Following five years as a determined Board of Education candidate in River Edge, Gyuchang Sim was officially sworn in as the Board's newest member Wednesday night.
Sim, who was was already guaranteed a spot in January following an uncontested election. But with the this summer, the seat was advertised and the Board interviewed Sim, former Clifton educator Tony Barbary and attorney Robert Gilmartin Jr.
Born and raised in Korea, Sim lived in his home country for 25 years before spending an additional three as a vocational teacher for automotive technicians. He also spent a few years volunteering in Nepal.
"Leaving Korea enlightened me in many ways," Sim told Patch previously. "I have seen and experienced many things along with what I hear from my own community and their concerns and expectations. The uniqueness of this community is becoming more diverse and the minority is heavily populated by Korean-Americans. I believe I can be helpful and valuable for that communities voice at the school board."
After coming to New Jersey, he began attending Montclair State for his degreed in education, but later returned to the family business. He went into business for himself in 2000 when he created Highwood Auto Service in Englewood. A certified master automotive technician he has been in the automotive repair field for 25 years. He has been a member of the River Edge Fire Department since 2003, is a certified hazardous material technician, first responder and member of a disaster response committee.
Sim will serve the remainder of Kucharski's term on the board until the January 2013 reorganization meeting. At that point he would begin his full three-year term on the board.