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School board approves Hamilton Southeastern Schools superintendent resignation

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Posted at 5:55 PM, Sep 12, 2023

FISHERS — The superintendent of Hamilton Southeastern School Corporation has resigned.

On Wednesday, the school board gathered for a special meeting to approve the resignation.

Dr. Matt Kegley has been named the interim Superintendent.

Dr. Yvonne Stokes has served as the superintendent of the district since 2021.

Hamilton Southeastern Schools serves over 21,600 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

“I am grateful to HSE and the Fishers and Noblesville communities for my time here,” said Dr. Stokes. “The opportunity to serve as superintendent was one I never took lightly. As this shift in leadership commences, I am committed to supporting the district and feel confident that our staff, students and families will be in capable hands. The future is bright for HSE.”

Dr. Stokes' legal counsel says she approached him two weeks ago with the decision to resign.

Her contract states she was paid $196,292.

Attorney Chris Grisel explained taxpayers will continue to pay her that amount and more as part of her resignation agreement.

"Dr. Stokes will be paid in full for the following year of her contract. She'll also be paid for unused vacation and sick time, and is eligible for receiving healthcare benefits through June 30, 2024. Her health benefits will seize if she's employed somewhere else prior to that date," he said.

Why Dr. Stokes resigned hasn't been answered but board president Dawn Lang says conversations were had behind closed doors.

"We had a confidential conversation with her about her performance and her tenure in the district and that's something kept confidential between board members and the superintendent," said Lang.

According to the school board resignation policy, the superintendent must submit a written resignation to the board president.

Through a public records request, WRTV obtained the letter from Dr. Stokes stating with a heavy heart her time has sunset.

Dr. Stokes stated in the letter that for the past 30 years as an educational teacher, she's championed for all students.

The full letter is below:

During the special meeting held Wednesday morning, a handful of people spoke directly to the board saying they forced the superintendent's resignation.

"Dr. Stokes did not resign. Her contract was bought out by fiscally conservative board members," said Stephanie Hunt. "In the middle of an important referendum you supposedly support. This feels like sabotage for our schools."

However, Lang says the resignation was Dr. Stokes' choice.

“Dr. Stokes led our district during a crucial time,” said Lang. “We are thankful for her service and are dedicated to supporting and uplifting her during this transition and through the next steps in her journey.”