Hamilton Southeastern Schools board OKs new administrators


Fishers Junior High School has a new principal following a vote by the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Board of Trustees’ May 8 meeting. 

The board unanimously approved a list of personnel actions recommended by Superintendent Patrick Mapes, and among those was the promotion of Tige Butts as the new Fishers Junior High principal. Butts replaces Crystal Thorpe, who resigned to take a position with Washington Township Metropolitan Schools, according to information from HSE. 

Introducing Butts to the school board, Deputy Superintendent Matt Kegley noted that Butts is a familiar face at Fishers Junior High. 

“Just to give you a little bit of background about Mr. Butts — he started his teaching career in 1999,” Kegley said. “In addition to being a teacher and a coach, he then moved into administration. He’s been an assistant principal at Fishers Junior High since 2005. So, for the last 19 years, he’s worked under Mr. Bryan Cronk — for those of us that have been here long enough to remember Mr. Cronk — and (then) Dr. Thorpe. (He’s worked) 26 years in education, and 25 of those at Fishers Junior High.”

Board Member Suzanne Thomas said that although Thorpe will be missed, she is happy Butts will be taking her place. 

“We’ve met a couple times and have toured your school and learned about your many programs, and you do so much at that school and what you contribute is by far amazing,” she said. “I think that that we are in great hands, and so congratulations on this position.”

According to an announcement from the district, Butts started at Fishers Junior High School in 1999 as a health educator. He spearheaded initiatives such as the Student Assistance and Behavioral Threat Assessment Management Teams and the Youth Mentoring Initiative. He also oversaw building operations, developed disciplinary processes and provided staff evaluations and safety training.

“We believe that Tige Butts’ established track record and deep understanding of Fishers Junior High will be a tremendous asset as he assumes the role of principal,” Mapes stated. 

He has a bachelor’s degree in education from Millikin University and a master’s degree in educational leadership and supervision from Ball State University. Butts will officially assume his position in July.

Also promoted on May 9 was Fishers High School English teacher Keith Shelton, who will be the school’s new dean starting in July. Shelton and his wife attended the meeting, which coincided with their anniversary. 

“First I want to thank my wife, Jessica for sharing our 25th anniversary here at the board meeting,” he said. “And for her unending support and allowing me to pursue these opportunities. I just look forward to an opportunity to continue to serve our students and community.”

Other administrators on the list of personnel changes was Bryan Rausch as the new assistant superintendent of operations, Janie Ulmer as the assistant principal at Fishers High School, Stacey Brown as associate principal at Hamilton Southeastern High School and Kyle Goodwin as associate principal at Fishers High School. 

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Michelle Fullhart — a former HSE board member — expressed concern about what she said is an increase in administrative positions at the district. 

“We went from one superintendent and two assistants to, now, one superintendent, a deputy superintendent and four assistant superintendents,” she said. “Some previous director positions have been elevated to assistant superintendent positions. It would be nice if the board or Mr. Mapes would communicate all of these changes to the community. We’ve always been very, very lean in administrators, despite what some in the community have said and what some people had said during campaigns. These new hires and a restructuring of central office in his first month of office is unprecedented in HSE’s history. I’m not saying these positions aren’t needed, but it would be nice to hear why they’ve been added.”

Mapes and the board did not respond to Fullhart’s comments. 

The next HSE board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. June 12 at Hamilton Southeastern Schools central office, 13485 Cumberland Rd.