There is a job opening for a business manager in . But this is nothing new - it has happened again, and again, and again, and again and yet again. Grayslake’s elementary school district is in the process of seeking its fifth business manager in three years.
“I think D46 needs to do a much better job vetting candidates for such an important position,” said parent and school board candidate Shannon Smigielski. "There are far too many hands on a $48 million checkbook. I’m not suggesting impropriety, but when there are too many cooks in the kitchen, it can cause questions and concerns."
For Superintendent Ellen Correll, the revolving door for the position has more to do with the selection process than the district itself.
“There are not really any common threads," said Correll. "Dan Aggen left to work in a district closer to home. Brad Goldstein left and received a significant pay increase. Both Brad and David Tylavsky were brand new –they had no experience.”
Edward Towle, first in the succession of selections that began three years ago, was hired and then fired before his start date due to previously undisclosed improprieties at his previous post at Brown Deer school district outside of Milwaukee.
“We had a very unique situation with the first business manager hired. I was given an excellent recommendation by his current superintendent. I found out later that she had to give me one, per attorney agreement. The one thing I should have done was to do a site visit. I didn’t as I was trying to save the district money. I should have gone anyway,” Correll said.
More recently, there was an unusual chain of events at the March 16 board meeting when Correll stated that the then current business manager, David Tylavsky, was ill and unable to attend the meeting, only to be redressed by board candidate Kip Evans who stated that Tylavsky had told him he had been fired the week prior.
“I stand by what I said,” said Evans last week.
The whereabout of Tylavsky is still unknown.
So how does the district plan to resolve the business manager issue? Correll has drafted a hiring procedure which she hopes will address problems before a candidate is brought on board.
“I always ask a candidate ‘where do you see yourself in five years?’ We need some consistency within our district for this position. The board will have to consider the pay range. We also really need someone with experience,” Correll said.
The miscues on hiring have had an impact on the administration, particularly the business department staff that has had to make continual adjustments.
“I have had to be much more involved in the business process due to the changes,” said Correll. "However, we are meeting formally weekly and one constant through all of this is Victor Berner. He is a retired business manager who we have used since I was first hired. He really helps us through these transitions."