Deadline Has Passed, HSE School Board November 8th Election Is Set

The deadline for school board candidates to file their candidacy was Friday, August 26th, at noon.  We now know who the candidates will be.  I will get to that in a moment.  There are a number of new residents in Fishers, and I have been receiving a lot of questions about our local school board election.  Let me provide a little background first, then list all the candidates.

When you are elected to the Hamilton Southeastern School Board, you are elected to a four-year term.  For example, in 2014, four board seats were up for election, one seat in each of the four school board districts.

This year will be an at-large election, sort of.  Rather than candidates running at-large in the entire district, this at-large election will consist of races in each of the townships that make up the HSE School District…that would be Delaware, Fall Creek and Wayne Townships.  Voters in each township will elect one school board member from that township.  Why is the election set-up this way?  I’m not sure, but it’s likely tied to an agreement reached in the process of the HSE School District being consolidated many years ago.

So, every two years HSE has a school board election, selecting board members to four-year terms.  Every two years, we rotate between selecting candidates from each of the four districts, then having an election selecting one board member from each of the three townships, making up the seven-member board.  In 2016, we elect one board member from each township.

With that out of the way, let’s set the stage for the 2016 HSE School Board election.

If you are looking for incumbents, there are two.  In Wayne Township, Sylvia Shepler is seeking her fourth consecutive term on the board.  In Fall Creek Township, Howard Stevenson was appointed by the board to serve the remainder of Darren Sink’s term (Darren left Fishers for another job) and is running in this election.   Karen Harmer apparently feels 18 years on the board is enough, so she is not seeking re-election in Delaware Township.

Here are your 2016 candidates for HSE School Board (listed alphabetically by first letter of first name in each township):


Delaware Township

Adam Harness

Amanda J. Shera

Bradley Jones

Franklin W. Whelan


Fall Creek Township

Howard Stevenson

J. Kent Everett

Mike Bottorff


Wayne Township

Charron Wright

Sylvia Shepler



I understand at least one organization is in the process of putting together a candidate forum.  I will let you know more when anything is announced.



Road Construction for Work Week Starting Monday, August 29th

It’s been a busy summer road construction season and it’s not letting up.

Note on the schedule below that Exit 5 Parkway, near 116th Street and I-69, will be closed beginning Tuesday, September 6th, at 6am, for two months.  There is a link to a detour map.

Below is the listing, provided by the City of Fishers:




Continuing this week, the bridge on 106th Street between Allisonville Road and Hague Road will be closed by the Hamilton County Highway Department for replacement. Detour routes are displayed in the area and access to local traffic will be permitted for residents and businesses. Please direct any questions about this project to
Road work continues on Cyntheanne Road between Southeastern Parkway and 136th Street, during construction periodic lane restrictions and flaggers will remain in place to help direct traffic.

Exit Five Parkway will be closed beginning at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, September 6 to reconstruct the road as part of the 116th Street widening project. The road will be closed to all traffic. Trucks needed to deliver to businesses will need to go up to Cumberland Road to Exit Five Parkway and come in from the north. The road will be closed for approximately two months, and a detour map is available online.
Milestone Contractors has begun mobilizing cranes and other equipment and setting a temporary concrete barrier wall along I-69 at Campus Parkway Exit 210. Work will require alternating lane closures on northbound and southbound I-69 between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Lane closures may recur each night through the end of the week depending on weather and progress. Questions about this project should be directed to INDOT at or 1-855-463-6848.

INDOT is overseeing an overnight closure on multiple traffic lanes on I-69 overnight this week. Weather permitting, lane closures, traffic changes and rolling slowdowns of traffic will begin after 9 p.m. and are expected to end before 6 a.m. the next day. Construction schedules and traffic restrictions are subject to change, and questions should be directed to INDOT at, 1-800-261-ROAD (7623) or 511 from a mobile phone. Please drive with caution as a new traffic pattern is in place.
Various general survey work has begun along the State Road 37 corridor. Work will take place starting at the 126th Street intersection. Learn more

USA Parkway will be closed from 8 p.m. on Friday, August 26th until 5 a.m. on Monday, August 29th to allow contractors to install a storm sewer across the road. 
Cumberland Road from 106th Street to Mud Creek is closed as Phase 1 of a new roundabout begins. 106th Street will remain open and Cumberland Road north of 106th Street will remain open at this time. The Cumberland Road south of 106th street is closed. Please continue to check the weekly construction update for ongoing progress on this project.
INDOT has begun work on the 106th Street interchange. A lane shift is currently in place on I-69 and 106th Street is closed as construction continues. Additional details about this project will be released through INDOT and shared on the weekly construction update. Please be advised the speed limit from 82nd Street to 116th Street has been reduced to 55 mph and there are lane shifts on I-69. Please travel with caution and pay close attention to signage in the area.

116th STREET
There may be short-term lane restrictions on eastbound 116th Street between USA Parkway and Exit Five Parkway while utility work is being completed. Nightly lane restrictions will also be in place on 116th Street between Commercial Drive and USA Parkway between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
131st STREET
Lane restrictions will be in place on 131st Street between Brooks School Road and Olio Road to allow contractors to perform paving activities. Weather permitting, restrictions will be in place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

HSE School Board Election Beginning to Take Shape

With the deadline to file looming at noon, Friday, August 26th, all three board seats up for election this November in the Hamilton Southeastern School District will be contested.

As of the close of business Wednesday, August 24th, two school board incumbents have filed for re-election and all three feature more than one candidate.  Howard Stevenson from Fall Creek Township and Sylvia Shepler representing Wayne Township, have filed as candidates.  Current School Board President Karen Harmer is not expected to seek re-election from Delaware Township.

