May 2022
New Principal Selected for High Point Elementary
The Belton ISD Board of Trustees approved the hiring of Jeanna Sniffin as the next principal at High Point Elementary at its regular meeting in May.

Sniffin’s 25 years of educational experience includes 17 years serving as a principal at five different elementary and middle schools. She helped open her current school, Williams Elementary in Georgetown ISD, when she took the helm in 2020.

Sniffin holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and a Master of Education from the University of Houston-Victoria. 

Sniffin replaces Cary Zepernick who will continue her career in a district closer to her family next year. Zepernick served in leadership at High Point for two years.

The board also approved the hiring of Erin Prica as an assistant principal at Charter Oak Elementary. Prica is finishing her seventh year as a teacher, all in Belton ISD. She currently works at Southwest Elementary and has also worked at Lakewood Elementary. Prica holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Student Showcase - Saber Cat Sound Choir & Ukuleles
The Saber Cat Sound Choir & Ukuleles from Sparta Elementary performed songs before the start of the meeting.

Members of the choir are third- and fourth-grade students and include: Abigail Wickman, Harper McKinney, Xavier Perez, Madeline Brown, Allison Miller, Ava Moyer, Charlotte Wiley, Kylie Capella, Emily Munoz, Gwen Taylor, Amy Yaryan, Benny Briscoe, Hannah Seavey, Elizabeth Wurman, Allison Guillams, Blake Perrow, Emily Potts, Noella Rodriguez, Sydney Harvey, Chandler Depue, Eden McCallum, Ava Boeselt, Finley Burney, Emma Goodnight, Paisley Burdine, Rooklyn Whitmire, Tatum Thrash, Piper Lunday, Sophia Somers, Mia Simpson, Eli Brown and Emery Hobson. 
Ukuleleists are fifth-grade students and include: Kiah Trahan, Alice Wiley, Sean Beamesderfer, Tyler Millington, Andy Ureste, Ella Johnson, Jameson Wills, Evan Foster, Brody Lee, Annie Nickerson, Eli Perrow, Aiden Kinsey, Jaxson Dudley, Taytum Hobson, Ryan Truitt, Ansley Harvey and Charles Rabroker. 

Thank you to Sparta’s music teachers, Keri Dudley and Caitlin Lunday, for leading these groups where students are able to practice the district’s Journey of a Graduate competencies. 
Board Recognition - Texas Bioscience Institute Graduates
Several Belton ISD students got a head start on their post-secondary education through a great program.
​​Elizabeth Alvarez, David Basabe, Tiffany Dinh, Alexander Elieson, Selena Giron, Matthew (Thomas) Graham, Hannah Klasinski, Jaden Kurzyniec, Dayanna Lamica, Megan Larocque, Madeline Mochmer, Taylor Royval, Andon Sanders, Disha Sharma, Marryah Smith-McCarthy, Grace Taylor, Jordan Tolbert, Ezekiel Trahan, Jenna White and Kallie Young were recognized in a special Silver Cording Ceremony held by Temple College on April 20 for completing dual credit coursework in the Texas Bioscience Institute (TBI) Middle College program.

The TBI Middle College program is a partnership with Temple College that allows qualified Belton ISD students to enroll in rigorous STEM-focused dual credit coursework in their junior and senior years of high school. Eleven of these students have also qualified to receive an associate of arts degree from Temple College in May.

This program demonstrates one of the district’s values — community engagement — that states learning experiences are enhanced through the engagement of our community. Congratulations to these students!
Trustees Sworn In for New Term
Jeff Norwood, Suzanne M. McDonald and Manuel Alcozer were sworn in as Area 1, Area 3 and Area 5 trustees, respectively. As part of the Board’s annual reorganization and in accordance with the Board’s operating procedures, Norwood was selected as president. Taggart will serve as vice president and Alcozer will be secretary.
Board Recognition -
UIL Academic State Qualifiers/Medalist
Several Belton ISD students demonstrated their Journey of a Graduate competencies at the UIL Academic State Competition earlier this month.
From BHS, Yulissa Gray qualified in Headline Writing and Jackson Belobrajdic qualified in two categories — Science and Top Physics. Jackson placed fourth overall in 6A Science. This is the first time a Belton ISD student has medaled in Science at the state level. Laura Smith, Stephen Seals and Lacey Wilson serve as academic coaches.
At Lake Belton High School, Jahongir Karim qualified in Top Biology and placed third, just missing the mark for earning a medal. Breanne Cowin is his academic coach.

The UIL Academic sponsors at BHS are Joseph Savoldi and Pam Rodriguez. The sponsor at LBHS is Christine Wolff.
Board Recognition -
Texas High School Powerlifting Association and Texas High School Women's Powerlifting Association - Academic All-State Recipients
Belton High School is celebrating six student-athletes who were named to the Texas High School Powerlifting Association or Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association Academic All-State teams. To be nominated, seniors must be in good standing with their team, of good moral character and have an overall GPA of 92 or above.

This year’s recipients include:  Jonah Myers (second team); Maya Jones (elite team); Jennie Bonnett (elite team); Kristin Rodak (first team); Shalese Rhoder (first team); and Selena Giron (second team).

Maintaining these high academic standards as a competitive athlete demonstrates adaptability, one of the district’s Journey of a Graduate competencies.
Board Committee Reports

Policy: The policy committee met on May 2 and continued discussions about EF(LOCAL), the policy about instructional resources such as textbooks and library books. The committee is working toward updating the policy using a model policy provided by the Texas Education Agency. A recommendation is also expected to come in the near future from the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). The committee also discussed the next steps to take after TASB's recent policy review. Forty-five Belton ISD policies were determined to need additional reviews.

