D181 hires new leader for business office

District 181 has named Rick Engstrom as its new assistant superintendent of business and operations/chief school business official effective July 1.

Engstrom will fill the vacancy left by the retirement of current Chief Financial Officer Mohsin Dada. Engstrom’s hiring was approved at the Community Consolidated District 181 Board meeting April 20.

Engstrom comes to District 181 from Plainfield Community Consolidated District 202, where he served as director of finance and then assistant superintendent of business and operations. Prior to his six years at District 202, he was chief school business official at Big Hollow School District 38 in Ingleside, and a fifth-grade teacher and union president at Channahon School District 17.

“Mr. Engstrom’s skills and leadership qualities will be a major asset to our district,” Superintendent Hector Garcia said. “We look forward to having him continue the level of excellence that has been in place in our business office over the last few years.”

Board President Margaret Kleber echoed Garcia’s comments.

“We’re very happy to see such a strong candidate join our administrative team,” Kleber said. “His experience and certifications are reflective of what a premier District like 181 needs.”

Engstrom is a member of the National, Illinois and Will County Associations of School Business Officials. In his previous districts, he’s improved their financial profile scores and Moody’s Bond Ratings. He’s also received several awards, including a nomination for a Golden Apple Award and Who’s Who in North American Education.

“I look forward to serving the students, families and employees of District 181,” Engstrom said. “It’s a privilege to be joining such a standout administrative team and carry on the legacy of Mr. Dada’s strong financial management.”

The D181 board and administration extends its gratitude to Dada for his years of accomplishments and contributions to the district. Dada has spearheaded the oversight of the annual operating budget since 2017, keeping the interests of students and teachers at the forefront. The D181 Business Office has received the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting for 17 consecutive years from the Association of School Business Officials International.

“Mr. Dada has been instrumental for the continued sound financial state of our District and is a well-respected pillar of the CSBO community. We will certainly miss him, personally and professionally, and wish him well in his well-deserved retirement,” Garcia said.