HSE Prevails In Another Tight Mudsock Game

The Hamilton Southeastern boys basketball team held off Fishers 42-38 to win the annual Mudsock game. The Royals are pictured here with Stan Clark, who is
representing the Clark family, the sponsors of the Mudsock Trophy. (Reporter photo by Kirk Green)

by

Richie Hall

Sports Editor

Hamilton County Reporter

There is no such thing as momentum in a Mudsock game.

There certainly wasn’t in Friday’s Hamilton Southeastern-Fishers boys
basketball game, which took place at the Royals’ gym. Southeastern, ranked No. 3 in
Class 4A, appeared to have pulled away twice during the second half, but the Tigers
clawed their way back both times.

Finally, the Royals escaped with a 42-38 victory. The victory keeps Southeastern
unbeaten for the season at 6-0. Fishers is now 2-4.

“We’ve played a challenging schedule,” said HSE coach Brian Satterfield. “We have
to with our conference and with our sectional. We’ve got to do that and guys got
to be ready to step up. We know that we’re going to go through ups and downs
throughout the year with as young as we are.”

There were ups and downs in the first quarter, for sure. Aaron Etherington opened
things up for the Royals with a 3-point basket, then Fishers took the lead when
Willie Jackson scored on a putback and Jeremy Szilagyi drained a 3.

The Tigers led 7-5 before Etherington pushed HSE back up 9-7 with a pair of
baskets. But a Jordan Jones layin finished the quarter, and got Fishers back to even at
9-9.

“It was crazy,” said Etherington. “It was really fun. It was really loud and it’s just fun
being able to play in front of all those people.”

Jackson made two steals in the first half that led to baskets, and his second-quarter
takeaway got back in the hands of Szilagyi, who nailed another 3. That put Fishers
ahead 14-12.

Then it was Noah Smith time. The Royals junior took over in the later minutes
of the period, scoring six straight points on three baskets, the last of which was a
buzzer-beater that gave HSE an 18-14 halftime lead.

The third quarter opened with Brendhan Russom making a layin to get Fishers
within 18-16. But Southeastern swung the game in their favor quickly with back-to-back
3-pointers by Etherington and Nick Bowman. Those long-range shots gave HSE
a 24-16 lead.

Undaunted, Fishers pushed back, making a 6-0 run to get within 24-22. Terry
Hicks helped out with a pair of baskets and Jones scored on a layin.

“You play one possession at a time and I thought we did a good job of not getting
emotional when they went up eight,” said Tigers coach Matt Moore. “We turned them
over, we were able to convert a little bit. We did a much better job when we’d attack
the paint, making that extra pass.

“But we left too many shots out there. We had a ton of shots in the lane that we
just didn’t convert that put us over the top.”

The third quarter ended on a basket by the Royals’ Chaz Birchfield, which made
the score 28-24. The Tigers got to within 30-29 with 5:17 left in the fourth, but then
Southeastern took off on an 8-1 run.

Etherington started things with a layin. Birchfield made two free throws with 3:37
left, then two more at the 3:06 mark. The run ended in dramatic fashion as Mabor
Majak made a two-handed dunk – his only points of the game, but they certainly
counted. Southeastern was up 38-30 after that.

The Tigers made one more 6-0 run to cut HSE’s lead to 38-36. Josiah Matthews
hit a 3-pointer to begin the run, then a free throw by Jones and two more by Jackson
put Fishers in striking distance with 27.1 seconds left. But the Royals were able to
hang on, with Birchfield’s putback with around 10 seconds left essentially sealing
the game.

“Our guys keep battling through,” said Satterfield. “They’re playing together and
staying together, even through the challenging times and we’re finding ways
to win.”

Southeastern’s Etherington led all scorers with 17 points, while Birchfield
added 10 points and pulled seven rebounds. Bowman dished out six assists, while
Etherington and Majak both blocked two shots.

Szilagyi scored eight points to lead Fishers, and also made five steals. Jackson
and Russom both had five rebounds and Hicks made four steals.

The Royals will play another home game on Wednesday, taking on Pendleton
Heights. Fishers is back on the road Thursday, traveling to Muncie Central.

Jim White Receives Sagamore Of The Wabash Award At Mudsock Game

Jim White looks on as school board members honor him before the start of the Mudsock Game

Jim White is retiring after a long stint running the transportation system for Hamilton Southeastern (HSE) Schools.  At the annual Mudsock basketball game between HSE and Fishers High Schools, The HSE  School Board President Matt Burke read a proclamation honoring Jim.

