Bell County Superintendents Attend Fall Kickoff Meeting at A&M-Central Texas

Bell County Superintendents Attend Fall Kickoff Meeting at A&M-Central Texas

Texas A&M University-Central Texas hosted Bell County superintendents’ first in-person, collaborative meeting of the school year.

The meeting allows local Independent School Districts, ranging in size from hundreds of students to thousands, to discuss trends, brainstorm solutions and talk shop.

The exchange of invaluable information has proven useful, especially in the wake of current issues like school safety and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have been a superintendent in Bell County for 11 years and during those times, this has been one of the meetings that is most useful to me, because it gives us an opportunity to meet with our peers in the county. It gives us contact with other agencies like the Bell County Public Health District. That has been especially important in the last two years,“ said Troy ISD superintendent Neil Jeter.

Among the group was State Representative Brad Buckley, Texas A&M System Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Michelle Hartman, Bell County Public Health District Director Amy Yager, and Strategic Leadership Director of Education Service Center Region 12 Mark Parsons.

School safety, student mental health and population growth within the county were topics of conversation.

Buckley iterated that these meetings were meant to empower superintendents and making sure needs of districts were met. Yager updated the group on current public health numbers and best practices, while Parsons spoke of upcoming initiatives.

Jeter emphasized the importance of these partnerships, along with the good working relationships with local higher education partners like Temple College, Central Texas College, and A&M–Central Texas, and the need to have the latest information.

A&M–Central Texas’ College of Education and Human Development Dean Jeffery Kirk and Assistant Dean Tam Jones addressed the county’s call to action to ease the teacher shortage, informed the group of continued programming and updated the group on opportunities within the University.

“We are here to serve you. That’s the only reason this campus exists,” Kirk said of serving the community and collaborating with local ISDs. This group of forward-looking educational leaders plans to meet monthly and is dedicated to responding to challenges students face and providing an environment where students can be successful.

“I am most looking forward to our students (having the chance) to experience the full educational opportunities that are before them and providing them the support to be successful, “ Jeter said.

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