Belton: Superintendent talks strategy as newcomer to the district
Dr. Matthew Smith has been on the job as Belton ISD's new superintendent for one week and says he couldn't be more excited to finally be getting started.
He spent the week visiting all the schools in the district, meeting students, teachers and staff.
Before his first day on the job, the district invited members of the community to complete a survey, of what they wanted Smith to know about Belton.
Smith says the information is vital to how he will make his plans for the district.
"We're interested in trying to listen to the community right off the bat make sure that we are listening more than we're talking right now," Smith said.
Coming from Leander ISD, he says it’s important for him to learn before he would consider making changes.
"I don't think it be good for me to come in as in our outsider to the school district in make assumptions right off the bat I think I need to spend my time listening and learning," he said.
The district received more than 1,000 responses, Smith says, and the data are being analyzed before they’re presented to the school board later this month.
Smith says the district's former leaders have paved a path for him to continue success in Belton.
"If it wasn't for the work of Dr. (Susan) Kincannon and Dr. (Robin) Battershell, I wouldn't have even applied for this job," Smith said.
"I need people to know that it was Belton ISD that really intrigued me and I wanted to be here because I believe they have great kids and great teachers."
His goals for the district are to focus on the kids, and create an extraordinary learning experience for every student in their system
"That doesn't mean that it’s always in the classroom it could be on the playing field it could be in robotics events it could be at a lot of different things. We all have those memories from our schooling that stand out to us that was an exceptional experience. I believe it’s our job to create those so one of my first goals is to really focus on that as a system and that we're all about kids and doing the right things for kids each and every day," Smith said.
His other goals are to bring the educators in the district together and to function as a team, as well as bringing school trustees together, pointing in the same direction as a cohesive group.