But the highlight of the evening was a surprise to him – Governor Eric Holcomb signed a Sagamore of the Wabash award for Jim, with local State Representative Todd Huston doing the honors of presenting the certificate.

You can view a You Tube video of all the ceremonies at a link below.

HSE High School won the basketball game over rival Fishers, 42-38.

Jim White accepts the Sagamore of the Wabash award from State Representative Todd Huston

 

Commentary: Rick Wimmer Suspension Continues To Be A Target Of WTHR Investigative News Team

(The following is a commentary by Larry Lannan)

I have written in the past about the WTHR 13Investigates series of stories about how the Hamilton Southeastern (HSE) School Board is handling the disclosure (or lack thereof) of the information surrounding the suspension of Fishers High School teacher and varsity football coach Rick Wimmer.  WTHR has broadcast another story on this, which again points to my argument that local school officials need to settle this issue, because reporter Bob Segall is not giving up on this story.

One year ago, The HSE Board approved a consent agenda item, which included a long list of personnel actions.  One item on that list was a 5 day unpaid suspension for employee number 10042.  WTHR asked for the name of that employee and school officials disclosed it was Rick Wimmer.

WTHR 13Investigates calls that a secret suspension.  School officials defend this by saying there had been a previous decision to handle public disclosure of all such employee disciplinary actions by using an employee number, not a name.  The school board could have been more transparent when that policy was changed.  I attend nearly all school board meetings and recall no public discussion of changing this policy.  Had the board been more up-front in their change of this policy when it happened, board members would have a much stronger argument.

WTHR has received two advisory opinions from Luke Britt, the Indiana Public Access Counselor, telling HSE Schools to disclose specific facts surrounding this suspension.  So far, HSE school officials have only responded vaguely, pointing to general school policies that were violated.

According to WTHR, an attorney representing HSE Schools has argued in a letter to the television station that disclosing any more facts about this situation would violate federal laws related to the privacy of student records.  I am no lawyer, but have dealt with privacy issues in my days working for the federal government.  Any names of students could be sanitized and not disclosed in any response that would meet the Indiana Public Counselor’s advisory opinion in this case.  I am a bit puzzled about that assertion, unless there is something I am not understanding here.

As I mentioned before, not only is the 13Investigates team not giving up on this story, they are continuing to dig into it.  As a result of a WTHR Freedom of Information Act request, HSE Schools have disclosed that over $6,000 in school funds have been paid to a local law firm in order to deal with this Rick Winner disclosure issue.  That figure is from February to early June of this year.

This situation has already received some attention state-wide, but the spotlight s will once again be on HSE Schools as State Senator Mike Delph tells WTHR he is introducing a measure to clarify state law on what must be publicly disclosed when school personnel are disciplined.  Delph says in the TV interview that his proposal is a direct result of the HSE Schools handling of the Wimmer suspension disclosure.

If the HSE School Board is hoping the whole thing will go away because WTHR will shy away from the legal costs of a court battle, there is news on that front.  The TV station is partnering with a nonprofit group, The Reporters Committee For A Free Press, which provides legal help to journalists in situations where the organization chooses to become involved.  If this dispute can only be settled in court, this highly-regarded nonprofit organization will be able to provide a lot a legal help to 13Investigates.

I have been following this story for the past year and have written some commentaries about this as well.  Why am I so concerned about this situation?  Allow me to explain.

This has the potential to cast our local schools in a very bad light.  It is already a state-wide news story.  The involvement of the Reporters Committee For A Free Press, a national organization based in Washington D.C., has the potential to raise the profile of this dispute to the national level.

This is not good news for those of us that have lived in Fishers for many years.  We know this is an outstanding school system with outstanding teachers and administrators .  My daughters, now adults with college degrees, were educated grades K-12 at HSE Schools.  They received a great education that prepared them well for the university experience.

I have a great deal of sympathy for the argument school board members appear to be making that certain employee personnel facts should remain confidential.  As a former federal civil servant, I understand that perfectly.

But the law must be considered.  The Indiana Public Counselor has issued not one, but two separate advisory opinions saying facts about this specific situation leading to Wimmer’s discipline must be disclosed.  Public Counselor Luke Britt even went as far as granting an on-camera interview to WTHR to make his case that HSE Schools must disclose more facts about what led to this disciplinary decision.

If this is not settled, HSE Schools will be in the spotlight not about the high quality of the educational experience students are receiving here.  Instead, the story will be about why school officials will not disclose this information and how much money the school board is paying in legal fees to defend this decision.

