Fitchburg resident Nicole Vafadari has been selected as the next member of the Verona Area Board of Education.

Vafadari was selected by a unanimous vote by the six existing board members during a workshop session on Tuesday, July 12. Vafadari and another Fitchburg resident, John Grummel, applied to fill the seat that was vacated by longtime board member and treasurer Amy Almond as of July 9.

Vafadari was one of five people to actively campaign for three at-large seats for the Verona Area Board of Education in April. She came in fifth in the race, after incumbent board member Carolyn Jahnke and the three winners, Yanna Williams, Jen Murphy and John Porco.

A mother of two young and the director of E-Commerce for AmericanGirl, Mattel, Inc., Vafadari has lived within the district since 2019, according to a candidate questionnaire biography provided to the Press during the spring election cycle. She has also been involved with the Wisconsin Women’s Network, Key Club and the Boys and Girls Club, and has been an English as a Second Language tutor, according to her biography.

While many board members voiced how impressed they were with both candidates, they stated they planned to vote for Vafadari because she had run for a seat before and the time she had put into getting elected.

“What’s tipping it over for me is that (Vafadari) has been showing commitment for some time in running for a seat,” board president Noah Roberts said during the meeting.

Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.

News Editor

Kimberly Wethal joined Unified Newspaper Group in 2018, where she serves as the news editor for four publications and primarily covers the Verona Area School District and the City of Fitchburg. She previously was an intern with UNG starting in 2013.