Nearly four months after surviving a 4-3 vote of the school board, Zack Zayed, the Director of Finance and Operations at Riverside Elementary School District 96, has found another job.
Zayed submitted his letter of resignation to District 96 last week. The school board formally accepted his resignation, which is effective Aug. 22, at a special board meeting Monday night.
Zayed came to District 96 a little more than a year ago after working for four years as the coordinator of business services for Grayslake Community High School District 127. Last week, the Burbank School District 111 Board of Education voted to hire Zayed as their business manager, according to Pamela Lindemann, assistant superintendent for human resources.
Lindemann said she did not know what Zayed’s salary will be, because the contract had not been signed yet.
Zayed did not respond to a request for comment prior to the Landmark’s deadline on Tuesday morning.
In early April, board members Randy Brockway and Rachel Marrello along with school board President Mary Rose Mangia all voted not to rehire Zayed. But they were outvoted by Lisa Gaynor, David Kodama, Art Perry and Michael O’Brien.
But Zayed apparently realized that his position was tenuous and decided to look for other opportunities.
Zayed, whose salary this year is $101,000, received only a 1-percent raise for this year while Director of Academic Excellence Brian Ganan was given a 3-percent raise.
School board members who voted against rehiring Zayed were vague in stating their reasons, but Zayed seemed to ruffle feathers and some board members reportedly felt he wasn’t the best communicator.
Zayed also ruffled feathers among teachers, keeping tight controls on spending for supplies and forcing teachers to go through hoops to which they were not accustomed.
After voting to accept his resignation Monday night Mangia offered nothing but praise for Zayed.
“He has provided more information than the district has ever put out to the public before,” Magia said, “[and] really helped us with our budget and tax levy process. … We’re now doing a lot of purchasing in bulk across all five schools. I believe there was probably more decentralization of that before.”
Zayed is the first administrator hired by Superintendent Bhavna Sharma-Lewis to resign. During the 2013-14 school year five other District 96 administrators resigned.
The school board has yet to decide how to replace Zayed, but hiring an interim replacement is a possibility.
“We have made no decisions yet, but we do note that the timing isn’t good for a permanent replacement at this time,” Mangia said.
Perry agreed that hiring an interim finance person is a possibility.
“We need to come up with a transition plan,” Perry said.