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Wednesday, August 12 News

Muktavaram resigns from Westport school board

WESTPORT — Board of Education member Vik Muktavaram announced his resignation from the board at its meeting on Thursday.

“It’s been an honor to serve,” Muktavaram said. “I’m going to miss the Monday nights and everything about the board of education, the people, the work and most importantly, our students.”

Muktavaram, a Republican, had served four and a half years. He was appointed to the BOE in 2016 to fill the seat vacated by Paul Block and later won his seat in last year’s election.

In an email to the Westport News, Muktavaram said, “Unfortunately, due to increasing work commitments and the possibility of travel (when it is safe to do so), I decided to step down from the Board. It has been a privilege to have served on the Board of Education.

“I have enjoyed the work and while there have been crises and challenges, it was always gratifying knowing that everyone cared and worked toward a common goal.”

Muktavaram, born and raised in India, came to the United States in 1994 to pursue a master’s degree in computer science from Oklahoma State University and in 2004 received an MBA from the Columbia University Business School. He moved to Westport with his family in 2009.

He said some of his prouder moments have been meeting with people inside the school buildings.

“Oftentimes, my perspectives evolved and changed based on those conversations,” Muktavram said. “Sometimes it’s led me to change my propositions drastically.”

Board members lauded him for his work, saying they would miss his presence at meetings.

“I’m very sad and disappointed personally to see you go,” BOE member Elaine Whitney said. “I’m going to miss you terribly.”

She said she valued Muktavaram’s willingness to listen, ability to creatively look at the long term, his analytic strength and his focus on the district’s kids.

“You have been someone I really valued for many years to help work through these tough issues,” she said. “You have been a huge resource and help to that.”

BOE member Karen Kleine said Muktavaram left his mark on the school board.

“It’s going to be tough to fill your shoes,” she said. “Thanks for everything you do. There was always no question that you put the students first.”

School administrators also echoed the sentiments.

“I enjoyed working with you over the last two years,” Anthony Buono, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, said. “I think your insight and your contribution to the board will be missed.”

John Bayers, human resources director, also highlighted Muktavaram’s passion for the employees.

“I want people to know that about you,” he said. “You were really thoughtful about supporting the whole operation.”

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Whitney said the school board will have 45 days to consider another Republican in town to replace Muktavaram. The deadline for applications is July 10 at 5 p.m.

“Our plan is to make an appointment on or about Aug. 10 of this year,” Whitney said.

dj.simmons@hearstmediact.com

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