David Belding set to leave Aubrey ISD
By Abigail Allen
Midlothian ISD announced Saturday that Dr. David Belding is the lone finalist for its superintendent position.
Belding has served as Aubrey ISD's superintendent for seven years, and he has confirmed that he intends to accept the role of Midlothian superintendent.
"There are times when people reach out to you about opportunities and if you want to think about something, it has to be a very special place," Belding said. "Midlothian ISD fits that bill."
Midlothian—a fast-growth district with two 5A high schools, three middle schools and eight elementary schools—is in the south-central Dallas-Fort Worth Area, sandwiched between I-35W and I-35E.
In its announcement, MISD emphasized Belding's experience in passing bonds and being able to handle construction projects.
"During his seven-year Aubrey ISD Superintendent tenure, Dr. Belding has overseen the passage of two bond programs totaling $436.9 million and a Tax Ratification Election (TRE)," the MISD release said. "He led district efforts to attain higher student achievement, improve instructional technology, and execute a balanced budget while growing fund balance and saving taxpayers millions of dollars through early bond debt payments."
Belding was approached about the opportunity and felt it was a good fit for him, he said.
"This move gets me closer to my mother and my wife's parents," he said. "And that was a big piece of the puzzle as well."
He said he's also excited about the opportunity to interact with a new community.
Belding had informed the board in advance of participating in the final interview and before the MISD announcement broke that he was one of the final candidates being considered for the position.
"I wanted to give them advance notice," Belding said. "It's really important to me to be transparent and ethical with everyone … and also to leave well. This is a special place to me and always will be, and I want to make sure that as I do transition out of the district that everything is set up and ready to roll."
He expressed his faith in the ability of the other Aubrey ISD administrators—on the district and campus level—to maintain the trajectory of the district.
"I have every confidence in the world in them," Belding said.
The Aubrey ISD board was set to meet on Wednesday after press time regarding the transition process and timeline for finding a new superintendent.
Belding said it's possible that the official decision by the MISD board to offer Belding an official contract would come around Sept. 18, which is when the 21-day waiting period will end.
"There will be the Aubrey board meeting on Sept. 20, so that's when my official resignation would be submitted to Aubrey and the board would accept that, and then I would probably be transitioning at that point down to Midlothian, starting officially Oct. 2."
He also said there would likely be a period of time between his employment ending at Aubrey ISD and when he would begin assuming the role of Midlothian superintendent in which Belding would take personal time to make the transition to his new community.
"That's a flexible timeframe depending on what happens and the needs that might emerge for both districts," he said.
Belding said he is grateful for the constant community support he received during his tenure in Aubrey.
"I have truly cherished my time in Aubrey ISD," Belding said. "I just finished my seventh year in the district, and it has flown by. It's such a special place, and we have accomplished so much."
He feels the district is in a good place with its bond projects for him to be able to leave that to his successor.
"We're already under construction on Elementary School 4, and then we are very close to bidding Middle School 2 and then the high school additions and renovations are about a month to six weeks behind that, so we are well into all of that, all of that design, and getting very close to breaking ground," Belding said. "I feel very confident and comfortable that everything is in a really good spot, that it will be very seamless delivering those projects on time and on budget."
Multiple area leaders expressed their appreciation for the relationships Belding has fostered in his time at the helm of Aubrey ISD.
"Sir, you have been a crucial part of what Aubrey ISD has become today," Aubrey Mayor Chris Rich said on his mayoral Facebook page. "Our relationship and your willingness to nurture that City: [School] District team has been so important as people move to our area in droves. We will continue the growth workshops and will keep the requirement that all developers come talk directly to the Superintendent. Whoever is replacing you, has some big shoes to fill."
Providence Village Town Manager Brian Roberson also said he's grateful for the effort Belding put into his work.
“Dr. Belding is an incredible leader and has done an amazing job of putting the district in a position to handle all the growth that’s coming over the next five to 10 years,” he said. “He has cultivated a strong leadership team and established a districtwide culture that I hope will help carry the district forward. … Midlothian is lucky to have him.”