The Belton Educational Foundation is seeking nominations for the 2017 Belton High School Hall of Fame. Each year, the Hall of Fame honors the lifetime achievements of those who have distinguished themselves in their professional careers, for service and contributions to their communities, or in other ways that reflect positively on the educational foundation received at Belton High School. The deadline for nominations is April 30. Nomination forms can be found online at http://beltonfoundation.org/belton-high-school-hall-of-fame-nominee/ or by calling the Foundation office at 816-348-1150.
In March of last year, the Belton Educational Foundation awarded over $29,000 in teacher grants for various innovative programs. Last month, several members of the Foundation Board of Trustees, along with Executive Director, Krista Watkins, visited a few of the classrooms who received grants to see teachers and students in action, and how the new programs are being implemented.
Kentucky Trail Elementary kindergarten teacher, Jasmine Brothers, received a grant for $1,763 to purchase Reading Mentors, a hands-on electronic device that engages students in developing early reading skills such as building letter recognition, letter sounds, and creating sight words. Since implementing the devices at the beginning of the year, student proficiency for letter sounds increased from 10% to 63% by the end of second quarter. The devices are also used in a small group setting for students to learn specific skills. The results showed an marked increase in proficiency with letter sounds. According to Ms. Brothers, the most improvement has been with mastering sight words. With the devices, students are able to put sight words together, see the word, and hear it through the Reading Mentor, which has led to an engaging and more hands on type of learning that benefits many of her students.
Kentucky Trail Elementary librarian, Bethany Villaverde and computer lab teacher, Matthew Garrison, received a grant for OSMO iPad game systems, which uses technology to enhance learning in such areas as spelling, logical thinking, math, and engineering for grades K-4. Students are able to use these devices during library time in what is called Maker Spaces, different stations where students can “make” different things as a hands-on learning experience.
“The OSMO devices have definitely increased the students’ engagement,” said Villaverde. “They are able to work independently at their own pace and self-check their own work.” As they progress through activities, more difficult levels and tasks are unlocked so students are constantly challenged as they increase their skill level and confidence. “We are so thankful for the grant that allowed us to purchase the OSMO systems. They are used daily and we look forward to using them for many years to come”.
Funding for programs like these would not be possible without the generous support of our donors. Thanks to their contributions, we are able to continue our mission to provide funding that enriches educational opportunities to maximize the learning potential of every student in the Belton School District.
More classroom grant updates to come! Stay tuned!
Click Here to submit your application.
This week, the Belton Educational Foundation will kick off its #GivingTuesday campaign to encourage spending with a purpose. Coinciding with the Thanksgiving Holiday and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday, Nov. 29, can harness the power of social media to inspire the Belton community to help support our mission of enriching educational opportunities to maximize the learning potential of every student attending the Belton School District.
You can help us spread the word and create awareness by participating in our #BSDunselfie photo campaign for a chance to win our giveaway! To enter, follow these steps:
1) Whether you are a past, current, or future donor, take a picture of yourself holding a sign with the hashtags #BSDunselfie and #GivingTuesday stating that you support the Belton Educational Foundation on #GivingTuesday and why. Giving to the BEF can be anything from money to food for the Pirate Pantries, or volunteer time.
2) Post to Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn (make sure to tag us-Twitter: @beltonedfound; Facebook and LinkedIn: Belton Educational Foundation).
3) E-mail or message the post to us to be entered into the drawing.
4) Share, share, share! Encourage your students, co-workers, family, and friends to take part as well!
The Belton Educational Foundation hosted its annual Back-to-School Gala and Auction at Loch Lloyd Country Club on August 27, raising over $73,000 to support its mission to enrich educational opportunities and encourage innovation to maximize the learning potential of every student attending the Belton School District.
Over 180 guests enjoyed a silent auction, dinner and program. This year’s theme was “Roots to Grow and Wings to Fly”. Speakers included, Foundation Board President, Dr. Kenneth Southwick, Executive Director, Krista Watkins, and Belton School District Superintendent, Dr. Andrew Underwood. Belton High School student and scholarship recipient, Shannon Coupland, shared her experience at a summer engineering camp offered through Washington University. High school teacher and grant recipient, Adam Arnold, spoke about the BHS Cyber Pirates robotics team and their incredible success. The night concluded with the event’s live auction, presented by Robert Mayo of Mayo Auctions. Dr. Underwood and Ms. Watkins also presented the winner of the Jon S. Ferguson Excellence in Teaching award to Mill Creek Upper Elementary fifth grade teacher, Jill Beck.
