Chatham High School (New Jersey)

Chatham High School is an American four-year comprehensive public high school located at 255 Lafayette Avenue in Chatham Township, in Morris County, New Jersey. It is part of the School District of the Chathams. The school serves students in grades 9-12. The new regional high school, serving two municipalities, was dedicated at Lafayette Avenue after the creation of the School District of the Chathams on July 1, 1988, and joined the Lafayette Elementary School on its original site. The two schools share performing arts facilities.

The name of the new high school continues the tradition of its predecessor, which was located previously on Fairmount Avenue adjacent to the train station in Chatham in a historic early twentieth century Gothic Revival building that still bears the name on its façade. Secondary level students from Chatham Township were bussed to it and, later to a senior high school on Main Street, for many years under the auspices of the former, Chatham Board of Education.

From 1966 through 1988, Chatham Township students attended the newly constructed Chatham Township High School on Lafayette Avenue where Chatham High School is today. CTHS had as its mascot the Gladiator and CHS the Eskie. The two schools were strong rivals at Homecoming games for the twenty-two years they were separate high schools.

Today the school mascot for the combined Chatham High School is the Cougar.

As of the 2005-06 school year, the school had an enrollment of 880 students and 66.0 classroom teachers (on a FTE basis, for a student-teacher ratio of 13.3.

The school will have two principals, beginning with the 2006-07 school year, a change approved by the Board of Education of the School District of the Chathams on June 5, 2006.

The school will have two principals and an assistant principal, beginning with the 2008-09 school year.

Awards and recognition

For the 2004-05 school year, the high school was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive.

The school was the 10th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 314 schools statewide, in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2008 cover story on the state's Top Public High Schools. The school was ranked 12th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which included 316 schools across the state.

During the 2007-2008 school year, Chatham High School became one of the first schools in the country to stop giving midterm exams. Instead of midterm exams, students must instead complete alternate assessment projects; a move strongly supported by co-principal Michael Lasusa and backed by the School District of the Chathams.

Organizations and extra-curricular activities


Junior State of America is the Chatham High School chapter of the national Junior State of America program, a club devoted to student political action. The club meets to debate political issues and encourage grassroots action in the political process.


Peers Adjusting With Support is an organization of upperclassmen who help freshmen adjust to some of their new high school activities. Its members organize an annual field day, in which all freshman must participate. PAWS is a mandatory program for freshman but juniors and seniors are selected to be PAWS leaders.


Teens Aagainst Tobacco Use is an organization whose members are against any and all tobacco use in Chatham High School and the surrounding areas. They visit elementary and middle schools in the school district to discuss the dangers of tobacco use with younger students.


Students Against Destructive Decisions is an organization whose members help students cope with everyday problems and decisions.

Marching Band

Chatham High School has an award-winning marching band led by Brian Conti. They have 58 members and fall under Group 2 Open classification. This year, the band is performing "The Music of Jekyll and Hyde" with music based on the Broadway play. Selections include "Facade/Prologue," "In His Eyes," and "Murder, Murder." They are led by drum majors Dan Disalvio and Andrew Hopen, and will conclude their season at New Jersey State Championships on October 25th at Giants Stadium.

In 2007, the band performed several songs composed by Danny Elfman, including themes from Batman, Beetlejuice, Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Edward Scissorhands, and the theme from a popular videogame titled Fable. The 2007 marching band is led by drum majors Beth Maliszewski and Vaughn Sulit.

In 2006, the marching band performed Invitation to a Wedding, a story-telling performance about the day of a wedding, from the ceremony through the reception. Songs played included Here Comes the Bride, YMCA, and Everlasting Love, among several others, led by Peter Evans, Haley White, and Greg Bukata. In 2005, the marching band performed Arabian Nights, including the songs Arabian Nights, 1,001 Stories, and Bacchanalle led by Frank Gulino and Ed Bradley.

Other songs performed by the Chatham High School Marching Band in previous years include Birdland, Touched by Fire, Rootbeer Rag (Composed by Billy Joel), Estancia, Joy,and America (from West Side Story).


Chatham High School has an active theatre program. This year they will be performing Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream in the fall and How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying in the spring. Last year they performed the 1930s comedy You Can't Take It With You in the fall and Disney's High School Musical in the spring. Directed by Michael Beckwith. During the 2006-07 season, they performed The Adding Machine in the fall and The Pajama Game in the spring. Directed by Kathleen Aiellos. In the 2005-06 season, they performed Twelfth Night in the fall, which was directed by Laura Russo and The Wizard of Oz in the spring. Directed by Jeff DePicciotto.


The boys basketball team won the 2007 Group II NJSIAA State Championship, defeating Pascack Hills High School 67-53 in the semifinals and topping Haddonfield Memorial High School 48-42 in the finals.

The boys tennis team won the North II, Group II state sectional championship with a 3-2 win over West Essex High School.

The boys cross country team won the 2006 North II, Group II state sectional championship and the 2006 Morris County Championship.

The girls soccer team won the 2004 Group II NJSIAA State Championship, defeating Cinnaminson High School in the finals.

The 2008 Boys Tennis Team won the North II, Group II state sectional championship with a 4-1 win in the tournament final over Mountain Lakes High School.

The 2008 girls Lacrosse team won the triple crown by capturing the conference, county, and state championships while being ranked the no. 3 team in all of New Jersey. They lost 16-9 to powerhouse Moorestown High School in their first ever appearance in the Tournament of Champions final game.


  • Darren Groh and Michael LaSusa, Co-principals
  • Lori Gironda, Assistant Principal
  • Julie Patterson, Director of Student Personnel Services

Notable alumni

  • Craig Benson (born 1954), Governor of New Hampshire from 2003-2005.
  • Ben Bailey (born 1970), host of Cash Cab, Class of 1988.
  • Peter Fleming (born 1955), former professional tennis player who won the New Jersey high school individual championship in 1972, during his junior year.
  • Ben Massam - Distance runner, Nike Outdoor Nationals Champion in the 5,000m Run for the 2006 school year, Class of 2006.
  • James G. Madison - "Mad Hatter" bank robber, class of 1975.
  • Billy Walsh (born 1975) former U.S. Olympic team and professional soccer player. In 1999, he was named by The Star-Ledger as one of the top ten New Jersey high school soccer players of the 1980s.


Benjamin Peabody- greatly known for playin

External links

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