Tamara Derenak Kaufax
Most friends call me “Tammy”, and I am honored to be your Lee District representative on the Fairfax County School Board, and currently serving as the School Board Chair. I am a mother, wife, volunteer and business woman. I have been an advocate for children’s causes and education issues in Fairfax County for many years, serving on a variety of school and community-related committees and boards.

My husband, Alan, and I have lived in Lee District since 1989. We have two children: Matthew graduated from Edison High School in 2013 and Halle is currently a student at Edison.

Why I’m Running for Re-Election

It has been my honor to serve on the school board for the past four years.  We have had many successes during these past four years including hiring a new superintendent, improving student discipline practices, expanding early childhood education, adding full day Mondays in our elementary schools, and instituting later high school times.  I want to continue the excellent work we have begun–as we launch our strategic plan, continue our work on Portrait of a Graduate, and work to ensure that our schools strong so our community stays strong!

I am a parent of a 2013 FCPS graduate and a child currently in the school system–both who have received an excellent public school education. I want to ensure that this will continue to be true for all of our county’s children for many years to come.

Maintaining a first class school system is the key ingredient for raising happy and successful children,  and they are our future – essential to keeping our economy thriving here in Fairfax County.

During my tenure on the school board I have served in many leadership roles.  Currently I am serving as the Chair of the Board, a position to which I was elected to by my colleagues on the board.  Other roles I have served in include Vice Chair of the Board, Chair of the Public Engagement Committee and Chair of the Ad Hoc Streamline and Focus Committee.  I have prided myself on being open-minded and willing to listen to all opinions. I will always work to seek consensus with stakeholders in the many complicated and challenging decisions facing the school system.

I am committed to working hard to be part of the solution for better, stronger schools, one where children, teachers, administrators, families – entire communities – work together for a successful future.

Growing up in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, I was raised by second generation immigrants in a household where education over all else was valued, and I am a beneficiary of public school education . It was seen as an essential key to future success. Cultural education, knowledge of current events and the importance of mathematics was stressed. My parents believed strongly that through hard work and a solid education anything was possible. Their support and guidance paid off, as I was the first in my family to go to college, graduating from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Political Science and Business.

My professional career spans nearly 20 years with a wide variety of management, writing and marketing experience. I managed my own marketing consulting firm, working with several clients from child development organizations such as Zero to Three, to professional societies such as the American Psychological Association. Prior to that, I worked with several non-profit trade and professional groups, most recently as the Assistant Vice President of Membership and Marketing for the Independent Insurance Agents of America.

I am like so many of today’s parents, trying to balance raising children while maintaining a career,  volunteering for those who need assistance, and supporting our local communities, outreach groups and faith-based charities. I have been a full time working Mom, a part-time working Mom and a stay at home Mom. I have learned much from the jobs of “Room Mom” and “Team Mom”. I have been a PTA Vice President at Bush Hill and Springfield Estates Elementary Schools. And, as the PTA cultural arts coordinator for 10 years, I have brought music, arts and curriculum enhancement programs to thousands of children at Bush Hill and Springfield Estates Elementary Schools.

I was appointed to Fairfax Citizens for Better Schools to help ensure that funding would be available for capital improvements in our area’s schools such as the current renovation at Edison HS. For over nine years, including currently as the chairperson, I have been on Fairfax County’s Child Care Advisory Council, ensuring that our county’s neediest children have access to high quality child care and that our elementary school’s are providing top notch after-school care thorough our SACC program. I also currently sit on several local committees, namely the FCPS Superintendent’s Business and Community Advisory Council, the FCPS Advanced Academic Program’s Committee, and Lee District Supervisor McKay’s Budgetary Advisory Council.

My experiences as a business professional, in the community, within the schools, and as a parent of children attending FCPS schools, have all prepared me for this role as as the Lee District Representative on the Fairfax County School Board. I am seeking re-election on the School Board because of my desire as a parent and county resident to keep Fairfax County public schools amongst the best in the nation. I believe that maintaining a first class school system is the key ingredient for raising productive and successful children, and they are our future, essential to keeping our economy thriving here in Fairfax County.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about me. I hope to see you at an upcoming Board Meeting, civic or PTA meeting, school event or as I walk the neighborhoods of Lee District. Please contact me with your ideas, questions or concerns about our schools. I look forward to sharing conversations with you and ask for your vote on November 3rd!