As someone that loves this community, and believes we have one of the best school systems in the nation here in Fishers, I would hope our school board will take a long look at where they are and how they got here.  Let’s settle this situation with WTHR now.

You can access the latest WTHR story on all this, including viewing video of the story broadcast December 14th, at this link.

Lady Tigers Lose In Overtime

Fishers’ Tamia Perryman takes a shot during the Tigers’ Thursday game with Pendleton Heights at the Tiger Den. (Reporter photo by Richie Hall)

Hamilton County Reporter

The Fishers girls basketball team found itself on the wrong side of a comeback
Thursday night, as Pendleton Heights erased a double-digit deficit to beat the
Tigers in overtime, 57-56 at the Tiger Den.

Fishers led 16-4 after the first quarter and 34-22 at halftime. Toni Grace scored
nine points in the first period, while Ali Gerka hit a pair of 3-pointers, one in each
quarter, on her way to eight points. Kenedi London also scored eight in the first half.
The Arabians trailed 45-35 after three quarters, but outscored the Tigers 17-7 in
the fourth to force overtime. Grace made a driving layin to push Fishers in front
54-52 to begin the period, after which Pendleton used free throws to go ahead
55-54.

Grace again stepped up making a basket with 16 seconds left to get the
Tigers up 56-55. But a layin by the Arabians’ Lauren Landes with four
seconds to go clinched the game.

“Pendleton Heights knows how to win close games,” said Fishers coach Lauren
Vail. Thursday’s victory was the fourth one-point win for the Arabians’ this
season.

“This is their third win in overtime,” said Vail. “Those kids know how to win
down the stretch. They’re resilient. They hit big shots, they hit free throws.”

Grace led the Tigers with 16 points, while Gerka scored 13, totaling three
3-pointers in the game. Kenedi London added eight points.

“I told our kids, ‘We’re back in the gym tomorrow morning at 6 a.m.,'” said Vail.
“We have no option but to regroup. We got a big game coming up on Saturday
night and we just got to come in tomorrow morning and get back after it.”

Scott Spillman To Succeed Lynda Carlino at HSE S.P.O.R.T.S.

Scott Spillman

The baton is being passed to a new leader at the local nonprofit organization HSE S.P.O.R.T.S.  Lynda Carlino is retiring at the end of the year and Scott Spillman is now assuming the position of S.P.O.R.T.S. Executive Director.

Scott Spillman grew up in Fishers and was the Sports Development Manager for Hamilton County Tourism before coming to S.P.O.R.T.S. and has served as the Assistant Central Region Director for Little League baseball and softball.

HSE S.P.O.R.T.S. runs most youth sports programs in the area served by the Hamilton Southeastern (HSE) School District

 

HSE Schools Foundation Announces Grant Winners

The Hamilton Southeastern (HSE) Schools Foundation reviewed $80,000 in funding requests from local teachers, and announced the winners of those awards at the Wednesday night board meeting.

Below is the listing, as provided by the HSE Schools Foundation.

 

Kelli Servizzi (BSE) Making Math Child’s Play 
Student Impact: 250
Fun, intentional, and engaging math experience in preschool matter.  For 3‐ to 5‐year olds, most of their learning occurs through opportunities to play.  Math can be seen on the playground, during music and movement, in the dramatic play area, and at home.  Math take‐home bags can extend learning and involve families in their children’s education.

Lori Smith (FCE) Mobile Learning Lab 
Student Impact: 625
Students are future artists, mathematicians, scientists, architects, explorers, programmers,and specialist of the future.  This project creates an innovation lab to add to the related arts.

Julie Vairo (FCE) Fall Creek Community Trail 
Student Impact: 634
This will create an accessible trail in the wooded area behind Fall Creek Elementary.  Students will gather for instruction and create a wetlands area with board walk access.  Supported by Tri Kappa, Boy Scouts, and Hamilton County Parks Department.  This project may be eligible for district matching funds.

Lisa Harvey, Kristen Beinecke, and Susan Galliher (GES) Great Gator Outdoor Learning Project 
Student Impact: 800
Student led project to create an outdoor “excavation” site.  Students will experiment with moving soil around to effect the path of water, using collaboration and cooperation.  Exploration will continue in the areas of environmental science, process in nature, and paleontology.   This project may be eligible for district matching funds.

