Niles schools tap alumnus for business, finance job

Published 2:39 am Tuesday, December 19, 2006

By By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily Star
NILES – Niles Community Schools has hired a new director of business and finance.
The board of education announced Monday Thomas Skarbek will assume the position starting Jan. 15. Skarbek is replacing Bob Wright, who has held the job since 1985.
"Things that made Tom stand out were excellent communication skills, he's a CPA [certified pubic accountant], he's been working with government accounting. He had outstanding references," Niles superintendent Doug Law said. "He understands the kind of system we have to use."
Skarbek, a graduate of Niles High School and a resident of the district, is leaving his current position with the City of South Bend, Ind., where he has been the director of budgeting and financial reporting since 1996. At his job in South Bend, Skarbek was in charge of annual operating and capital budgets and financial and budgetary reporting, and also coordinating and preparing documents for the city's annual audit.
Law said Skarbek was the highest-ranking person in South Bend's business office who was not a politically appointed employee.
Prior to heading the South Bend finances, Skarbek was city auditor from 1991 to 1996. He holds a bachelor of administration from Western Michigan University, where he majored in accounting and minored in general business.
Skarbek will earn an annual salary of $82,000, Law said. Wright, who is officially retiring Jan. 31 after 22 years of service to the district, was earning $94,000 per year, Law added.
Niles received 15 applications for the position and an administration team interviewed seven candidates. Three finalists were chosen and sat in front of a committee formed from the board of education, he added.