It is that time of year where our local seniors trade in their high school textbooks for tassels and move on to new adventures—college, careers, military service, world travel, and starting families of their own. And while many find a new town to call home, there are also the ones who return to their roots. Meet a few local grads who returned to Fishers and are enjoying everything the city has to offer as adults.

Note: Many of those we talked to graduated before Fishers High School (FHS) existed, so they are Hamilton Southeastern High School grads, even if they would have attended FHS in the present day.

Elliott Hultgren
Deputy Mayor, City of Fishers

School & Class: Hamilton Southeastern High School Class of 2001

High School Neighborhood: My family moved to Fishers when I was seven and built a home in West Fishers off Eller Road. Back then, for a young kid growing up in Fishers, Holland Park was the center of the universe, so it was great to be able to ride my bike there. Prior to high school, we moved to the Geist area, so I feel that I really grew up throughout all of Fishers.

Favorite Subject: I had some incredible teachers throughout my high school career (Mr. Galbert, Mr. Steckler, Mrs. Wong, Mr. Stinson, Ms. Evans, Mr. Mellott, and on and on), and as a result, I really ended up liking pretty much every subject. Ultimately, Mr. Steckler’s AP Economics was probably my favorite subject and class and inspired me to study economics in college.

Clubs & Activities: Hockey, National Honor Society, Student Council, and a variety of other clubs. I was also fortunate enough to be elected Senior Class President and thoroughly enjoyed that experience.

Favorite High School Memory: My buddies and I came up with the idea for a Senior Bike Ride. During Homecoming week, I organized the senior class to meet at the boat ramp off Olio Road before school with whatever bike they had. It was comical— a lot of guys had to borrow their younger sibling’s bikes, or a beat-up bike from their parents, but we all rode down Olio Road and into school as a class. As innocent and random as the idea may have been, it was something that we did as a class, and it had a unifying effect that I didn’t necessarily anticipate.  It set the stage for what became a special year.

deputy mayor of fishers elliott hultgren standing in front of greenery smiling

After High School: During my senior year of high school, I received a nomination from Senator Evan Bayh and accepted an appointment to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland for my undergraduate degree. I majored in Economics, but with all midshipmen who attend the Academy, there was a strong academic focus on engineering as well. My “four years by the Bay”, as intended by the Service Academy, were a pretty transformative time for me and I’m extremely grateful for that opportunity. After graduation, I was commissioned as an officer in the Navy and moved out to Oahu, Hawaii where I was stationed on the USS Crommelin (FFG-37) out of Pearl Harbor as the Ordnance Officer. During those 2.5 years, I completed a deployment to South East Asia. My wife, Adrianne, and I who met in third grade at New Britton Elementary, got married and moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia where I was stationed with a small boat unit called the Riverines. With Riverine Squadron One, I deployed as the ground combat element officer to the Al Anbar province of Iraq, primarily operating out of the Haditha area. Following that deployment, my wife and I moved back out to Hawaii where I was stationed at the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Command. During that time, I was accepted to the University of Hawaii where I completed my MBA. My wife and I also had our first son, Jamison, during that time, and enjoyed spending the first year of his life watching him crawl around on the beach.

My Return to Fishers: Ultimately, my wife and I decided to transition out of the active-duty military life and move home to Fishers to raise our family in the same incredible community that we were raised in. While I was away for 11 or so years while at college and serving in the Navy, I always knew Fishers was home. When not working as the Deputy Mayor for the City, I still get the opportunity to see the country and world as a navy reservist, and I now enjoy those experiences even more, knowing that I ultimately always return home to Fishers.

Why I Came Back: As amazing as it was to spend time as new parents out on the beaches of Hawaii, my wife and I knew that Fishers, the community we were both raised in and that provided us with so many amazing opportunities, friendships, and experiences, was where we wanted to raise our children too. Although we miss Hawaii a lot (especially in the winter!), our now four children are surrounded by a big family, incredible neighbors, thoughtful friends, world-class HSE teachers, amazing opportunities, and a phenomenal community. I’m honored to now serve that same incredible community by working as the Deputy Mayor for the City of Fishers.

elliott hultgren's senior photo headshot

Kelly Yale

Fishers Ambassador

School & Class: Hamilton Southeastern High School, Class of 2006

High School Neighborhood: Geist

Favorite Subject: Chemistry

Clubs & Activities: Choir & Dance Team

Favorite High School Memory: Spirit weeks and Homecoming festivities

kelly yale posing with her parents at her high school graduation
After High School: I went to Purdue, had a baby, graduated with a double major when she was 6 months old, and moved to California.

My Return to Fishers: I realized I wanted my daughter to grow up with family around, so we moved back!

Why I Came Back: I returned for the familiarity and the home-y feeling. Living in California was fun, but everyone was a stranger, and everything was unfamiliar. I wanted to pop in on my parents unexpectedly, take my kids to the same ice cream shop I loved as a kid, and have that small-town community feel. I wanted my kids to have all the opportunities that Fishers has to offer.

kelly yale standing while holding a cup of coffee

Scott Spillman
Executive Director, Mudsock Youth Athletics

School & Class: Hamilton Southeastern High School, Class of 2008

High School Neighborhood: I grew up near Cumberland Park and spent most of my free time hanging out and playing games with my friends there.

Favorite Subject: Too many of my favorite teachers are still involved in HSE Schools, I couldn’t pick just one! I plead the fifth.

