HSE High School Names Reginald Simmons as Principal
Writer / Noah Alatza
Photographer / Amy Payne
Reginald Simmons originally planned on going to law school, but after many opportunities to work with young people, he felt he had a different calling.
“I connected with students and they connected with me,” Simmons recalls. “In the 1990s I found myself intrigued but not convinced yet to join the educational field. But after getting the chance to continue working with young people through my church or the City of Indianapolis, I found myself in a place where this was more of a calling, and what I felt like was my God-given purpose.”
It’s that drive and purpose that allowed Simmons, a veteran school administrator, to become Hamilton Southeastern (HSE) High School’s next principal. The HSE Board of School Trustees approved Simmons’ recommendation for the top job in June.
A lifelong servant in public education, Simmons will become the first black man to lead HSE. He has been immersed in the education field for the past two decades including a stint as a teacher at Perry Township Schools. He started his career at HSE Schools in 2005.
Simmons says he is looking forward to making a difference for his students.
“I’m ready to build a collaborative culture where students feel seen and known, teachers are supported, and families are excited about being a part of HSE High School,” Simmons says.
Simmons previously served as the director of the Hamilton Southeastern Fishers Academy, which is an alternative learning program for students in grades nine through 12. He says he believes his previous knowledge of the district and vast experience helped him reach the principal’s chair.
“I have a passion for helping people in general, but have a particular interest in young people because of my own experience in high school,” Simmons says. “I always felt like I had a good education, but felt like I didn’t build a good relationship and rapport with the teachers, and so I always wanted to be that educator that would impact me.”
Simmons moved to Fishers in July of 2000, and all four of his children are graduates of HSE schools. He says seeing his children succeed through their time in the HSE system has pushed him to be the best for future generations.
“I want to have a relationship with my students because I didn’t get that opportunity,” he says.
Simmons will replace Janie Ulmer, who was appointed earlier this year to serve as the assistant commissioner of the Indiana High School Athletic Association. He officially began the role on July 1.
“I’ve always felt and still feel that HSE is a special place with a unique culture, and I’m blessed to be a part of it,” he says.