once again will be without a business manager, as Todd Covault is leaving after just two months on the job. He has accepted a similar position with downstate Decatur District 61.
"It's a pretty sad day around here," Superintendent Ellen Correll said. "Todd has done extraordinarily well. He let us know Tuesday of the opportunity and then confirmed on Wednesday morning that he will be leaving."
Officials from Decatur District 61 say they are happy to have Covault join their team when the position becomes effective Oct. 3.
"We have been actively been seeking a business manager for 14 months," said Jeff Gaunt, District 61's director of community engagement.
"This is a unit district with about 9,000 students. A sales tax increase was approved this year. Because of this, we will be doing approximately $70,000,000 in renovations and Mr. Covault will play a key role in that development," said Gaunt.
Covault's departure from also may be a reaction to the intense scrutiny he has been under as he proposed the 2011-12 budget, which is up for approval by the school board.
"I am trying to answer everyone's questions. There have been so many I don't know that I can even keep track of all of them, although I have tried," Covault said at the Board of Education special board meeting Tuesday morning.
Who the business manager baton will be handed over to next is anyone's guess.
"I don't know what we will do," said Correll. "There hasn't been time to discuss it yet."
Victor Berner, who has served as an interim business manager for D46 over the past three years of the revolving door of employees in the position, had noted previously that salary had been a issue in attracting the right candidate. That may have been the case for Covault.
By all accounts, Covault met all the criteria needed to successfully oversee the finances for Grayslake K-8 schools when he was hired two months ago. He was thought of as a good addition to the administration, until just this week when he announced he was leaving.
"He got an offer he couldn't turn down," said Correll. He got "an increase in salary and the type of project that matters to him and that he has wanted to work on."