At the Feb. 28 Belton Board of Education meeting, the board hired Rhonda Hardee as the assistant superintendent curriculum and instruction and Steve Morgan as the assistant superintendent career and special services.
Hardee replaces Bob Poisal, who will be the assistant superintendent finance/support services and Morgan will take the place of Lisa Cummings who will be the director of human resources. The vacancies and new appointments are due to the retirement of Kirby Hall and Tanya Shippy later this year.
Hardee has been with the district for 15 years as the principal at Grace Early Childhood Care and Education Center. While at Grace, Hardee helped expand programs and offerings to students and Belton families, ages six weeks to pre-kindergarten. Last year, Grace was honored for being a finalist for the MSBA FutureBuilders Award.
“When I moved to Belton 15 years ago, the community had just voted in support of a new early childhood center and upper elementary,” Hardee said. “Since that time, I have made this community my home, raising my children, and enjoying the benefits of living within a progressive and promising community and school district.”
Hardee said that her focus as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction will be to provide leadership that maximizes the educational experience of every Belton student.
“I feel strongly that it is our duty to ensure a quality education for each and every Belton student - one that inspires and motivates each student to strive towards excellence,” she said. “We want our students graduating from high school prepared for lifelong success as a contributing member of society with a heart for service to others as well as the academic foundation required to achieve individual goals.”
Hardee received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a master’s degree in elementary education from William Woods University and will earn her doctorate in education leadership from St. Louis University this May. Before coming to Belton, Hardee taught grades kindergarten, first, second and fourth in Montgomery County R-II for six years. She lives in Belton with her husband, Terry, and daughter Faith and has four grown children, Emily, Erin, Jake, and Caroline.
“I am proud to call Belton my home and excited to be a part of the district leadership team dedicated to continued educational growth and improvement,” Hardee said. “I look forward to the opportunity to expand my leadership role within the district, working to enhance educational opportunities and achievement for all students in Belton.”
Morgan comes to Belton from the Bolivar R-I School District where he has been the superintendent for the past five years. Before Bolivar, he was also the superintendent of schools at Oregon-Howell R-III in Koshkonong. Morgan earned his doctorate from St. Louis University in educational leadership.
“I am looking forward to joining the team at Belton No. 124,” Morgan said. “As a school leader it is our job to help foster an environment that motivates learners and increases opportunities for students and staff to be most successful. Belton has a great reputation for being committed to high levels of student achievement and community involvement. Joining the team will provide an opportunity for me to help continue the path of growth for all students in our district.”
Morgan and his wife, Leigh Ann, plan to make Belton home with their four children, Sydney, Emily, Kennedy and Ashton. Morgan said they are looking forward to the new adventure and opportunity to meet new people.
“The Belton community is very appealing to my family,” Morgan explained. “The perfect mix of conservative values with progressive initiatives and the small-town feel are what drew us here. The conveniences of a large city are also very exciting. It is very evident that the Belton community is supportive of its schools. The Belton Education Foundation’s slogan, ‘believing every day in the future’ says it all.”
Both administrators will begin their new duties on July 1.