We want to express our heartfelt thanks to all our sponsors, generous donors, and contributors to the silent and live auctions, who helped make this event an outstanding success. It is because of the generosity of all our donors the Foundation continues to reach new heights to provide new and innovative opportunities for our students.
The 2017 Back-to-School Gala and Auction will be August 26 at Loch Lloyd Country Club.
If you would like to be a part of our continued success, you may donate online at http://beltonfoundation.org/ or call us at 816-348-1150.
Fred was one of 17 in his graduating class. During his time at Belton High School, he played trumpet in the band/marching band and equipment manager for the football team. He also served as football reporter to the Kansas City Star. After high school, Fred went on to earn a BS in Physics from Central Missouri State and BS in Mechanical Engineering from the MU of Science and Technology. He would later go on to receive his Master’s degree in Science from Iowa State University.
In 1957, Fred began working for McDonnell Aircraft Company in St. Louis. During his tenure at McDonnell, Fred developed hydraulic systems for the F3, F4, and Model 119 aircraft and played integral roles in the development of the Mercury spacecraft project. He was also on the in-chamber rescue teams for Gemini 3 through 5 and was in charge of the rescue teams for Gemini 6 through 12. Fred spent the next 15 years developing industrial microwave/vacuum drying systems for foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals, for which he was awarded nine patents. He continues to work for Boeing Corp. (formally McDonnell) today.
Fred currently lives in St. Louis, MO with Sharon, his wife of 54 years. Together, they have three sons, Craig, Brian, and Keith. He is very active in his church, where he is the Trustee of the Endowment Fund and has served as Sunday School Teacher for 50 years. He has also traveled on 11 mission trips, which included El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Lebanon.
Elmer’s family has been in Belton since the 1890’s. As a boy, he spent a lot of time on Main Street, shining shoes to earn money. In high school, he lettered in four sports: football, basketball, track and baseball.
After graduation, Elmer worked for Western Electric before going on to work for the Kansas City Fire Department, where he rose through the ranks to Captain and was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 1974. After leaving the fire department in 1978, Elmer worked as a cabinet installer for Quality Wood Products until he retired in 2009.
After retirement, Elmer served as Present of the Belton Main Street Association and was named Belton Man of the Year by the Lion’s Club in 2007. Currently, Elmer serves as the President of the Belton Cemetery Association, where he led the effort to build the new stone office and works tirelessly to ensure people’s loved ones are well looked after.
Elmer lives in Belton with his wife of 54 years, Judith. Together they have four sons: Jeffry, Michael, Gregory and Norman.
Renee spent 20 years in banking before completing her degree in Business Administration from DeVry University in 1997, where she graduated as class valedictorian. After graduation, Renee assumed the role as President of her family business, Rudroff Heating and Air Conditioning. Under her leadership, the company was named a ‘Best of Belton’ business in 2008, Business of the Month by the Raymore Chamber of Commerce, as well as named one of the ’30 under 30’ businesses by Small Business Monthly of Kansas City. She and her business were also mentioned twice on the floor of the U.S. Senate during debates on health insurance costs and inheritance taxes for small business. In 2010, she sold the business to its current owners.
Currently, Renee is the President of the Raymore Historical Society, Treasurer of the Ray-Pec Optimist Club, and board member of the Belton Historical Society. She is also past president of the Bi-County United Way and former member of the Belton Educational Foundation. She is an active member of both the Raymore and Belton Chambers of Commerce, and remains active in other areas of service in the community.
Renee and her husband, Pete, currently live in Raymore, MO where she manages their rental properties and consults with small businesses. They have two daughters, Danielle and Brittany.
Dr. Clutter has played a large role in the Belton community for many years. She lived in and around Belton most of her life, attending Belton schools from 1959 through 1966. She then moved to Peculiar and graduated from Ray-Pec High School in 1971. After graduation, she earned a BA in Education from Avila University and a Master’s in Reading from SW Missouri State. In 1997, she received a Doctorate in Special Education from KU.
