Another high-ranking administrator has left Lyons-Brookfield School District 103. Human Resources Director Brian Towne has resigned his position to take a new job as the assistant village manager in Oak Lawn.
Towne’s departure follows that of Colleen Bergren, the former director of student services, who left the district recently to take a job at the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching.
Towne said he just couldn’t pass up the job in Oak Lawn, which is a newly created position.
“It’s a close to perfect match for my skills and experience,” said Towne who came to District 103 one year ago.
Towne has had a varied career, working mostly in the public sector. In 2018 and 2019 he managed the unsuccessful Chicago mayoral campaign of Paul Vallas. He has also worked for about two years as the chief administrative officer/chief external affairs officer for the Acero charter school network in Chicago.
He spent the longest part of his career working for the Cook County Sherriff’s Office, where he rose to become the chief of staff for Cook County Sherriff Tom Dart. Towne grew up in southwest suburban Palos Heights.
Toni Jackman, the president of the District 103 teachers’ union, said Towne was easy to work with.
“During Brian’s time in the district, my experience with him has been positive,” Jackman said in a text message. “He has shown an understanding of human resources in a way I’ve not ever seen in the district. He’s been open, honest and understanding of teacher needs and has nurtured a positive relationship with the teachers’ union. He was instrumental in helping us start the school year in a healthy and safe way. We are thankful for his help. He will be missed.”
Towne was not Superintendent Kristopher Rivera’s first choice for the position, but school board pPesident Jorge Torres would not put a motion to hire Rivera’s first choice on an agenda.
Towne was hired a little more than a year ago in a 4-3 school board vote, with the majority bloc of Vito Campanile, Olivia Quintero, Winifred Rodriguez and Torres voting for him and Sharon Anderson, Marge Hubacek and Shannon Johnson voting against.
Rivera did not respond to a request for comment about Towne.
In an emailed statement, Towne described working for District 103 as one of the most rewarding work experiences of his career.
“We were able to attract some very talented teachers and administrators to the district, while at the same time significantly reducing a budget deficit and placing additional resources into the classroom,” Towne said.
In his year at District 103, Towne also served as the district’s Freedom of Information Act officer.