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West Hartford Board of Education Selects New Member to Fill Vacancy

Renée Kamauf. Courtesy photo

The Democratic caucus of the West Hartford Board of Education has selected Renee Kamauf to fill the seat recently vacated by Deb Polun.

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford Board of Education Chair Lorna Thomas-Farquharson announced Friday that the Democratic caucus has unanimously selected Renée Kamauf to fill its vacant seat.

The vacancy was created when Democrat Deb Polun officially resigned her seat on Nov. 9 to assume a position on the West Hartford Town Council.

“We are very fortunate to live in a community that is committed to education,” Thomas-Farquharson said. The Board had requested that those interested in serving submit a letter and resume to the Democratic Town Committee, and she said she was pleased that great interest was evident as numerous applications were received for the volunteer position.

“As our Board continues in servant leadership, we are honored to name Renée Kamauf as the appointee to West Hartford’s Board of Education,” Thomas-Farquharson said in an announcement. Kamauf will officially be sworn in at the Board’s meeting on Dec. 6, 2022, which begins at 7 p.m. at West Hartford Town Hall.

“Her values, morals, and what she advocates for are very much aligned with the district’s values,” Thomas-Farquharson told We-Ha.com.

Kamauf currently serves as director of Admissions and Marketing in the Registrar’s office in Yale University’s School of Medicine and has dedicated her career to serving students of all ages and in addition to supporting high school students beginning their college journey, she has been an advocate for expanded pre-kindergarten in West Hartford.

“She is an active citizen of the Yale University community advocating for students as well as a dedicated professional in her field,” the announcement states.

Her husband is a graduate of West Hartford’s Conard High School, and the couple returned to West Hartford several years ago to raise their two young daughters, who will soon enter West Hartford Public Schools.

Kamauf has a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Administration from George Washington University and has authored several articles and regularly presents her work to scholarly and professional organizations.

“I am honored to serve West Hartford as a member of the Board of Education,” Kamauf said in a statement. “I look forward to engaging with the community to ensure the continued success of West Hartford Public Schools. Our town and public education are facing many challenges at the moment, and I am prepared to address these challenges on behalf of our students and educators.”

Her appointment to fill Polun’s seat will be valid until the next municipal election, in November 2023, at which point she has indicated that she is committed to running to serve out the remaining two years of the term.

“Renée’s past and present professional and community involvement make her a valuable asset to the Board. All of this is further enhanced by her commitment to equity, social emotional learning, and guiding principles that align with our school district,” Thomas-Farquharson said. “We welcome Renée to the team and look forward to our journey ahead.”

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