholm Trail Elementary is nearly complete, while North Belton Middle School is still a ways from being finalized. The tennis court-resurfacing project was also completed last week, just in time for a tournament hosted by BISD.
Enrollment as of Friday numbered 10,576 students in the district.
BISD has been selected to receive a $100,000 grant that will supply iPads at Southwest Elementary School as part of the Technology Lending Grant Program through the state.
“What’s really special about this grant is it’s one that Ed Braeuer worked on for us,” Kincannon said. “He was a really good writer.”
The board approved the hiring of Phil Haggerty as the district’s Assistant Superintendent for Business Services, as well as 12 additional contracted positions and one non-contracted position. The district received and accepted four resignations, which are the only openings that have yet to be filled.
Haggerty was previously employed as the Comptroller for Killeen ISD for six years. He has worked in a number of financial settings, both public and private, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
‘Additional Agenda Items
The board was also updated on the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department, which reported increased success last year through a hiring event and the SkillsUSA Competition, where students representing BISD placed seventh. Plans for this year include improving the department’s webpage, working with the Belton Chamber of Commerce to find innovative ways to partner with local businesses and offering new Principle courses to introduce freshmen to the technical field.
The board approved updates to the Campus Improvement Plans and the Board Policy Update 100 Affecting (LOCAL) Policies
The next meeting of the BISD School Board of Trustees will take place Oct. 20 at 5 p.m. in the Administration Building, 400 North Wall St., Belton.