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New Belton ISD elementary school to be named after longtime district employee

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Posted at 1:32 PM, Dec 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-14 14:32:39-05

BELTON, Texas — A new Belton ISD elementary school is set to be named after a longtime district employee and former minister.

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The James L. Burrell elementary school is currently being built in the northern part of the district at 8104 Glade Drive in Temple, Texas.

Burrell died in July 2020.

Prior to his death, Burrell's history with the district is said to have spanned five decades - starting in the era of segregation, when black and white students attended separate schools.

Burrell first began teaching in 1962 after graduating from Prairie View A&M College.

After desegregation, Burrell moved to Belton Junior High and then Belton High School where he taught vocational classes and worked with special education students.

Burrell later retired from teaching in 2000 but continued to drive a school bus for the district until 2015.

In November, the Belton ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved naming the district’s 12th elementary school James L. Burrell Elementary.

Trustee at-large Janet Leigh said it was a privilege to vote in favor of honoring such a pivotal community member.

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“Mr. Burrell epitomized exactly what we want BISD students to be,” she said.

“When they become citizens of this world one day, we want them to be exactly what he was — a mentor, kind, generous, compassionate, professional in all that they do and in all of their interactions with others, even when times are hard."