Site Overhaul…

This site has been my primary site for years. I posted articles, commentary, links, and more. With time, I have found that due to the different topics on which I post, this didn’t work as well as I’d like. I’m currently in the process of overhauling how this site is used. This will likely take time as a lot of what is here is dated. The site does, however, give you an idea of some of the things I’ve done, especially in regard to writing.

Other endeavors that I have running at this time include the following: – This is a site where a lot of my ‘local interest’ and ‘community’ topics have gone. I try to engage with my local community and local schools as much as possible. My commentary and articles related to that are on this site where I both present local news and information as well as provide my commentary – my perspective – on many local topics. Most of the articles that I had posted here on have shifted to – This site is where you will find my self published books as well as books that I’ve published for other people. These are primarily print on demand books. If you have a book you’ve written and are more interested in simply getting copies published for yourself and a few friends, then I might be able to help you if you want to turn your book files over to me. My cost for getting your book published is the rights to the book – thus (in full disclosure) I make the money, but you get a published book. Having said that, most self-published books never make money. Most never break even for the cost it takes to produce them.

I have a few other sites in the works as well. I’ll talk about them in the future!

New Titles Published on Puns, Sins, and the Jesus Movement

This past week has been extremely busy with two new titles being published from my imprint, Yowza Publishing. Both are available today on in both print and ebook formats. I’m trying something different with these books, so both have also been released on Kindle Unlimited as well.

The first book released was another fun project, Punny or Not Book of Puns. If you follow me on Facebook, then you know I went through a period where I regularly posted puns memes on my Facebook. Additionally, I meet with a group of friends on a regular basis. One of their daughters regularly is tossing out puns to the group. All of this inspired me to see what it would take to pull together a book of puns. The result is not available on Amazon!

The second release this week is the book Small Sins. This book is very different. This book does not contain a lot of text. Rather, its primary focus is to present a list of sins along with a Bible related to each sin. The list is sure to spark controversy because of what is listed as a sin and possibly because of the verse used as justification.

This is a good thing. The reason to buy this book is to use it as a discussion piece. It’s perfect for Bible studies, Sunday School discussions, Church discussions, and even discussion among Christian friends. It’s a chance to build awareness of actions and determine to ponder the actions that could be (or are) not right to be doing as a Christian.

This book came about a long, long time ago, but is finally in print. I suggest you buy a copy and give it to your pastor to see what they think. See if they want to preach on some of the topics included.

It’s worth noting that I also published a book the middle of last month for my Mom called My Journey Through the Charismatic Renewal. This book is her story of life during the Jesus Movement. It’s an interesting read and will give you a little background about the world I grew up within.

All of these books are available today.

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HSE School Start Times – Letter from the Superintendent

Dr. Bourff, the superintendent of HSE Schools, sent out a message to parents about his impending proposal of two options for changing school start times. As his letter states, these changes could happen as soon as next year. The HSE School Board will be discussing this topic once again at the February 12th, 2020 board meeting and could take action at that time.

I’ve included the content of the superintendent’s message below. I’ve included a few other items of reference as well. These include:

Note that the first two videos were captured after the meeting had started using a cell phone. The three videos from the working session don’t have the best sound due to the heating system in the board room being so loud. These are provided, however, as reference so you can hear some of the discussion and feedback that has been happening.

Note: Please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel: Fishers: The Other Side of the Tracks.  You can also follow my school related page on Facebook at:

The Message from the Superintendent

Dear Parents, Guardians and Staff: 

I want to share an update with you regarding the discussions around a proposed change to school start times.  

For the past several months, at the direction of the school board, our administrative team has been researching and identifying outcomes of other neighboring school districts that moved to an earlier start for elementary students and a later start for secondary students.

In addition to our research, since November 2019, we have also solicited feedback from the school community in the following ways:

  • Community Forum (Nov. 19, 2019)
  • Online Survey (Nov.-Dec. 2019)
  • School Board Meetings (Jan. 15, 2020 and Jan. 29, 2020)
  • Board Work Session (Jan. 27, 2020)

I want you to know that a decision still has not been made by our school board. However, the issue is slated for discussion and possible action at the February 12 meeting. Its implementation could begin as soon as the 2020-2021 school year.

At the Board’s request, I will be presenting the following two different options. Each come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages, which I will discuss further during our meeting.


Start times of high school and elementary students will be flipped, and we will utilize a three-tier transportation schedule. 

Elementary:                               7:50 AM – 2:20 PM

Intermediate/Junior High:        8:20 AM – 3:20 PM

High School:                              8:55 AM – 3:55 PM

Advantages of Option 1 include:

  • Supports adolescent sleep pattern research.
  • Provides consistent student day with no need for early release.
  • Provides Professional Development time for teachers and staff.
  • Three-tier transportation schedule relieves demands of the drivers required to transport students and allows for direct bussing for Student Choice at the high schools.


