WESTPORT — The Board of Education unanimously appointed Liz Heyer to fill a seat vacated in June by Vik Muktavaram.

“I just want to say thank you,” Heyer, a Republican, said at the BOE meeting Monday. “I’m honored to be selected to join the Westport Board of Education.”

Heyer is a Staples High School graduate and received her MBA from Columbia Business School. She has been heavily involved in the schools as an active PTA member, and was a volunteer parent coach for elementary school girls for the Westport recreational soccer program.

She ran for one of the three vacant BOE seats in November, but lost to incumbent Muktavaram in a race so close officials had to double check absentee ballots.

Heyer, supported by her husband and three children, was sworn in by Town Clerk Patty Strauss at her home. She will now serve the remainder of Muktavaram’s term through November 2023.

“We’ve been extremely fortunate in Westport to have an exceptional pool of candidates for this vacancy, as we so often are,” BOE member Elaine Whitney said.

Six candidates applied to fill the vacancy last month, which had to be filled by another Republican. Whitney said all of the candidates were interviewed by the Republican Town Committee and vetted by the BOE as well.

Three candidates were interviewed by the board, with Heyer and another candidate making it to a second round of interviews before the final decision.

“I’m looking forward to working with all of the existing board members as well as the administration — both the existing administration and new administration — as we really work to navigate a path forward in what are very unexpected and challenging times” Heyer said. “I know there’s definitely some work to do there.”

“I also look forward to a time when we are hopefully beyond some of this and we can really continue to build upon the excellent educational opportunities and programs that Westport has always been known for,” she said.

dj.simmons@hearstmediact.com