Spartan Success Story: The Man in the Orange Tie


Aniyah Racine

Aaron Kaufer, an American politician serving as member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives,  graduated from Wyoming Valley West High School in 2007. 

He graduated from Lafayette College in 2011 with degrees in Government Law and National Affairs, specializing in United States and Chinese affairs.

In late 2021, Kaufer appeared at WVW for a speech on his own “Spartan Success Story.” “Going through Valley west, working hard, the whole public school experience, all helped define who I am today,” Kaufer said. “I can’t thank Wyoming Valley West – I can’t thank the Spartan community enough for helping me to make me the man I am, today.”

Kaufer felt that being involved was a crucial part of growing up and became beneficial to his career. “You get out of things what you put into them,” Kaufer said. “To be involved and active in these programs, you get the most value for what you’re doing and truly feel the benefits of it.” 

While attending high school, Kaufer was a member of the boys tennis, math counts, science olympiad, history day, and many more. His involvement and eagerness to be a part of something made him a star student that many teachers and students admired. 

  Straight out of college in 2012, Kaufer decided to run for state representative. After a rough ten months of knocking on 18,000 doors, he lost his first election to Phyllis Mundy. After a close loss, he decided to run again two years later in 2014 and has now just been reelected for his fifth term in the office. “My hard work and sweat equity paid off into getting to where I am,” Kaufer said.

Kaufer will be delivering the keynote address at the NFL Wellness Symposium, the day before the superbowl to talk about the NFL partnership with KOOTH, a mental health program. 

He finds pleasure in helping people and being a part of something that people come to when they are in need of something. “Being able to be in this position and being able to work to help solve people’s problems, it’s truly rewarding,” Kaufer said.

Known for his bright orange tie, Kaufer wears them often to symbolize unity. He feels as though he should represent everyone rather than a small portion of them. He wears his orange tie to show that he is with the people, for the people. 

“If you go in with the mentality that you’re there to represent the people and do what’s right for the majority of the people,” Kaufer said. “It’s not about red or blue, it’s not about ideology. Our job is to be out there to work, represent the people, and to help the people.”

“It’s about the people,” Kaufer said. “The people make the experience at an institution and especially at school.”