Facilities: The facilities met on May 9 and discussed the next steps in moving forward with projects that will be funded by the 2022 bond.
Board Recognition -
UIL Powerlifting State Qualifiers/Medalists
Belton ISD was represented at the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association State Championship by nine high school student-athletes in March. 
From Lake Belton High School, juniors Paigeryn Ayers and Haylee Thomas qualified for the state competition for the second year in a row. At the state meet, Paigeryn set a personal best for all three lifts and for her overall total. Haylee set a personal best in squat, bench and her overall total. 
They were joined by four newcomers to the state stage — juniors Emery Castillo and Anna Ramirez and freshmen Bekah Minzak and Taylor Love. Emery set a personal best in bench, deadlift and overall total while Taylor set a personal best in deadlift and overall total. Anna and Bekah set personal bests for all three lifts and their overall totals. 
The girls’ powerlifting coaches are Greg Rudolph, Matt Uzzell and Liz Ramsey.
From Belton High School, senior Zoeii Peterson advanced to the state championship for the first time and set a personal best on lifts in two of the three categories. Senior Maya Jones placed fifth in her weight class with 935 pounds total, increasing a personal best on squat and matching a personal best on bench. Sophomore Jacci Myers finished in fourth in her weight class with 865 pounds, breaking her personal bests for all three lifts.
The girls’ powerlifting coaches are Barry Campbell and Krystal Yerigan.
On the boys’ side through the Texas High School Powerlifting Association, three Belton ISD student-athletes qualified for the state meet in March.
From BHS, Isaac Jones set personal records on deadlift at 445 pounds and on squat with 440 pounds. His coaches are Christopher Harbin and Brandon Faubion.
From LBHS, sophomore Adam Walden set personal bests in all three lifts and finished ninth in the state in his weight class. Freshman Christian Morales set personal bests in deadlift and overall total and finished eighth in the state in his weight class. The LBHS coaches are Greg Rudolph and Matt Uzzell.
Congratulations to these students and their coaches for displaying the perseverance needed to compete at this level. This sport is a wonderful way to practice this important Journey of a Graduate competency.
Board Recognition -
National FFA Organization State Qualifiers
Three teams of students from Belton FFA qualified for the state Career Development Events (CDE) contests held at Texas A&M University, Sam Houston State University and the Ranger College. 

Teams and members included: Nursery/Landscape (Sarah Mikeska, Laken Eason, Natalie Myers and Emma Canales); Wildlife (Josiah Kahlar, Brady Scott, Gage White, Rylan Norwood and Keaton Gallion); and Vet Science (Anna-Cate Cox, Yulissa Gray, Kodie Emmons and Kadence Sigler). Advisors for these teams are Brad Hobbs and Lori Hobbs.

CDE contests build on what is learned in agriculture classes and encourage students to put their knowledge into practice. About 3,800 teams of about 14,000 students competed in 28 different events at the state competition.
Superintendent's Report

  • Dr. Smith began his update by publicly thanking the many people and organizations that supported Belton High School and the district following the tragic events earlier this month.
  • He noted that he very much enjoyed getting to attend Lakewood Elementary's Old Glory Day and BHS' pre-prom festivities this month. End-of-year activities are in full swing right now with award ceremonies, senior events and banquets. Graduation is set for May 26.
  • Dr. Smith said he was thankful for voter support of the 2022 bond. He highlighted the next steps for bond projects which include proceeding with the design of Elementary #13, working with a financial advisor on timelines for bond sales and creating project timelines. A bond oversight committee will be established to report on progress and finances in an effort to build transparency with the community. A bond projects website will also be created.
Board Recognition - Class 6A Region II Coach of the Year
Belton High School’s head basketball coach, Jason Fossett, was recently named the Class 6A Region II coach of the year. Coach Fossett led the Tigers to a district championship this year with a record of 29-6. The Tigers were also recognized for the second year in a row by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches as the top three-point shooting team in Class 6A. Thank you, Coach Fossett, for modeling empathy to your athletes and being student-centered in your leadership — all traits of a World-Class Employee in Belton ISD.
Consent Agenda Highlights

  • Unaudited financial report for the month ending April 30, 2022
  • Budget amendment #7 for 2021-2022
  • Gifts, grants and bequests
  • Expenditures over $50,000 (student technology devices)
  • Afterschool child care agreement with the City of Temple Parks & Recreation Department
  • FDA(LOCAL): Admissions, Interdistrict Transfers - 2nd reading

To review Belton ISD board meeting agendas and full packet materials, click here.
Board Recognition -
Temple Rotary Educator of the Month
Mindy Wampler is being recognized by the Temple Rotary Club for her outstanding service to Belton ISD. Mindy serves as a pre-kindergarten teacher at Belton Early Childhood School. She is in her seventh year in education and her fourth year with Belton ISD.
Sheila Surovik, principal at BECS, said this about Ms. Wampler: "Visiting her classroom fills my heart with such pride and hope for our youngest learners in BISD. She has helped her students create a strong sense of community where students know each other, celebrate each other's successes, and help one another when needed."

Ms. Wampler demonstrates on a daily basis the competencies that make a World-Class Employee in Belton ISD. Congratulations!
Board Recognition -
Temple Rotary Educator of the Month
Kaitlyn Pineiro is being recognized by the Temple Rotary Club for her outstanding service to Belton ISD. Kaitlyn serves as a band teacher at North Belton Middle School. She is in her 10th year in education and her third year with Belton ISD.
Michelle Tish, principal at NBMS, said this about Ms. Pineiro: "Kaitlyn is one of the most positive forces I have ever had the privilege of working with. She freely gives up her personal time after school to make sure that each and every student has meaningful feedback. Kaitlyn works very hard to build relationships with every student and tries to make them feel at home in the band hall."

Ms. Pineiro is another of our World-Class Employees in Belton ISD. Congratulations!