Sandy has devoted the majority of her career to special education. She joined the Belton School District in 1981 serving as special education teacher for ten years before moving to the Central Office as the District SpEd. Coordinator/Asst. Director, and then Assistant Superintendent of Special Service from 1998-2011. Under her leadership, she helped develop the Sheryl Johnson Life Center (SJLC), which addresses the needs for the 18-21 age group to assist in their transition to independent living. She also played an integral part in bringing the Special Olympics basketball competition to Belton and expanding the Special Olympics program in the district. She has won 12 awards over the years for her excellence in education and service.
Sandy retired from Belton School District in 2011 but remains very involved in the community, currently serving as the Executive Director of Belton CARES and Board President of Hope Haven.
The Belton Educational Foundation Board of Trustees is pleased to announce its new Executive Director, Krista Watkins. Watkins is a graduate of Missouri State University, receiving a BS in Business Management before going on to earn her Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) in 2009. She spent the last few years in the education field, teaching secondary level business education classes and working for the Ozarks Writing Project, a grant-funded, collaborative program between Missouri State University and the National Writing Project. Prior to her career in education, she served over 10 years in corporate insurance litigation.
Growing up in a small town in Southwest Missouri, Watkins is an avid proponent of public education. She is committed to taking the Foundation to the next level and looks forward to this next chapter in her career.
“This opportunity was a perfect fit for me personally and professionally,” said Watkins. “Not only does it allow me to work with an esteemed school district, but also gives me the opportunity to become a part of, and make a difference in, a community that is passionate about their school district.”
As a teacher, Watkins understands the challenges educators face today. “The Foundation embraces teachers and students, which is an ideal that is very close to my heart,” she said. “ I am honored to be a part of an organization that is very unique with boundless vision.”
Watkins currently lives in Kansas City, MO and has two daughters, Kassie (23) and Kallie (18).
Belton, MO (April 9, 2016) – At the March 2016 Board of Trustees meeting, Belton Educational Foundation Executive Director, Heather McFarland, announced her resignation effective May 31, citing her family’s relocation to San Antonio, Texas, where her husband recently accepted a new position.
McFarland has served as the Foundation’s executive director since October of 2007. During her tenure, the organization’s annual impact to the Belton School District has grown from $60,000 to over $500,000, helping to fund new initiatives such as the new technology, new teacher gifts, the BackSnack and Pirate Pantry programs, the establishment of the Jon S. Ferguson Excellence in Teaching Award, as well as the ACCESS Program, which provides mental services to students and grow existing programs.
“It has been my privilege to serve with a wonderful group of board members, alumni, donors, and volunteers,” said McFarland. “I am very proud of the difference we have made in the lives of students in this district. I know this is just the beginning of the great things the Belton Educational Foundation will continue to do in the months and years to come.”
The Board of Trustees has begun the process of finding a successor and, with McFarland’s help, plans to ensure a smooth transition. “As much as we are saddened to see Heather go, we wish her and her family the best of luck in all their future endeavors,” said Dr. Kenny Southwick, Foundation President, “We thank her for her passion, dedication, and leadership to this organization and for leaving it in a better position than ever to fulfill its mission to the students of the Belton School District.”
Jim, along with his wife and 5 children, has been a Belton resident since he was nine years old and has volunteered with the Belton School District since approximately 2010. He began by offering to park cars at high school games, helping out the FCCLA, and helping to build floats for the parades. For the last three years he has delivered food for the district’s BackSnack program and the Pirate Pantries at the Belton Middle School and Freshman Center and Belton High School. Each week throughout the school year, Jim comes to the Belton Educational Foundation offices, picks up food delivered by Harvesters, and takes it to Mill Creek Upper Elementary. He also helps ensure the program continues through the summer by delivering food to all schools and is always available should any need arise.
When asked what makes him continue to volunteer he replied, “I do it for the kids. I like helping give back to the community. As a kid, I saw first hand how giving back can have an impact and it made me want to pay it forward as an adult. For me, it is fun and rewarding.” His greatest reward is getting thank-you cards or a simple handshake from students.
Outside of volunteering for the Belton School District, Jim also adopts a family each Christmas and helps build bicycles for Bikes for Tikes. He makes giving back a family affair, often bringing his teenage kids along to help out. “They now tell me how they want to pay-it-forward,” says Ward. “And that makes me a proud Dad.”
Jim is one of our most dedicated volunteers and we thank him for giving his time and resources to our students.
If you know a volunteer who you would like to see in our spotlights, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.