D209 hires new HR head in second board vote

Anthony Brazouski will start July 1

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By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

The second time was the charm — at least when it comes to Anthony Brazouski, who was hired as Proviso Township High Schools District 209's new assistant superintendent of human resources, safety and athletics. 

The school board voted 4-3 to approve his appointment at a regular meeting on May 8.  The vote came roughly a month after the school board had initially voted 4-3 against Brazouski's appointment at a regular meeting on April 10.

Brazouski, who starts on July 1, will receive a base salary of $144,960, in addition to $15,040 that will be put into the Teachers Retirement System. Health and dental benefits total $33,980.

Brazouski replaces Kim Waller-Echols, who announced in April that she was resigning to join another school district.

He comes to D209 from various school districts in Wisconsin, where he has worked as chief academic officer, chief executive officer and executive director of academic achievement. According to district officials, he has been a consultant for the district for two years and once applied for the principal position at Proviso West.

Brazouski earned a doctorate in Advancement of Leadership, Learning, and Service and a master's in Educational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University. He has a bachelor's degree in English literature and education from Marquette University.

According to a statement released by district officials on June 1, Brazouski has deep personal roots in Proviso Township — particularly in Melrose Park, where he grew up.

"I am proud to join a school district that has for over a century provided excellent educational opportunities to the community, including members of my own family," he said in the district statement.

Board members Della Patterson, Theresa Kelly and Amanda Grant had been against Brazouski's hire since Supt. Jesse Rodriguez recommended him to the board in April.

They argued that the process that resulted in Brazouski's appointment was not fair and echoed concerns of some people on the hiring committee, specifically members of the teachers union, who said that Brazouski was not the best candidate to have emerged from the multi-tiered hiring process, which included four parts, including writing and interview components.

Since then, Rodriguez and other board members have pointed out that some of the claims made by those on the hiring committee were based on inaccurate information. Rodriguez and several board members have since noted that Brazouski was, by far, the most qualified candidate in the hiring pool.

Board Vice President Sam Valtierrez switched his vote, making Brazouski's hiring possible. Valtierrez said he changed his mind after receiving more information about the hiring process, adding that his vote in April regarding Brazouski's hiring was based on "hearsay" instead of factual information.

"Just because I might have changed my mind doesn't mean that I'm not looking out for the best interests of my students, parents, community or teachers," Valtierrez said. "The information is right there. It's on paper, it's not hearsay. Last time, unfortunately, I made a mistake. It was hearsay."

Board President Ned Wagner said that after he reviewed the hiring process, "it seemed to be complete, fair and handled properly."

He added that the decision to put the matter back on the agenda for a second vote was cleared by the district's legal counsel and that the hiring falls within the board's nepotism and hiring policies.

CONTACT: michael@austinweeklynews.com   

Email: michael@oakpark.com

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