HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Gov. Ned Lamont has appointed Charlene Russell-Tucker to serve as acting state education commissioner, taking over the position vacated when Miguel Cardona was confirmed this week as the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

Russell-Tucker, who was recommended for the position Wednesday by the state Board of Education, served as a deputy commissioner under Cardona. She has overseen the department's educational supports and wellness priorities.

“An educator herself, Charlene has a lot of experience working with school districts across Connecticut, which is why I believe her appointment to this position will seamlessly aid the state’s education goals during this transition period," Lamont said in a statement.

Russell-Tucker has worked during the COVID-19 pandemic on policies designed to keep children in school and spearheaded efforts with the Connecticut Department of Public Health to ensure schools are safe, the governor's office said.

Lamont's office said it will work with the State Board of Education to identify a permanent replacement for Cardona.