Your Voice Matters

Calling all students, parents, friends, and neighbors! Let’s pack the BHS auditorium on Monday night.   

A principal can make or break the school culture.  We need your input on the qualities of the next BHS principal.  Your attendance championing a united BHS community matters especially at this important meeting.

Dr. Ponce, Assistant Superintendent High Schools Office, will be in attendance.

Our community deserves a great school with a strong principal.  #BellaireStrong #CardinalProud

Principal Michael McDonough’s Retirement Announcement

Dear Alumni and Friends of Bellaire High School,

It is with great sadness, anger, frustration, and bewilderment to inform you that Principal Michael “Mike” McDonough has decided to retire from HISD. He decided to leave what he loved doing, which was being Principal of Bellaire High School, instead of continuing to deal with the un-ending investigation being run by the administration of HISD. This is difficult news to hear and to process for teachers, colleagues, students, alumni and the friends of Michael and Bellaire High School.

Michael has been a great advocate for the students, faculty, and community of BHS. He has been a tireless leader for the school and has worked hours fighting for the needs of the school and support of the faculty and students. He involved himself in the day to day process of running the school, while juggling administrative meetings, supporting faculty, and making personal connections with the students on campus, and participating in the PTO and was hands on in the planning for the new BHS building. Michael made a point to attend sporting events, student competitions, and club activities. During COVID, he maintained contact with the kids by continuing to have a morning meeting that involved announcements and information about events that could still occur. Michael would make jokes and do skits for the kids to help support them during the horrible isolation that was occurring. Through his personal interactions many students have commented how well they knew him and that they knew Michael McDonough cared about them and their success.  The school has flourished while he has been the leader of BHS, recruiting and maintaining well qualified excellent teachers, creating many National Merit Scholars, numerous AP Scholars, and having multiple valedictorians graduating at the same time from Bellaire in the past several years.

Michael has always been a big support to the Alumni and Friends of Bellaire High School and has appreciated the importance of our organization. He has met with us to assist in deciding how he can best help us fundraise and he has attended our recent crawfish boils and silent auctions that have raised money for awarding student scholarships for college. He was praising our organization and would talk about AFBHS with others to make them aware of our purpose to support the school.

Michael McDonough is not replaceable. We understand his choice was difficult, but the constant scrutiny and uncertainty is also difficult and stressful to bear. We do not know what happens next. The Bellaire High School Community will be grieving, and we are angry. We still have heard nothing from the HISD Administration about why this happened and what caused such an upheaval in our school. It has created incredible disappointment and mistrust in the HISD Administration and HISD Board of Trustees. When is the BHS Community going to be provided information, allowed to be heard and allowed to participate in the process of how our school functions.

Leslie Crossman, PhD

President of AFBHS ‘82

Becky Burcalow Phillips

Vice President, AFBHS ‘69

Mr. McDonough’s Retirement

Today is a sad day for the Bellaire students, teachers, parents, community, and HISD.  Mr. McDonough, who served HISD for 30 years with an impeccable record, announced his retirement.  
Mr. McDonough has mentored countless principals, administrators, teachers, and students during his distinguished tenure at HISD.  Under his leadership, Bellaire High School continued to lead HISD schools with the highest number of National Merit Semi-Finalists and provided a world-class learning environment for all.  Bellaire High School is the only HISD school that offers College Prep level classes in addition to the AP and on-level courses. This approach ensures the academic needs of our diversified student body are met and the different learning needs are addressed.  Mr. McDonough supported Bellaire’s one lunch period, Cardinal Hour, which allows students to seek tutorial help from their teachers and participate in the 100+ student lead club meetings during lunch  time because before and after-school hours are not accessible to all students.  These achievements and practices should be celebrated by HISD. 
It’s been over 5 months since Mr. McDonough was “temporarily” reassigned.  I can only imagine the mental anguish caused by reporting to HISD Education Learning Center and sitting in isolation every day.   Mr. McDonough felt strongly that his students needed a principal, his teachers needed a principal, and our school community needed a principal.  This is the best decision he could make for everybody in the Bellaire High School community.  

The Bellaire community and our HISD friends will grieve for this tremendous loss.  Bellaire High School PTO is committed to supporting our students and teachers and continuing our advocacy for our school.  
We encourage you to express your views and concerns to HISD administrators and Trustees.  Through a call out message, HISD invited our community to attend an in person meeting to gather input for the principal search in the auditorium at 5:30 pm on Monday, October 17.  The time will be confirmed by HISD officials in the next few days.  

Judy Cheng
BHS PTO President