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Grayslake District 46 takes another shot at hiring new finance chief
By Bob Susnjara | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 5/28/2010 12:04 AM

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Grayslake Elementary District 46 has a new finance chief about a week after sacking Edward Towle, who topped about 40 candidates and was supposed to start the job July 1.

David Tylavsky, who's been a district manager at food service provider Sodexo Inc., was approved by a 6-0 school board vote Thursday. He did not attend the meeting.

Board President Mary Garcia said Tylavsky was judged to be the No. 2 candidate for business manager before officials hired Towle on April 1. Officials said Tylavsky's background was thoroughly checked before he was offered the top finance job.

Towle was hired as business boss while he was on paid leave at Brown Deer School District in suburban Milwaukee. District 46 officials said they learned about Towle's job status after he was hired.

Board members terminated Towle's contract last week after discussing his presentation of himself and his application to District 46. His contract called for a $98,000 annual salary and 25 vacation days.

District 46 Superintendent Ellen Correll said Tylavsky will receive $96,000 in a one-year contract and, unlike Towle, won't be on a track to advance to assistant superintendent for business and finance.

"Everybody has been very positive," Correll said of Tylavsky's references.

Brad Goldstein is departing June 30 to take over as director of finance and operations at Hawthorn Elementary District 73 in Vernon Hills. Goldstein worked with Tylavsky at Sodexo, Garcia said.

Correll said District 73 will allow Goldstein to assist in District 46 financial affairs when necessary as Tylavsky gets up to speed. Tylavsky is to begin July 1.

Towle came highly recommended to Grayslake from Brown Deer District Administrator Deb Kerr. He's been on leave as Brown Deer's business manager since February 2009, collecting his full $107,449 annual salary.

Kerr praised Towle's job skills in a seven-paragraph form letter given to District 46. But after he was hired in Grayslake, Kerr said "serious concerns" about Towle's job performance led to the paid leave that ends when his resignation is effective June 30.

Towle contends in a lawsuit filed in Milwaukee against Kerr and the Brown Deer district that her comments jeopardized his chance to keep the District 46 job. His lawyer, Robert Shumaker, said Towle was honest throughout District 46's hiring process.