HSE Schools pick Stokes to fill superintendent opening


Photo used courtesy of Hamilton South eastern Schools.

DR. Yvonne Stokes, currently assistant superintendent at School Town of Munster, will be taking over as Hamilton Southeastern Schools superintendent on July 1.

Nate Albin and Riley Gearhart

Following a nationwide search for a successor to retiring superintendent Dr. Allen Bourff, HSE Schools selected Dr. Yvonne Stokes as the next superintendent of the district. Stokes currently is the assistant superintendent for the School Town of Munster. 

“It truly is an honor to be selected to lead this great school district,” Stokes said. “Our children thrive in our schools when they understand their value, know they are loved and supported and are inspired to excel in all facets of their lives.”

After looking through 25 applications, the B.W.P. & Associates search firm presented the HSE School Board with six candidates to possibly fill the role as the district’s superintendent on Feb. 11. The board held interviews Feb. 15 and 17 and published the superintendent’s contract March 29 and 31. Stokes was announced as the new superintendent April 22.

Bourff’s final day is June 30 and Stokes will take office on July 1. Prior to her current role, Stokes has served as principal, assistant principal, special education services coordinator, director of curriculum and evaluation and teacher at Blackford County Schools, Marion Community Schools and Fort Wayne Community Schools and Indianapolis Public Schools.

“Dr. Stokes brings a wealth of experience to this role and will provide valuable leadership and strategic thinking to propel our students toward academic growth and success,” president of the Board of School Trustees Janet Pritchett said.

Some qualities that the district was looking for in a new superintendent include a visionary leader and a strategic thinker who promotes equity, diversity, academic growth, inclusivity and integrity. The district was also looking for someone willing to work towards unity in a diverse suburban community.

Stokes is a graduate of Purdue University, where she received her undergraduate degree and a doctorate in educational leadership. She received a master’s in special education from the University of Saint Francis and a licensure in exceptional needs from Purdue University Calumet. 

“Transforming learning and life outcomes for students through education, equity and excellence requires an all-hands-on-deck approach by all of us,” Stokes said. “It takes me, it takes you, it takes all of us. I look forward to listening to, learning from and supporting our Hamilton Southeastern Schools family.”