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