A highly respected and very experienced business manager has begun work in Riverside Elementary School District 96.

Tuesday night the District 96 Board of Education voted 6-0, with David Kodama abstaining, to hire David Sellers as the district’s Interim Director of Finance and Operations.

Sellers had just retired less than three months ago after serving for 11 years as the Director of Business Services at Lyons Township High School. Sellers, 56, has worked in education for 35 years. 

“I’m not ready to be 100 percent retired,” Sellers said.

Sellers will work part time because he is receiving a pension from the Illinois Teacher Retirement System. He will work 100 days, probably two or three days a week, and be paid $650 a day.

Sellers was interviewed last week by school board president Mary Rose Mangia and finance committee chairwoman Lisa Gaynor. He had talked with Supt. Bhavna Sharma-Lewis the week before. 

His experience was a big factor in the decision to hire Sellers, Mangia said. Mangia also said that she believes that Sellers will help improve the district’s internal controls and stated that he has “exceptional data and information management capabilities.”

Sellers’s former boss lavished praise on Sellers. 

“David is a highly skilled business manager,” said Tim Kilrea, the superintendent of Lyons Township High School District 204. “Very, very good at what he does and Riverside is very fortunate to have him.”

Sharma-Lewis said that she is looking forward to working with, and learning from, Sellers.

I am pleased to have Mr. David Sellers join the district leadership team as the Interim Director of Finanace and Operations,” said Sharma-Lewis in an email. “His strong financial, operational and technical background will be an asset to the district and community.  We are fortunate to have someone with his skills set, experience and expertise serve our district.”

Sellers began working in District 96 on Wednesday morning meeting with Sharma-Lewis and outgoing Director of Finance and Operations Zack Zayed. Zayed’s last day on the job in District 96 will be Aug. 22. Zayed is resigning from District 96 to become the Director of Finance at Burbank School District 111.