It’s been quite a run for Tim Filipovich and Brookfield schools.
Filipovich attended Brookfield schools, worked his summers cleaning the schools while in college, and then was a teacher, coach, principal and school board member.
“For sixty some years, I’ve been a part of the Brookfield Local Schools,” he said, with the last 12 on the school board.
That association did not end on Dec. 18, when he attended his last meeting as a member of the school board, but it will change now that he has no official position with the school.
“Very, very pleased with my time there,” Filipovich said. “Not that I won’t be involved, but it will look different, that’s all.”
A father of five, Filipovich’s job at Youngstown City Schools is busier than other jobs he has had, cutting into his time with his wife, Kari, who teaches at Brookfield, his three kids and five grandkids in Columbus, his one child away at college and his remaining child at home, Connor, a Brookfield senior.
“I’m blessed with all that, but don’t get to spend as much time with those folks as possible,” he said. “I think it’s time for some fresh people to be on.”
promoHe is leaving two fresh people – newly elected Melissa Sydlowski and Sarah Kurpe – with the board in “a very good place,” he said.
“When I got on the board 12 years ago, there was a lot of turmoil and I’m proud to say that I was a part of righting a lot of that with the people that I’ve worked with, my colleagues on the board,” Filipovich said.
The district has stabilized financially, although there has never been enough money to meet certain goals, he said.
“There never really was enough dollars to do anything creatively with staff to provide additional opportunities for our young people,” Filipovich said. “If you look at our electives, it has something to do with how many staff you can bring on.
“Our teachers and classified staff have gone without what I consider equitable compensation for the time that I’ve been on the board. It’s discouraging, because they deserve the most that they can get because their job is so important. We weren’t able to do anything.”
At least, the district passed an operating levy during his 12 years, he said.
“I don’t know where we would have been right now if that wouldn’t have happened, because that helped stabilize us and gave us the opportunity to get where we are right now,” he said.
Filipovich said his goal as a board member was the same as his goal as a teacher: “to look out for the best interests of children. I think I’ve stayed true to that. I’m not necessarily in favor of making decisions that make adults feel comfortable. I’m more about making decisions and pushing people to think about students.”
Ron Brennan’s term ended at the same time as Filipovich’s. He did not attend the Dec. 18 meeting.