A longtime local resident has been hired as Mundelein High School's next business manager.
C. Andrew Searle will replace Gary Lonquist, who's set to retire June 30. Lonquist has guided the district's financial planning for seven years.
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Searle now serves as business manager at Prairie Grove District 46 in Crystal Lake.
The Mundelein High School District 120 board agreed to hire Searle this week. Inking a three-year contract, he will earn a $150,000 annual salary in his new role, officials said.
Before working in Crystal Lake, Searle was the business director for the Mundelein area's Fremont Elementary District 79 from 2001 to 2010. He previously served as the business manager for West suburban River Forest School District 90.
Searle certainly is familiar with life at Mundelein High.
He has lived in Mundelein for more than 20 years, and all three of his children graduated from Mundelein High.
"I have always thought that I would like to have this position and I am very thankful that the board has given me this opportunity," Searle told the Daily Herald in an email.
Mundelein High officials see Searle's familiarity with the school and the village as a plus.
"Mr. Searle is very familiar with the village of Mundelein, its leaders and Mundelein Consolidated High School," Superintendent Jody Ware said.
The school board appreciated "Searle's enthusiasm and commitment as a fiscally knowledgeable and responsible individual," Ware added.
Lonquist has been with the school since 2006. After years of fiscal mismanagement by previous administrations led to a multimillion-dollar deficit, Lonquist helped guide Mundelein High into safe financial waters.
Mundelein High has had a balanced budget every year Lonquist has been in control of the books, and that deficit has turned into a surplus.
"It is vitally important to continue that stewardship," Searle said. "Gary Lonquist has done a fantastic job getting the district back on sound financial footing. I will continue to build on that foundation."