In honor of the spirit of giving on Valentine's Day, it seemed only fitting that the Belton Board of Education learned Feb. 14 of an extraordinary charity milestone recently reached by the school district.
At the Polar Bear Plunge, held Jan. 26 at Longview Lake, Belton came in as the highest fundraising school in the state of Missouri, raising $19,340.36 for the Special Olympics of Missouri.
This event, hosted by the Lee's Summit, Belton and Kansas City police departments, enables participants to support local Special Olympics athletes by taking a plunge into frigid waters for charity.
Proceeds benefit Special Olympics Missouri’s year-round program of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Participants had to be at least 10 years old and raise a minimum of $75 by the event day.
Board members swiftly made their way through a shortlist of items, such as approving the schedule of bills and warrants for $1,161,223.71.
They also approved a recommendation by administration to offer employment to a handful of certified and non-certified personnel as well as substitute teachers.
In other business, board members discussed the upcoming Legislative Cass County Day in Jefferson City on Feb. 27 as well as the fast-approaching March 1 deadline to submit nominations for Teacher of the Year/Support Staff Person of the Year.
According to Superintendent Andrew Underwood, teacher of the Year nominations should identify a classroom teacher, librarian, or counselor who "participates in professional growth activities, is involved in school at a level above and beyond the norm, is involved in community affairs, and shows an active concern for the welfare of Belton students."
There is a separate honor to highlight a support staff person, such as secretaries, maintenance workers, custodians, paraprofessionals, and/or technology assistants, who strive to show outstanding support of teachers and schools in a variety of ways.
Students, teachers, parents, or patrons of the district can nominate a candidate for these awards. Nominations can be returned to any building principal, to the Belton School District's Central Office or submitted online.