CHATHAM, NJ - Bradley Smith was sworn in as the newest member of the Chatham Board of Education during the BOE's final meeting of the year on Monday night.

The Chatham Township resident will serve the final year of a three-year term that was vacated by Mary Chambers on Oct. 14.

Smith, who works in financial services, has been a volunteer member of NJ Board of Directors for Autism Speaks for the past seven years. He was selected from five applicants for the opening on the Chatham BOE.

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"I just wanted to get more involved in the community," Smith said. "It's been great for me. Everything has been wonderful for the last 13 years and I figure it's time to start giving back."

Smith as a 9-year-old child in Southern Boulevard School and a 13-year-old in the Chatham Middle School.

Board member Michelle Clark explains the process that went into selecting Smith as the new BOE member

The BOE approved an amended school calendar for 2020/2021 that will close Chatham schools on election day, Nov. 3, 2020. Teachers, however, will be in school for a professional development day.

The change in the calendar makes Oct. 12, 2020, Columbus Day, a full day for students and staff and Nov. 4, 2020, a full day for students and staff.

Board president Jill Critchley Weber explains the reason for changing the calendar to make sure there is no school on election day 

In other business, the board heard the results of the 2018/2019  audit report from John Farina, audit manager for Wiss & Co., who gave the Chatham BOE a clean bill of health. He did not make any recommendations for change in practices. Peter Daquila, board administrator/secretary, offered that the Chatham BOE has an AAA rating.

During the discussion of board business, Weber asked for administrators to examine the costs of changing the name of the district from the School District of the Chathams to the Chatham Public School District. It was changed to SDOC on Dec. 22, 1986, when Chatham Borough and Chatham Township merged school districts.

Weber noted that SDOC moniker causes some confusion by making it harder to find the name "Chatham" on certain listings. Board members declined to weigh in before hearing about the costs for switching over.