Oak Park and River Forest High School will have a new assistant superintendent for business services next year, who will be the third OPRF administrator to be paid more than $200,000 a year. On Jan. 26 the District 200 board voted 6-0 to hire Tony Arbogast as assistant superintendent for business services. Arbogast will start work at OPRF on July 1.
Arbogast, 37, currently works as assistant superintendent for business and operations at Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202, where his responsibilities included overseeing construction of a new elementary school that opened in 2021. He has worked for D202 since 2020.
“After an exhaustive search, we are thrilled to bring Mr. Arbogast onto our team at OPRF,” Superintendent Greg Johnson said in a press release. “He was our top candidate, as his prior experience makes him an ideal match for us as we address our current financial and facility needs.”
Arbogast told the Wednesday Journal he was “extremely excited” to get the job.
Plainfield District 202 is the fifth largest district in the state, serving approximately 25,000 students. It has four high schools, seven middle schools, 18 elementary schools, and two specialized schools. Arbogast, who served as the top finance person for Roselle School District 12 for nearly four years before getting hired by Plainfield in 2020, will be getting a boost in salary to come to OPRF, a one-school district serving 3,400 students. OPRF will pay Arbogast $205,000 next year. His current annual salary at Plainfield District 202 is $159,757. The director of Business Services at Lyons Township High School District 204, a comparable position at a one-school district with nearly 4,000 students, who has held the position at LTHS for nine years, is paid $188,084.
Currently the only two employees at OPRF making more than $200,000 a year are Supt. Johnson ($237,500) and Asst. Supt. for Human Resources Roxana Sanders ($200,564.88).
Current OPRF Chief Financial Officer Cyndi Sidor will be retiring at the end of the 2023-24 fiscal year so she will have one year to work with Arbogast as he transitions to OPRF. Next year Sidor will move to a different role as director of finance.
“For personal reasons, Cyndi is moving back to her previous position of director of finance, so it’s transition only in the sense that that they will work together, but in different roles,” said Karin Sullivan, executive director of Communications at OPRF, in an email.
At Roselle, Arbogast, according to the OPRF press release that announced his hiring, created and oversaw the district’s first balanced budget in more than 25 years. He also managed several construction/renovation projects, saving the district several million dollars from original estimates.
Arbogast serves on the board of directors of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials. He earned an MBA from Colorado State University and a master’s in educational leadership and school business management from Northern Illinois University.
Arbogast grew up in Lyons and graduated from Nazareth High School. He went to Dominican University, where he played first base on the baseball team for three years but couldn’t afford to come back for his senior year because of his family’s financial situation. He obtained his stock broker’s license and got a job as an investment advisor at Waddell and Reed for 17 months before moving on to Guardian Life Insurance/Park Avenue Securities.
In 2010 he went to work at K-12 Teachers Alliance, a company that works with schools and focuses on online learning. In the meantime he went to back to school in a hybrid learning program and graduated from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor’s degree with honors in finance and economics in 2011. After earning his MBA, he was hired by Roselle District 12 in 2016. He earned his masters from NIU in 2017.