The Grayslake District 46 School Board has approved Superintendent Ellen Correll's recommendation to hire Chris Wolk as the new principal of Avon Center School at an annual salary of $90,875.
The recommendation was unanimously approved at the board's Oct. 3 meeting.
"We are very pleased with the recommendation. He went through a rigorous interview process," said Correll, who has been serving as Avon's acting principal since the start of the school year in August.
Former Avon Principal Lynn Barkley resigned to take the position of Human Resources Director in Hawthorne School District 73 in Vernon Hills.
Wolk is expected to begin his new position in a matter of weeks.
In other district personnel news, the board agreed to post the open position of Curriculum Coordinator at a budgeted annual salary of $65,000.
Some board members questioned the need for the position, which had also been part of Lynn Barkley's administrative duties.
Correll said she understood concerns given the financial state of the district, but recommended the full-time position be filled because it is vital to the academic success of the students.
"This absolutely has to be done," echoed board member Sue Facklam.
The board also voted 4 to 3 to approve realigned administrative contracts, which include salary increases.
Board members Michael Carbone, Kip Evans and Shannon Smigielski voted against the contracts.
"I want to let the administration know I fully support them. They're worth every penny," said Smigielski. "I just can't vote for an increase now. It would be different if it were across the board. It's not personal. It's financial."
Board member Karen Weinert stressed that she was "voting in favor of a realignment."
At the board's special meeting held Sept. 27 to take a second vote on the budget, Smigielski said she didn't understand how the board could justify administrative salary increases given the budget deficit.
The district's $49.1 million budget for 2012-13 includes a $1.2 million deficit.
Board member Keith Surroz said the effort to realign administrative salaries was based on careful review, comparison to neighboring districts, a goal to maintain quality administrators, and the fact that previous wage increases were "0, 0 and 1 percent."
The increases, Surroz, amounted to only $36,000 "to bring them in line."