Three. That’s the number of spokespeople the Connecticut Department of Education has had in the last year following the death of the longtime spokesman Tom Murphy, who was well-respected for his exceptional knowledge about education policy in the state.

First came Mark Linabury, who was named the interim spokesman and now heads the Bureau of Choice Programs at the department. Then came Jim Polites, a former teacher and previous spokesman for Democratic legislators. On Friday, the education department announced Polites would be moving to Linabury’s department to “direct community affairs.”

The new spokeswoman, who started Friday, is Kelly Ann Donnelly, whose background is largely in communications for political campaigns in New York and New Jersey. Donnelly’s salary is $82,000 a year.

Donnelly will field questions from the media as the state education department works to implement Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s education reforms.

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