In this round of school board balloting, one candidate is chosen from each of the townships that are part of the Hamilton Southeastern School District.


Here is the listing of candidates, per the Hamilton County Election Office, as of Wednesday, August 24th:


Delaware Township

Adam Harness (filed August 19)

Bradley Jones (filed August 8)

Amanda J. Shera (filed August 18)


Fall Creek Township

Mike Bottorff (filed August 22)

Howard Stevenson (filed July 27)


Wayne Township

Sylvia Shepler (filed August 12)

Charron Wright (filed August 18)

HSE School Superintendent Compliments Staff, Students During Tornado Warning

There is never a good time to endure a Tornado Warning.  Such a warning issued by the National Weather Service is a message to seek shelter immediately because tornadoes are in your area.  On August 24th, severe weather was moving into Fishers just as elementary school buildings were preparing to dismiss students for the day.

When the Tornado Warning was issued, it took teamwork among teachers, administrators and school bus drivers to get through the possible danger.  We in Fishers were very fortunate that the worst of the bad weather missed us.

Hamilton Southeastern School Superintendent Allen Bourff described August 24th as “a very long day for elementary teachers.”  He emphasized school officials will always err on the side of safety, as happened on August 24th.

In the meantime, the hardest hit community in the August 24th storms was Kokomo, a city to our north.  If you want to help your fellow Hoosiers in need, there are a number of outstanding organizations already at work in Kokomo helping the victims.  One  great organization at the center of any disaster is the Red Cross.  If you would like to contribute to the Red Cross of Indiana, use this link.

HSE Schools Gain Roughly 300 New Students

The preliminary enrollment figures are in, and Hamilton Southeastern (HSE) Schools gained about 300 additional students compared to last year.  School systems in Indiana must submit an official enrollment number as of September 16th, so the numbers are tentative until that date.

Numbers shared by Superintendent Allen Bourff show an enrollment figure of 21,309, compared to the enrollment reported to the state last year of 21,006.  For a more detailed breakdown of the enrollment statistics, use this link.

In other news items from the Monday night school board session:

–Assistant Superintendent Jan Combs presented several school calendar options for the upcoming 2017-2018 year.  One option kept the schedule largely as it is now.  Other options called for changes such as lengthening fall break to one week and starting school a few days earlier, doing away with half days of school to allow for teacher professional development in smaller time increments during the school year and other possible changes.  You can view more details on the proposals at this link.  Board members discussed possible changes, but no consensus emerged on what, if any, changes should be made to next school year’s calendar.

–The board approved a $4 rental fee hike for the Creating Positive Relationships.  Dr. Bourff says the increase covers the added cost to buy the materials.

–The board honored the national champion Mock Trial team from HSE High School.  Team members include:

Plaintiff Attorneys: Nathan Brown, Isaac Irvin, and Rebecca Liu

·        Plaintiff: Natalie Teyema

·        Plaintiff Witnesses: Emma Leonard and Kaitlyn Ross

·        Defense Attorneys: Kaleb Oliver, Kaitlyn Ross, and Joey Sun

·        Defendant: Nathan Brown

·        Defense Witnesses: Isaac Irvin and Emma Leonard

The team coach is Janet Chandler.


–The top ten readers for the local library summer reading program were recognized by the board.  They included:

Logan Lara, HSE Junior High;

Nick Molter, New Britton Elementary;

Tucker Lara, HSE Junior High;

Maya Fotedar, Fishers Junior High;

Riley Kavanaugh, Sand Creek Elementary;

Jace Lee, Hoosier Road;

Amber Liwanag, Fall Creek Elementary;

Gwyneth Lee, Hoosier Road;

Audrey Orbin, Thorpe Creek Elementary



HSE Schools to Save Millions in Bond Refinancing

Hamilton Southeastern (HSE) Schools will save a minimum of $4.5 million, and more likely gain as much as $5.6 million in a bond refinancing approved by the school board Monday night.  The refinancing is made possible by a call date option contained in the bond language.  Historically low interest rates the market is experiencing now allows for the large savings amount from this refinancing.

HSE Schools Chief Financial Officer Mike Reuter says the money saved in this action will be used to pay for the 10-year capital improvement plan submitted to the board recently by school administrators.


School Board Ratifies Contract With Teachers, Calls For An Average 3.26% Pay Hike

Teachers in the Hamilton Southeastern (HSE) Schools will see a pay increase in 2017.  As a result of bargaining between school administrators and the Hamilton Southeastern Education Association, an agreement was reached and ratified by a vote of the teachers. The HSE School Board approved the pact at the Monday night session.

The agreement calls for an average 3.26% pay increase for HSE teachers.  Teachers on the lower end of the pay scale will receive a 3% increase, those at the high end will see a raise of 3.75%, and a group of teachers in between will see a 3.5% raise.

The contract is for one year because state law does not allow such agreements to extend out further than the state’s 2-year budget cycle.  State lawmakers will enact a 2-year budget in the 2017 session.

The raise will go into effect in January of 2017.

Fishers City Council Members May Be Raising Their Pay

Council members in Fishers have been paid $12,000 a year for the past 16 years, going back to the days of Fishers as a town.  Current city council members are looking to raise their level of compensation.

The City Council Finance Committee has looked at council compensation levels in other Indiana cities and local governments, as well as one city in Ohio.  All had council pay and benefits much higher than Fishers’ $12,000.

Most council members appeared to favor an increase during a discussion at their Conner Prairie retreat.  Many numbers were proposed, but the one that appeared to have the most support was raising the pay to $21,500 per year with no benefits.

The Finance Committee will take into account the council members suggestions as the salary numbers are considered for the budget proposal to go before the council.

The city budget must be approved before November 1st, so it will most likely receive final approval at the October city council session.