Clubs & Activities: I ran cross country & track and played soccer. I was a member of the National Honor Society, a student board member of the Hamilton Southeastern Education Foundation, a participant on the We The People team, and served on some advisory councils for the principal and the athletic department, including some work on the Royals Varsity Club.

scott spillman in his cap and gown receiving his diploma at his high school graduation
Favorite High School Memory: If I can only pick one memory, I’d have to go with my time as a camp counselor at Camp Tecumseh. I was fortunate to be a counselor five times (I’m pretty sure they made a rule to prevent this after me) for both HSE Junior High and Riverside Junior High students. I loved Camp T and everything that Eric Brown, Chris Graves, Heather Hall, and the rest of the teachers taught us through our 2.5 days at camp. Teaching the kids about Indiana history, how to determine the age of a tree and general nature basics was a blast. Thinking about the skits that we performed for the students, teachers and parents still gets my friends and me laughing to this day.

After High School: I attended Lock Haven University in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania to run cross country and track. I transferred to Indiana University to finish my degree in Sports Marketing and Management. When I graduated college, I started working for Little League Baseball, Inc. (Little League World Series on ESPN), in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

My Return to Fishers: I came back to Fishers in 2017 when I became Executive Director of Mudsock Youth Athletics. A lot has changed from the time I graduated high school and when I came back, but I’ve loved being back in the community. It’s such a great mix of history and new age. Proud to be a small part of it.

Why I Came Back: The job opportunity with Mudsock Youth Athletics. What’s better than coming back home to where you grew up and being able to give back to the community that afforded you so many great opportunities? I had so many fond memories of learning life lessons while playing baseball, basketball, and soccer in the programs I lead today. I love being close to my parents and always bumping into someone I knew from back in the day.

scott spillman sitting an orange chair holding a small black dog

Jordin Alexander
Assistant Director of Economic Development, City of Fishers

School & Class: Hamilton Southeastern High School, Class of 2012

High School Neighborhood: East Fishers, over by Hamilton Southeastern High School

Favorite Subject: History

Clubs & Activities: Basketball, Student Athletic Council, Student Council, and National Honor Society

Favorite High School Memory: I used to love Friday night football games.

After High School: I attended Brown University to study Public Health and play basketball.

jordin in a brown university sweatshirt smiling and holding a basketball
My Return to Fishers: I came back in 2018 after grad school. After being gone I realized I wanted to be close to family, and I missed the Fishers and Indy area.

Why I Came Back: Being close to family was a big part of returning, but Fishers also had evolved immensely since I left after high school, which was another driving factor. The City was no longer just a sleepy suburb of Indy but had developed into this dynamic community with a vision for the future that catered to more than just families looking to settle down.

jordin alexander smiling

Megan Gamble
Fishers Ambassador

School & Class: Hamilton Southeastern High School, Class of 2003

High School Neighborhood: West Fishers

Favorite Subject: History

Clubs & Activities: Lacrosse, Sister Cities Club, Photography Club, and every event committee possible

Favorite High School Memory: Homecoming week and Friday night football games

After High School: I attended Ball State University after high school.

My Return to Fishers: After graduating from Ball State I moved a few times, but nothing quite felt like home until I moved back to the Fishers area.

megan gamble sitting and smiling
Why I Came Back: What I love most is that this is an amazing area with so many social options, regardless if you’re a parent or not. There’s an activity or event option for every season of life!
megan gamble standing with her hands on her hips and smiling

Stephanie Perry
Assistant Director of Community & Public Relations, City of Fishers

School & Class: Hamilton Southeastern High School, Class of 2006

High School Neighborhood: I grew up in Northwest Fishers, over by Conner Prairie. I purchased my childhood home from my parents about five years ago, and now I’m raising my own kids there.

Favorite Subject: World History (shout-out to Mr. Follis!) We actually work together now through the Fishers Arts & Culture Commission, which is a really fun experience.

Clubs & Activities: Class Officer, Yearbook, Film Club, World Connections Club, National Honor Society, Camp Tecumseh, and as many activities as I could get involved with.

Favorite High School Memory: Friday night football games, late night Steak ‘n Shake dinners with what seemed like half of our school, and bonfires afterwards at my house.

After High School: After graduation I studied Communications at Purdue University, and met my husband who is an HSE grad as well. We actually went to New Britton Elementary together but didn’t meet until college.

stephanie perry posing and smiling with her mom and dad
My Return to Fishers: I was living in Cincinnati, Ohio and working in marketing for the Cincinnati Museum Center. When my husband proposed, we decided we wanted to be closer to family and friends back in Indiana. We lived in Carmel for a few years, then found our way back to our hometown and bought our first house together in Sandstone. Now, I’m working for the City where I grew up, living in my childhood home, and raising my own kids here. It’s such a cool experience to relive moments of your childhood with your own children—play dates at Holland Park, adventures at Conner Prairie, ice cream at Handel’s (where I used to scoop ice cream in high school).

Why I Came Back: I truly loved growing up here and I wanted to give my kids the same experience. Yes, it took a lot longer to get around back then (I regularly had to sit for 20 minutes at the four-way-stop at Brooks School and 126th Street on the way to school each morning) and there was a lot less to do back then, but Fishers has always been such a welcoming and safe community with a small-town feel. Now, there is so much to do and experience around the city (and hey, we’re also a city now!) It’s definitely a different view as an adult, but the same familiarity and warmth that has always been here.

stephanie smiling