BEAUMONT, Texas — Beaumont Independent School District officials have announced that an area elementary school will have a new principal for the upcoming school year.
Dr. Charisma Popillion will take over as the Acceleration Campus Excellence (ACE) principal for Homer Drive Elementary at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year. Popillion is taking the place of Dr. Belinda George.
George went viral in 2019 during her first year as principal of the elementary school. On Tuesdays, she would read her students a bedtime story on Facebook live.
George said her resignation will be effective at the end of the 2021-22 school year.
George released a statement saying she had a, "great tenure as the principal of Homer Drive," but all things have an end. She said she learned a great deal about herself as an educator and has grown as a leader.
George wanted to remind all her students that she does not have to be a principal or teacher to make a difference in their lives.
George said she knows that Popillion will be, "amazing as she makes great strides at Homer Drive," and knows she will bring Homer Drive to greater heights.
George thanked BISD for allowing her to start and finish in a district where, "every moment truly mattered more." In turn, BISD officials thanked George for the services she provided to the Homer Drive students and community.
District officials wished George the best in her future endeavors and believe Popillion is eager to serve her community.
BISD officials said Popillion has a, “track record of improving school performance at the elementary level.” Prior to taking on this new position, Popillion served as assistant principal and as an educator at Homer Drive.
During her career within the district, Popillion has served as a BISD educator, assistant principal, title supervisor and principal. District officials said she impacted others positively while in each position.
Officials said that under Popillion’s leadership as principal, achievement at Charlton Pollard Elementary dramatically improved. District officials said she, “facilitated a complete change in climate and culture."
Officials said Popillion is eager and prepared for whatever challenges her new position may bring.
They believe Popillion has what it takes to “lead the transformation and development of BISD's first demonstration school.”
Dr. Belinda George called her initiative of reading to her students, "Tucked in Tuesdays."
George said her mission was to go above and beyond her school duties.
After finishing the books, students were allowed to take quizzes to get Accelerated Reading points. George said many of students were encouraged to read more.
George said it, "blessed her hear" to know that her students wanted to see her outside of campus grounds.
From a Full BISD Statement:
Next year, BISD will implement the district-led initiative, Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE), at Homer Drive. This initiative will serve as the BISD model for turning around campuses internally instead of teaming up with an external partner to assist in improving campuses.
New features for Beaumont ISD’s ACE campus include an extended school day, which allows for increased instructional time to focus on critical subjects like reading and math, targeted interventions/tutoring, homework help and more. The ACE campus will also leverage extended school hours to offer a variety of enrichment activities. Because a priority of the program is to provide for social and emotional care, many other basic needs are also provided for students and families. Some of these include free breakfast, lunch and dinner and free evening transportation on Monday through Thursday for students who stay for the extended day.
As personnel practice, every year, during the spring semester, the district assesses principal assignments to ensure what is best for students to help them excel is the primary focus. As principals are reassigned after this assessment a statement is issued to notify the community.
The district sincerely thanks Dr. George for the services she has provided for the students and community at Homer Drive. Through her initiative, the Tucked In Tuesdays via Facebook, she encouraged students and parents to engage in literacy and understand its impact on their educational journey. BISD sincerely wishes Dr. George the best in her future endeavors.
Full statement from Dr. Belinda George
I had a great tenure as the principal of Homer Drive. I learned a lot about myself as an educator. I've grown as a leader, but everything has an ending. I want every child that I have ever touched to know that I don't have to be their principal or teacher to continue making a difference in their lives. This chapter in my life has come to an end based upon our (Melvin/my supportive husband and I) decision to resign effective at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. There is no doubt in my mind that Dr. Charisma Popillion will be amazing as she makes great strides at Homer Drive. I couldn't be more honored than to have someone like her to bring Homer Drive to greater heights.
The faculty and staff are extraordinary, the parents are amazing, and the scholars are truly our reason why. Thank you again, BISD, for allowing me to start and finish in our district where Every Moment truly Mattered more! Dr. Allen, I wish you nothing but the support that you truly deserve! Beaumont and surrounding areas, our children are watching, so let's do the right thing by those who matter the most…our children. And as always…If nobody else tells you, Dr. George loves you!