Hamilton Southeastern Schools board OKs new administrators


The Hamilton Southeastern Schools Board of Trustees June 12 meeting was fast at only 20 minutes and included the hire of a handful of new administrators.

The board voted unanimously to approve personnel changes submitted by Superintendent Patrick Mapes. Among the new hires is Tim Brown, who will be the district’s chief financial officer starting July 1.

Brown replaces former CFO Katy Dowling, who resigned in March after the board delayed renewing her contract. During public comment, Stephanie Hunt expressed concern about the board “getting rid” of Dowling and other administrators, and what she said was a lack of transparency from district officials related to administrative changes.

The board did not respond to Hunt’s comments.

According to a news release from the district, Brown has served as superintendent of Cowan Community Schools in Muncie since 2020. In that role, he has managed the district’s finances and strategic financial planning, including negotiating teacher contracts, maintaining bonds and authoring state and federal grants for educational initiatives. Brown previously served as principal of Cowan Elementary School for eight years and taught math for seven years.

“Mr. Brown’s extensive work and expertise in school finance will be invaluable as we continue to ensure our district’s financial resources are being used effectively,” Mapes stated. “We look forward to his contributions in advancing our financial stability and supporting our mission to provide world-class educational opportunities for all students.”

Brown’s annual salary will be about $150,800.

During the meeting, Brown told the board that he is honored to be there and introduced his wife and children.

“We’ve lived here for 14 years in Hamilton County, and actually we’re celebrating our anniversary tonight, so what a great way to do that,” he said. “I’m leaving an amazing district in the Muncie area, but I’m beyond blessed to be here and I can’t wait to get to work, ready to roll up my sleeves and get busy and do whatever I need to help the district.”

Also approved by the board was the hire of Barb Walters as the new HSE executive director of exceptional learners. She will replace Amy Selby, who resigned effective June 30th.

Walters, who will receive an annual salary of about $135,800, was the assistant director of exceptional learners with HSE for 15 years before leaving to take a similar role at Westfield Washington Schools, according to an announcement from HSE.

“As the executive director of exceptional learners, Walters will play a crucial role in shaping the strategic direction of HSE’s special education services,” the announcement stated. “Additionally, she will ensure compliance with all state and federal guidelines to provide inclusive and effective educational opportunities for all our students.”

Other new administrators hired during the June 12 meeting were Therisa Seymore as the new Geist Elementary School principal; John Sponsel as the new Lantern Road Elementary School principal; and Niki Kaminski as the new Southeastern Elementary School principal.

The next HSE board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. June 26 at the HSE central office, 13485 Cumberland Rd. Meetings are livestreamed on the board’s webpage, hseschools.org/board/board-of-school-trustees.