Mt. Pleasant Area hires full-time district business manager
When Brent Filak was hired as interim business manager of Mt. Pleasant Area School District in December 2013, he said he was taking the situation one day at a time.
While starting out, Filak was fresh off of leaving a job in the same capacity at Uniontown Area School District to go back into business for himself as a certified public accountant.
When former Mt. Pleasant Area business manager Timothy Caudill resigned in November due to health concerns, the district contacted Filak to help address the situation that remained on a temporary basis.
“Then one month turned into two, and two months turned into three,” Filak said.
Over time, the sense of teamwork Filak felt with the both district's administrative officials, particularly superintendent Timothy Gabauer, and its board of education made him think increasingly about the idea of staying on in a more permanent role, he said.
“My relationship with the superintendent and the board was very good here, very early,” Filak said. “All I can say is, as time went by, we all became more comfortable with each other, so it made sense to come to a long-term agreement to stay on ... we have a good team.”
That belief was reciprocated recently as the district's school board voted to hire Filak as the full-time business manager at a special meeting.
The decision came after the board voted to accept Caudill's official resignation from the job at its Feb. 10 meeting due to his ongoing health issues.
“The district has been extremely pleased with Mr. Filak's work during his tenure as interim (business manager), and it is equally pleased that he is willing to become part of the Mt. Pleasant Area family. His knowledge and experience will be a tremendous asset to the district,” Gabauer said.
Board President Robert Gumbita said that after advertising the position, the board learned retaining Filak in the position was an option.
“The quality of work has been exceptional, and the professional relationships give us the confidence that the foundation for a highly functional administrative team will be in place,” Gumbita said.
Filak is a 1992 graduate of St. Vincent College with a degree in accounting and a minor in finance.
He began his professional career with the firm of KPMG Peat Marwick. He pursued his CPA license and became a chartered global management accountant. He primarily worked in the banking and accounting industry until becoming business manager for Uniontown Area in 2012.
Filak said that his hire, along with the hire of Gabauer as the district's administrative chief effective Nov. 1, brings a fresh set of insights to the administration.
“I'm happy to be here, and I'm happy to be working with the new superintendent. From at least a couple different departments within the administration, there's going to be some new ideas,” he said.
Filak said his thoughts are currently absorbed in the crafting of the district's 2014-15 general fund budget, in the face of challenges ranging from retirement increases and health insurance hikes to cyber school costs.
“We certainly have our work cut out for us, but I think we're working on some ideas that are going to help the financial situation here at the district,” he said.
Filak and his wife, Laura, are the parents of two children, ages 16 and 13.
A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.