CHATHAM, NJ - Michelle Clark, a teacher in Millburn, was unanimously approved and sworn in as a new member of the Board of Education for the District of the Chathams on Wednesday night.
"I'm an educator myself and I feel like I bring a good perspective to the board," Clark said. "I worked with Education Counts for eight years. I also have three children in the school system."
Clark takes over the unexpired term of Al Burgunder, who resigned late last year. Clark will run for a one-year term in April to complete Burgunder's tenure. She could then run for a three-year board term in 2015.
Clark has been a resident of Chatham for 16 years, the first seven in the borough and the last nine in the township. Her children attend Chatham High School, Chatham Middle school and Lafayette School.
Clark worked with Education Counts for eight years and also served as chairperson of the organization. She is currently pursing a degre in educational leadership at Kean University.
"We're pleased to have her interest in serving on the board of education," Board President Thomas K. Belding.
Michelle Clark is sworn in as a board member by Peter Daquila, board secretary, in video below
Superintendent Dr. Michael LaSusa noted that Chatham has five snow days built into the school calendar. So far, Chatham has used three of its snow days.
Gov. Chris Christie's state-of-the-state comments about implementing longer school days and years was mentioned by Dr. LaSusa at the Board of Education meeting.
"We had a meeting with the county superintendent last week and I spoke to the Garden State Coalition and no other details were provided about Gov. Christie's plan," Dr. LaSusa said. "Most of us in public educatition agree that more time with students is better, but there are resources needed in terms of transportation, things like electricity costs and teacher's pay that need to be considered."
It was suggested that Chatham, if mandated by the state, could extend its school year by offering online courses, which already are available to Chatham students.