Jamie Howard (HRE) Beekeepers
Student Impact: 700
Pollinators are vital to creating and maintaining the habitats and ecosystems that many animals rely on for food and shelter.  This student‐led, inquiry project encourages students to investigate honey bees culminating in the three phases of project work.  Study will include developing questions, studying
habitat and bee behavior, and documenting learning.

Lori Mankin (NBE) Nature’s Classroom
Student Impact: 300
Greenspace provides the perfect natural environment for tying together important work in the district.  Nature’s classroom promotes authentic play, inquiry, collaborative and community‐based opportunities aligned with HSE21. This project may be eligible for district matching funds.

Angel Myers (NBE) I Want to Be an Engineer! 
Student Impact: 25
This project welcomes young learners to the field of engineering.  Children will be engaged in collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking.  The hands‐on experience will help students move through a design process creating a positive first interaction with STEM.

Bryan Alig (SCI) Shark for Sharks 
Student Impact: 971
A 325 hundred gallon salt water aquarium has been installed for students to student a living environment.

Jennifer Suskovich (SCI) Light My Class with Solar Energy 
Student Impact: 110
Student Led Philanthropy Project – Zimmerman Moeller Fund
Students will use solar energy to power the lights in the classroom.  Using knowledge of seasonal daylight movement, students will investigate the locations that provided the maximum amount of solar energy.

Amy Knerr and Michelle Bunnell (RSI) We the People 
Student Impact: 160
We the People promotes civil competence and responsibility for HSE humanities students.  This project brings the famed program to the intermediate level.

Daniel Loomis (FCJH) Treadmill 
Student Impact: 800
Regular exercise aids the classroom in that students who regularly exercise perform better academically, sleep better and are sick less often.  This project will begin to build a cardio room at Fall Creek Junior High.

Adam Brown (FCJH) Human Battlegrounds 
Student Impact: 125
Students will explore the microbial world of viruses, bacteria, and parasites as well as how they interact with the human body and its defenses.  Students will have the chance to grow bacteria, learn how to identify them by real life lab processes and formulate testable hypotheses.

Nick Tschuor (FCJH) New Digital Media   
Student Impact: 500
This project will facilitate the creation of a digital media class at the junior high level providing authentic classroom demonstrations, differentiation, and collaboration with fellow students and educators.

Elizabeth Good (FHS) Project Lead the Way Upgrade 
Student Impact: 400
Through problems that engage and challenge, students explore a broad range of engineering topics including mechanisms, the strength of structures and materials, and automation. The program’s courses engage students in compelling, real‐world challenges that help them become better collaborators and
thinkers.  Students take from the courses in‐demand knowledge and skills they will use in high school
and for the rest of their lives, on any career path.

Jennifer Pope (FHS) Focused Success 
Student Impact: 50
One of the key factors in sustained focus is the need for body movement.  This project incorporates the use of standing desks, seating discs, and standing pads into the classroom to improve focus and alertness.

Janet Chandler (HSEHS) We the People 
Student Impact: 60
We the People and Mock Trial team allow students to immerse themselves in the Constitution, law, government and civics education.

Jagga Rent (HSEHS) Black Student Union
Student Impact:  25 ‐ 3400
The goal of the Black Student Union is to celebrate the African American culture, to educate HSE stakeholders about the culture and to unify our school campus through programming.  This project will support student programming and marketing efforts including a mentoring program with Hoosier Road Elementary.

David Young (HSEHS) HSE Student Media 
Student Impact: 30
This project expands school and community connections by developing a streaming sports broadcasting program.  Students will gain hands‐on knowledge of mass media, journalism, photojournalism, newsroom production and broadcast journalism.

Deserving of Recognition, but unable to join us: 

Erin Duros (HRE) Anything you can dream, you can weave 
Student Impact: 700
This project fosters confidence for all students to be artists while providing hands‐on learning, critical thinking, visual thinking, and collaboration.  Students will unleash the inner artist in students – even those who don’t feel artistic.

Cindy Baney (FJH) Operation Choir Festival 
Student Impact: 700
Traditional choir contests do not foster a growth mindset among musicians as it is a “one and done.”  This festival approach is designed to encourage interaction between performers and vetted choral experts including Ryan Alwardt, HSE Alumni and Straight No Chaser performer.  The experience will culminate with a performance demonstrated what students have learn

Fishers Teen Immediate Detentions Are Down

Riverside Junion High musicians entertain school officials before Wednesday night’s board meeting

(Editor’s Note:  This story was updated at 7:20pm December 14th.  Earlier versions reported the 2016 17 & under immediate detention cases at 131….HSE Schools has now corrected that number…the 2016 figure is 69)

An immediate detention is a situation where police must take a person into custody due to a danger posed to themselves or others around them.  An immediate detention is nearly always tied to some mental illness.

