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Oswego 308 Hires New Transportation Director

Derrick S. Berlin has more than 23 years of experience in school transportation.

Tuesday evening the District 308 Board of Education hired Derrick S. Berlin, a nationally certified transportation director, to oversee District 308’s Transportation Department.

"It is with great honor to accept the position of director of transportation for School District 308," said Berlin. "It is my goal and desire to make the transportation department a world-class facility able to support the needs of students and parents."

John Sparlin, executive director of administration services for Oswego 308, said the director's position had previously been filled in the district for many years, but it had not been filled for 18 months. 

"We felt that this was the route we needed to go," Sparlin said. 

The position was posted about a month ago, said Sparlin, and the district received numerous applicants and pared the number to just a few finalists.

Each applicant went through two interviews processes, one of which involved a screening by a committee consisting of a principal from an elementary, junior high and high school, plus Sparlin and two union representatives from different transportation departments. 

Berlin will start the position Monday, Oct. 29.

Previously the district's transportation department was overseen by director of business services Angie Smith, who left the district in June for a postion in Plainfield Consolidated Unit School District 202. Previous to that Larry Martinez served as transportation director through 2011. 

Most recently, Berlin worked as transportation director for special services at Valley View Public Schools in Romeoville, a position he had since 2004. Prior to that position he was employed by Naperville Community Unit School District 203 as its transportation coordinator.

“Our plan is to ensure a world-class transportation department is a part of a world-class school district,” said Superintendent Matthew Wendt. “I am confident Mr. Berlin is the person to lead the department at this critical time.

Wendt said by 2020 the district has plans to educate over 20,000 students and it is wise to ensure the best leadership is in place for the department. 

"Whether it is a morning or afternoon route, special education route or activity trip, we want a system that guarantees the highest level of student safety, customer service, parent communication and quality service at an affordable rate," said Wendt.  

Sparlin said the base salary for Berlin's position is $92,000.

Berlin has more than 23 years of comprehensive experience in the school transportation industry and extensive capabilities in all facets of operations management, budgeting, negotiations and financial analysis, child passenger safety, staff development, team building, strategic planning and community relations.

Board President Bill Walsh said Berlin's backgroud proves that he has the knowledge to reduce the cost of the $9.5 million transporation operation for the district's 12,000 bused sudents with the best service possible. 

"The Board of Education is confident in Berlin’s ability to improve efficiencies and meet defined service commitments to our students and parents," Walsh said.

Editor's note: This story was updated at 7:55 a.m. Friday. 

Jane Enviere October 12, 2012 at 11:28 PM
It's typical new hire hyperbole and district spin - like most things from 308.
308Teacher October 13, 2012 at 02:57 AM
"I Believe"...that teachers are getting a BUM deal...working without a contract since the beginning of the school year...putting in extra time with extra duties on esentailly a "pay freeze" or even losing money with extra insurance costs...creating a "world class" school system while being bullied by administration and the school board...people wake up! support your teachers and tell your school board to work out an agreement...you can only do so much "for the children" before you have to look in the mirror and take care of our own families and children!! I am so sickk of this injustice!!
Plainfield October 19, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Dear 308Teacher - sorry you are upset about working without a contract. You have a job, many in the community don't. You have insurance, many in the community don't. I did not get a raise this year but my property taxes went up.
Loreta J. October 19, 2012 at 07:53 PM
I have to agree with Plainfield on this one. I truly appreciate teachers and what they do! I almost became one. However, the way that "308Teacher" phrased it strikes a nerve. I don't work with a contract, and many others don't either. We don't get the pay raises we deserve, and sometimes don't get one at all. Our insurance costs go up too. We may not work with children for a living, but we work for employers that manufacture or distribute things that are essential to your life or business. You benefit from my work and don't even realize it, and probably take it for granted. When I look in the mirror I see someone that is employed and happy to be working. If I look in the mirror and realize I can't take care of my own family and children, or am just not happy with how my employer is treating me, I can always go look for another job. Teachers can do the same if they are not happy. What they do is important, but so is what the rest of us do, yet we don't seem to complain as much.
Tom October 23, 2012 at 09:18 PM
I wish the teachers well in getting a contract. They have gotten very little in pay raises over the last few years and they have the most important job in the world. Preparing kids to be successful adults is a huge undertakingand I support them. I guess I don't come from the mindset that I am hurting so therefore everyone should be hurting.

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