The Belton School District, along with the wider community, is mourning the passing of district employee Troy Shaw, who died Aug. 28 of melanoma. He was 40 years old.
Shaw was manager of network security and safety coordinator for the school district and also worked part time as a reserve police officer in Belton. In addition, he volunteered his time as executive director for the community group Belton CARES.
“Troy worked with us, for us, and in support of us since he graduated from Belton High School 23 years ago and walked into the technology department to start his first job,” the district posted on Facebook.
“He continued his education in technology and network security knowing his learning helped advance this district into the 21st century safely. He later trained to become a Belton police officer, knowing this expertise would serve and support the students and staff in the district.
“When we talk about Belton’s Portrait of a Graduate, think of Troy. He was all the things we hope for a Belton graduate: driven, gracious, curious, organized, collaborative, and so, so kind.”
In Shaw’s honor, Belton CARES devoted its first newsletter of the school year to skin cancer, especially melanoma.
“In Troy’s memory we want to encourage you to wear sunscreen, wear protective clothing and hats, seek shade, stay away from tanning beds, and most importantly schedule a dermatologist visit,” the organization posted.
Sandy Clutter, a retired assistant school superintendent in Belton and interim executive director of Belton CARES, said Shaw had been executive director for two years and served on the Belton CARES board for six years before that.
“Troy was a man with a big heart who cared deeply for the safety of the children and staff at the Belton School District,” Clutter said by email. “ He protected them from cyber as well as potential physical harm.”
Shaw began working in the district the day after he graduated from high school, Clutter said, and decided to train as a police officer after becoming increasingly concerned about school shootings.
“He didn’t get that training to have a second job,” she said. “He got it so he could provide the best security training for teachers and staff. He took that responsibility very seriously and once staff were trained by Troy, they were prepared. We pray that training never has to be implemented.”
With Belton CARES, she said, Shaw worked closely with the First Call organization and received an ACT MO grant for signs at every school exit encouraging students to drive safely.
“Troy’s touch is everywhere in the school district and community,” Clutter said. “He was humble and never sought the limelight. Although he didn’t have biological children, he had 5,000 children a year that he educated, protected and cheered on with every achievement they had.”
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Belton High School Performing Arts Center, 801 W. North Ave. Visitation will be held at 1 p.m. and again after the service.
The family suggests memorial contributions to Belton CARES, 110 W. Walnut St., Belton, MO 64012.