Brooke Lawson, Mental Health Coordinator for the Hamilton Southeastern (HSE) Schools, told the school board Monday night that immediate detentions in Fishers for those 17 years of age and under are down from 69 in 2016 to only 42 so far in 2017.  Lawson credited the mayor’s campaign to battle mental health issues in Fishers, and the school corporation’s participation in that program, as reasons for the dramatic decrease in immediate detentions..

Also at that same board meeting, Superintendent Allen Bourff asked the board if there is interest in using video live streaming and having meetings saved on video for a few weeks after the board session.  No board member objected, some were clearly in favor.  Dr. Bourff indicated the policy committee will continue to explore how to move forward on the video proposal.

School administrators outlined new course proposals.  The board was not asked to take any action but to review the proposals at this time.  You can review the new course proposals at this link.

The board approved buying a new payroll software system from Alio.  The current software was installed in 1992 and is badly out of date.

 

1933 Bar, Burger Study Coming To The Yard

The 1933 Bar and Burger Study, both tied to the St. Elmo’s Steakhouse family, are coming the The Yard in July of 2019.  The first two restaurants planned for the culinary development planned in Fishers were announced in a video posted on the City of Fishers Facebook page.

Burger Study is described as an adult burger, or high end hamburger establishment.  1933 Bar is currently on the second floor of St. Elmo’s Steakhouse in downtown Indianapolis, and features small plate meals.

Burger Study will take 6,000 square feet of space and 1933 Bar is expected to take 5,000 square feet.

The Yard is planned to be a 17-acre development near IKEA in Fishers, with several restaurants expected to be available.

Lady Royals Win 5th Straight At New Castle

Hamilton County Reporter

Hamilton Southeastern won its fifth straight game Tuesday, running past New
Castle 56-29 at the Trojans’ Fieldhouse.

The Class 4A No. 6 Royals got off to a fast start, leading 25-2 after the first quarter.
Southeastern held a 36-8 advantage at halftime, and maintained that margin throughout
the second half.

Amaya Hamilton led the HSE scoring with 20 points, while Sydney Parrish added
15. Parrish grabbed seven rebounds and Tayah Irvin collected five. Irvin also made
four steals, while Molly Walton dished out six assists.

Southeastern is now 11-2 for the season and travels to Fishers on Saturday evening
for the Mudsock game.

Hamilton County Commissioners Move Forward On Bridge, Road Projects

by

Fred Swift

Hamilton County Reporter

The first step toward a new bridge over White River at Pleasant Street was accomplished Monday by Hamilton County Commissioners. Following several years of discussion with the city of Noblesville, commissioners entered into an engineering agreement with USI Engineering for preliminary engineering services for the bridge. It will be the fourth span over the river in Noblesville and is key to a bypass of the city’s downtown area.

Estimated cost figures have not been announced. But, the county has a Major Bridge Fund with several million dollars. County government is responsible for building and maintaining major bridges throughout the county whether they are located inside or outside a city.

Noblesville city officials have already begun plans for improving Pleasant Street between 10th Street and White River along with a connection to River Road to the west of the river. Ultimately, plans call for a bypass-type thoroughfare linking State Road 37 with State Road 32 where Hague Road currently meets SR 32.

The idea of the partial bypass is to relieve traffic congestion in the downtown business district. Currently all SR 32 traffic moves through Noblesville over the Conner Street bridge. There is a second downtown bridge at Logan Street, and a third at Field Drive on the north side of the city.

In a flurry of year-end highway improvement measures, commissioners also signed an engineering agreement with the firm of Beam, Longest and Neff for designing a “curve correction” on Strawtown Avenue at Prairie Baptist Road, entered into an interlocal agreement with Carmel for assisting in construction of an interchange at Keystone Parkway and 96th Street, and another interlocal with Fishers for a bridge over the Shoemaker Ditch on Allisonville Road.

And finally, the board signed an agreement with the Lochmueller Group for construction inspection of the planned Lowes Way Extension, also known as a flyover connection to allow 146th Street traffic to access southbound Keystone Parkway. Construction on the project is expected to begin early in 2018.

In other action, commissioners announced the contractual employment of Tammy Sander as the county’s new public relations representative. She will start in her part time job immediately, spending the next three weeks acquainting herself with county government, local officials and various upcoming projects, according to County Commissioner Steve Dillinger.