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Burnet Middle School names new principal

The Burnet Consolidated Independent School District board of trustees approved naming Jennifer Stewart the new Burnet Middle School principal, a role she’s held as the interim since January. Courtesy photo

Interim Burnet Middle School Principal Jennifer Stewart was officially granted the top job by the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees during its Monday, March 29, meeting. Stewart has served as interim principal since January, taking over ofter the death of then-Principal Jeremy LeJeune.

Prior to taking the position, Stewart was serving as the Burnet High School curriculum and instruction assistant principal.

“Jennifer has been described by her staff as a kind and caring leader that is knowledgeable, visible, and a systems-thinker,” BCISD Superintendent Keith McBurnett said. “These qualities, along with her outstanding work ethic and professional background as a teacher and administrator, make her the natural choice to lead the campus.”

Stewart has 25 years of experience in education and said she is looking forward to working alongside the middle school staff to help each student reach their full potential.

“When I started as the interim principal in January and asked the staff for feedback on the most important thing I needed to know about Burnet Middle School, the overwhelming response was, ‘We are family,’” Stewart said. “This statement is 100 percent accurate. Within three months, I already feel a part of the BMS family and care tremendously about the staff and students. I am honored and blessed to have the opportunity to continue to serve the BMS faculty and students as principal for the next school year.”

In other business, the board approved tapping the district’s budget fund balance to begin repairs to Bulldog Stadium Drive, which was damaged during the February winter storm. The freeze, followed by warming temperatures, caused substantial “heaving and crumbling” of the asphalt road. The district closed a portion of Bulldog Stadium Drive from FM 963 to Third Street to through traffic following the storm.

To replace the asphalt with concrete will cost about $295,000. Of that, about $25,000 will be paid by insurance. The remainder would come from the district’s fund balance.

Changing Bulldog Stadium Drive from asphalt to concrete is included in the 2021 bond proposal. The work needs to be done now to it can be ready for the 2021-22 school year.

The Burnet High School auditorium was also damaged during the storm when a water pipe broke and flooded the facility. A restoration company estimated repairs at about $436,000.

The district’s insurance company is reviewing the estimate before any work can begin. McBurnett said he hoped renovations could begin in the next two weeks.

During the meeting, the board also recognized three BCISD Hall of Honor inductees: John Lopes, Mike Lewis, and Deidra Robertson. They were inducted under the Distinguished Former BCISD Employees category.

The board also:

  • approved the 2021-22 school year calendar;
  • recognized outstanding students of the month Haley McHam and Cade Rye of Burnet High School and Joseph Kneese of Quest High School;
  • and recognized the Burnet High School swim and dive team for national and state honors, including National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association Academic All-Americans Jacey Huston and Jordan Messer, Texas High School Coaches Association All-State Academics Jacey Huston (Elite Team) and Jordan Messer (Second Team), and Texas Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association All-State Academics Jacey Huston, Jordan Messer, Ryan Behrens, Julianna La Joie, and Zoe Nicholl.

daniel@thepicayune.com