Chair, Fairfax County Child Care Advisory Council, 2010-2011 and 2004-2005, Board Member, 2001-Present

Board Member, FCPS Superintendent’s Business and Community Advisory Council, 2010-Present

Board Member, FCPS Advanced Academic Program’s Committee, 2010-Present

Member, FCDC Education Committee, 2010-Present

Board Member, Lee District Budget Advisory Council, Alexandria, VA, 2009-Present

Board Member, Fairfax Citizens for Better Schools, 2009-2010

Committee Member, FCPS Parent Linkage Committee, 2009

Social Co-Chair and Yoga Coach, LMVSC Patriots Girls’ Soccer Team, 2009-Present

Phone Bank Volunteer, Obama for America Campaign, Sickles for Delegate, Eileen Filler-Corn for Delegate, Connolly for Congress, Alexandria/Springfield, VA, 2008-2010

Board Chairman, AGC Pre-School, Alexandria, VA, 1999-2002 and Board Member, 1998-2007

PTA Cultural Arts Chair, Springfield Estates Elementary School, Springfield, VA, 2003-present

PTA Vice President, Springfield Estates Elementary School, Springfield, VA, 2006-2007

Parent Coordinator, World Children’s Choir, 2005-2006

Member, Fairfax County Association for the Gifted, 2004-Present

PTA Cultural Arts Chair, Bush Hill Elementary School, Alexandria, VA, 2000-2007

Sunday School Teacher, Franconia United Methodist Church, 2003-2007

Member, Arts Council of Fairfax, 2001-Present

Member, Brookland-Bush Hill Civic Association, 2001-Present

PTA Volunteer, Room Parent, Classroom Volunteer, 2000-Present

“Team Mom”, Various Softball, Baseball, Basketball Teams, 1998-Present

Member, Van Dorn Village Homeowners Association, 1989-Present

Wish Granter, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Bethesda, MD, 1988-1999

With nearly 20 years of management and consulting experience, I’ve developed strategic marketing and communication solutions for non-profit associations and other industries. I’ve worked with many organizations, from small professional societies to some of the industry’s largest trade groups, specializing in marketing plan development, member recruitment and retention campaigns and strategies, and fundraising. I’ve authored a variety of brochures, surveys, articles, speeches and direct mail pieces, and have planned and conducted several focus groups. My knowledge and creative approach has helped several organizations realize significant gains in members and revenue.

Independent Marketing Consultant, ALTAMAT Marketing Solutions, Alexandria, VA, 1995 – 2000
As a consultant, performed in a variety of roles:

  • Managed marketing and communications function for the Errors and Omissions insurance program for the Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA), one of the country’s largest trade associations (this program generated $2.3 million in annual revenue for IIAA).
  • For Employers Reinsurance Corporation, a worldwide company specializing in reinsurance, created a national advertising campaign; managed the highly successful campaign from idea inception through printed copy.
  • For the Independent Insurance Agents of New York, performed an in depth analysis of their marketing operations and materials – the result was a strategic marketing plan including a detailed timeline outlining how and when to apply the recommended strategies.
  • For Zero to Three, the nation’s leading resource on the first three years of life, created a successful direct mail campaign that increased periodical readership by 30%.

 

Assistant Vice-President, Membership/Marketing, Independent Insurance Agents of America, Alexandria, VA, 1988 – 1995

  • Created the overall membership and marketing strategies for IIAA and their for-profit subsidiary MSI. These strategies increased IIAA’s membership ranks by 34% and consistently met or exceeded budget goals for IIAA’s product lines, averaging $300,000 annually in educational sales and over $2 million dollars in insurance sales.
  • Managed and trained a marketing team of seven professionals and was the primary liaison between the national association and the 51 state association staffs.
  • Supervised several policy-making national committees, and in addition wrote, designed and edited promotional materials for magazine ads, brochures, catalogs, direct marketing informational pieces and fundraising packets that consistently averaged 50-75% response rates.

 

Director of Membership Marketing, National Apartment Association, Washington, D.C., 1987 – 1988

  • Created and managed membership recruitment and retention campaigns increasing membership ranks 35% over projected goal.
  • Supervised the creation of an in-house data- base and managed a $900,000 membership budget and dues assessment process.
  • Supervised a staff of three and assisted in the development of the association’s first long range marketing plan.

 

Marketing Consultant, American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C., 1987

  • Established a personal contact and telemarketing network for new members that significantly increased membership and member renewals.
  • Conducted market research to determine the most cost-effective strategies for improving specific member services.

 

Assistant Director of Membership, American Society of Internal Medicine, Washington, D.C., 1985 – 1987

  • Created and managed the association’s direct mail programs.
  • Wrote, designed and edited technical materials that received 55% response rates.
  • Represented and promoted the association at various conferences, and was a primary contact for member inquiries.

 

Assistant Coordinator, Membership Promotion and Development, American Association of Museums, Washington, D.C., 1984 – 1985

  • Revised and improved the association’s membership retention materials from new member kits to member renewal letters and dues enclosures.
  • Negotiated with graphic designers, printers and mail-houses.
  • Wrote fund raising proposals to private foundations and she planned, promoted and organized special receptions for members from marketing strategy to final arrangements with hotel caterers.

 

Account Executive, Flair Personnel, Washington, D.C., 1984

  • Utilized effective telemarketing techniques to research job opportunities for agency and coordinate hiring agreements with new employers.
  • Screened, tested and interviewed applicants. She prepared formal job descriptions and provided career and employment counseling.