  • Will require some families to rethink childcare for younger students and may impact parent and high school student work schedules.


We will implement a three-tier transportation schedule with the following start times listed below for 2020-21. Then, we would transition to Option 1 start times for 2021-22. This would give families an additional year to make arrangements in their schedules to accommodate “flipped” start times.

High School:                              7:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Intermediate/Junior High:        8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Elementary:                               9:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Advantages of Option 2 are as follows:

  • Provides consistent student day with no need for early release.
  • Provides Professional Development time for teachers and staff.
  • Three-tier transportation schedule relieves demands of the drivers required to transport students and allows for direct bussing for Student Choice at the high schools.


  • Not supported by adolescent sleep pattern research.
  • Families may still need childcare for their intermediate and junior high-level students.
  • Stair-step approach would cause families to deal with changing start times two consecutive years.

I have given you a lot of information to consider here. I wanted to share this update to be fully transparent about the process and the possible path ahead.

I understand the challenges of change and the adjustments that families and staff members face. I encourage you to learn more about this possible upcoming school board decision by reviewing the video recordings of the previous board meetings and by checking the School Start Time Information webpage.

I have also attached a list of FAQs that may help answer some of your questions.

Thank you for your continued support of our students, staff and schools.  


Dr. Allen B. Bourff


Hamilton Southeastern Schools

School Start Times FAQ 

HSE School Board Candidate Interviews: Fall Creek Position (with video) – June 18, 2019

The existing school board members narrowed down 24 applicants for the Fall Creek Township position that opened as a result of the resignation of Mr. Bottorff. The candidates were narrowed down to four finalists that were then interviewed as a panel in an open meeting on June 18th, 2019 at the Hamilton Southeastern Administration building. I attended the interview session and brought my camera!

There were not a lot of questions asked. Each question was addressed to all of the finalists, with the order of answering changed each time so that the person going first varied. I’ve included the video of the answers on my “The Other Side of the Tracks” YouTube channel, my “It’s all about the kids” Facebook page, and within this article. I tried hard to not comment within the videos; however, there were a few times where I did end up adding a bit of textual commentary. Generally this was when candidates made comments about what the school district should be doing on topics that the district has already been doing something.

I have a disconnect with people who apply for a position or job without taking the time to understand what that job or position is. As such, when a comment is made that indicates a person has not been engaged with the district and doesn’t know what the district is doing or has done, it is hard to not call them out. In a similar manner, it is mind-blowing to know that two of the four finalists applying for a school board seat didn’t show up at the last school board meeting.

But alas, your reading this to get to the videos. The meeting for the interviews actually started with the board members introducing themselves. If you have been attending board meetings, or if you were planning to run to be a part of the group, I would have expected you’d know this information already. As such, I’m not sure why the introductions were necessary beyond the fact that most of the candidates had not regularly attended any board meetings. These introductions were followed by a presentation on the updated 10-year plan for the district. I don’t include either the board introductions or the 10-year plan discussion in the videos here, but rather will consider a different article for that in the near future.

The first video I posted jumps into the first question asked of the candidates. This question was actually posed in three parts:

What is your motivating factor for applying for this board position. Is there something you would like to accomplish during your tenure? How do you see your role in that goal?

The second question posed to the candidates was:

Please give us an example of a time when you worked collaboratively with others, and what – if anything – did you learn, and what was your role?

The third question asked was:

What attribute do you have that can help our board work together and be more effective? We’d like your answer through some examples of how you’ve worked with different groups of people that have come from different backgrounds with different opinions.

The fourth question is one I considered important. I was hoping to hear answers that would relate to what a school board does and not general answers. I was a bit disappointed in that regard. The question was:

What do you believe the greatest challenge to public education is today?

Rather than break out the remaining questions – there are only a couple more – I’ve put them all in this last posted video. It contains the final questions as well as wrap-up comments from all of the candidates.

  • What characteristics, skills, and knowledge will set our students on the path for future success?
  • What is something that you are most proud of that this school district is doing, and is there something you believe our schools could do better? (7:20)
  • Final comments from candidates. (17:00)

My thoughts….

The board will vote at the June 26th School Board meeting for the person that will fill the vacant position. The board is not allowed to collaborate in advance on who they will vote for, so it should be an interesting vote.

Who I would vote for is irrelevant because I don’t get a vote. I will say that I heard a number of good comments by the candidates, but that I saw issues with each of the candidates.

After I ran for school board in 2016, I asked many people why the voted for the person that won my district (Amanda Shera). The answers were generally “I liked her school bus signs” and “because she was a woman.” I mention this because it is important to look at actions a candidate has done within our district and schools over personal characteristics or credentials. If a candidate has not to engaged with the district or within our schools enough to know many of the big things happening, then are they really the right candidate to represent each and every one of our ~21,500 kids?

EDIT: Fixed first video link