Back to School Gala

  Thank you to all our sponsors, guests, generous donors, and contributors to the silent and live auctions, who helped make the 2016 Back to School Gala an outstanding success and helping us raise over $73,000 for the students of the Belton School District. It is because of the generosity More »



Thanks to the continued support of our generous donors, the Belton Educational Foundation has awarded over $330,000 since the beginning of the Teacher Grant program in 2008. Each year, the Foundation encourages all teachers in the Belton School District to submit innovative ideas through this competitive grant request process. School More »


About Us

The Belton Educational Foundation believes that each student is unique, has inherent worth, has the ability to learn and the power to achieve.  We believe that our community has a role to play in helping each student reach their full potential.  That as a community, we will benefit from ensuring that More »


Ways To Give

The Belton Educational Foundation is a nonprofit organization solely funded through the generosity of the Belton community, local businesses and alumni. The Belton Educational Foundation utilizes these donations to enhance the educational experiences available to students of the Belton School District. Please consider making a donation today or working with More »

Belton Educational Foundation awards Belton School District with over $29,000 in grant funds

IMG_0153On April 4, the Belton Educational Foundation Board of Trustees surprised teachers in the Belton School District with over $29,000 for 14 innovative grants.

The goal of the Foundation’s Teacher Grant Program is to help educators enhance instruction by providing funding for innovative learning programs. All teachers in the district are given the opportunity to apply for a grant. This year, 39 applications were submitted from across the district for a variety of projects.

“Thanks to the continued support of our generous donors, we are proud to support our educators by funding these innovative learning experiences for the students of the Belton School District,” said Krista Watkins, Executive Director.

Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded over $330,000 in grant funding to the Belton School District. For full details about the 2017 Teacher Grant winners and programs, visit www.beltonfoundation.org or call (816)348-1150.

The 2017 Grant Award winners are: 

  • Emily Wills, Kristin Cummings & Jan Hardee, Grace Early Childhood Center – $1806.95
  • Alexandria Jorgensen, Art Teacher, Scott Elementary – $2000
  • Madison Steffen, 3rd Grade, Scott Elementary – $2294
  • Jade Wunder, Miranda Russell and Naotasha Landrum, Gladden Elementary – $1379.99
  • Cathy Cisetti, 3rd Grade, Gladden Elementary – $967.77
  • Ami Henry, 3rd Grade, Hillcrest STEAM Academy – $2000
  • Lisa Albright and Michele Dooley, 6th Grade, Hillcrest STEAM Academy – $2250
  • Tanya Appling, Librarian, Hillcrest STEAM Academy – $5000
  • Sonya Abdelgawad, Jane Scudder & Betty Rickman, Hillcrest STEAM Academy – $2500
  • Bethany Kelly, Mike Williamsen & Melanie Ryberg, Hillcrest STEAM Academy – $2499.25
  • Kristine Spiers, Phys.Ed., Kentucky Trail Elementary – $1732.40
  • Laura Harmon, 4th Grade, Kentucky Trail Elementary – $767.78
  • Kaylin Blankenship, 3rd Grade, Kentucky Trail Elementary – $1987.90
  • Clare Nicholson, Special Education, Belton Middle School/Freshman Center – $2085

Small Card, Big Results: 2017 Major Saver Campaign

The Belton Educational Foundation is offering Major Saver cards for sale through the Belton elementary and middle schools. Students will receive the sales packets on Tuesday, April 4th and continue selling the $15 discount cards until Friday, April 14th . Proceeds from the sale of Major Saver cards directly support the participating schools and the Belton Educational Foundation.

We have a great card this year! The 2017 participating restaurants/establishments include: Sam’s Club, Price Chopper, Skyzone Trampoline Park, Brewbakers, The Little Pig BBQ, Buffalo Wild Wings, Big Daddy’s Donuts, Tara’s Café and Malt Shop, IHOP, Papa Murphy’s, Pepperjax Grill, Jose Pepper’s, 54 th Street Grill and Bar, Sonic, Burger King, Golden Corral, Mitchell Theatres, Papa Johns, Aaron’s Family Fun Center, and High Blue Wellness Center.

2017MajorSavorcardfront 2017MajorSavorcardback

Major Saver cards can be purchased via cash, check or online at www.majorsaver.com. The online sale can be credited back to a particular student and school. All cards purchased online will be mailed directly to the customer.

Major Saver cards can also be purchased, and credited to a student, through the Major Saver App. Once the free app is downloaded to an Android or iOS device, buyers can choose a Major Saver card through the “buy cards” tab on the app. Once the buyer completes the transaction the offers will be stored in the Major Saver App. Buyers can then redeem offers directly from the app and do not need a physical card.

Major Saver stresses safe selling and discourages door to door campaigning. The company encourages students to sell to family members, church patrons, neighbors, other adults the family may know; and to always make sure their parents are involved.

Please consider purchasing one or more Major Saver cards this year to help benefit the Belton Educational Foundation and participating schools.

Thank you for your support!

Foundation accepting 2017 BHS Hall of Fame Nominations

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.

Teacher Grants Making a Difference

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.

JasmineBrothersKentucky 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.KTVillaverde

“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!

2017 Teacher Grant Applications Now Being Accepted

teachergrants2009-1Applications for the 2017 Teacher Grants are being accepted now through February 1. All teachers in the Belton School District #124 are eligible to apply.

Click Here to submit your application.

BEF launches #GivingTuesday Social Media Campaign

kristaselfieThis 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!

Each post equals one entry to win a basket of goodies from BEF at the end of November. Questions? Contact Krista Watkins, Executive Director, kwatkins@bsd124.org or 816-348-1151.

BHS Class of 1976 to host 40th reunion

The Belton High School Class of 1976 will celebrate their 40th class reunion on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14 and 15.
Friday Oct. 15 will be a gathering at Frankie and Johnnies Bar & Grill (17207 US-71 Highway, Belton) @ 7pm.
Saturday’s event will be at Eagle’s Landing Golf Club (4200 Bong Ave, Belton), starting at 6:30 p.m. Includes dinner and cash bar.
Tickets are $35 each. For full details and/or to RSVP, visit http://beltonhigh40th.rsvpify.com or contact Sherrie (Ogden) Herrick at krisnmikesmom@gmail.com or 816-686-9001.

Foundation raises over $73,000 at Back-to-School Gala

The Belton Edgeneral2016galaucational 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.

Foundation Inducts Four Into BHS Hall of Fame

At the All Class Reunion and Hall of Fame Ceremony on Aug. 6, the Belton Educational Foundation inducted four new members to the Belton High School Hall of Fame. This year’s honorees were:
Frederick C. Wear, Class of 1953
FredWear 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 Larkey, Class of 1960 –

ElmerLarkeysmallElmer’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 (Rudroff) Kerckhoff, Class of 1975

ReneekerckhoffDuring her time at Belton High School, Renee was a member of the National Honor Society and served as an officer in the Student Council and French Club.

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. Sandy Clutter, Educator/Administrator

Sandy ClutterDr. 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.

Each year, the Foundation 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. Recipients of Hall of Fame recognition, living or deceased, have established a reputation of honor and serve as models of excellence.
To nominate someone for the 2017 BHS Hall of Fame, fill out the application online at http://beltonfoundation.org/belton-high-school-hall-of-fame-nominee/. Applications are due by the end of April.

Belton Educational Foundation welcomes new executive director

Professional PhotoThe 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).

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