Congratulations Cohoes High School Class of 2024!

Family, friends, teachers and staff gathered on Saturday, June 29 to celebrate the Cohoes High School Class of 2024 at their commencement ceremony.

Principal Laura Tarlo welcomed the large crowd of family, friends, teachers, administrators, the Board of Education, Mayor Bill Keeler and Assemblymember John McDonald who gathered to celebrate the 111 seniors inside the Alumni Gymnasium. 

After standing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, Music Director Christian Gunn led the chorus in singing the National Anthem and the high school alma mater. 

Principal Tarlo opened her speech by reflecting on the uncertain times the students dealt with during their freshman year in 2020 – with blue days, gold days and remote days – and how resilient they were.

“What stands out to me, though, is how resilient you are as a group,” she said. “You didn’t act out and turn to a deficit mindset. You stood tall and supported one another. You continued to grow when the world gave you setbacks, and you embraced kindness in a world of chaos and mistrust.”

She thanked the students for being the first group she served for four years as the newly-appointed principal in 2020.

“There is no doubt that I learned more from you as my students, than you will ever learn from me.”

Principal Tarlo closed her speech by encouraging students to ignore distractions and negativity and to carry wisdom, optimism and hope as shields throughout their lives. 

Superintendent Peggy O’Shea echoed this message.

“We know you have the strength, perseverance, and support to keep going when times get tough, to cross that finish line,” she said. “You have been well prepared by your families, your teachers and your schools.”

She told the students that just because they’re graduating from high school doesn’t mean the door closes. 

“Don’t forget we are still here if you need us. We would love you to come back and share your experiences with us and with our younger students to, in turn, inspire them.”

Valedictorian Kyle Smith, who will be attending the University of Buffalo this fall to study engineering, expressed gratitude to his teachers and family and congratulated his fellow classmates on the hard work it took everyone to get to this day. 

He said that with success comes failure – not making a team, not passing a test – and the fact that they’re there today means they overcame some sort of failure. 

“Now, when we inevitably encounter failure again, we can rely on the groundwork we have built over these four years to not only get past it, but learn and become stronger for it.”

Kyle quoted his baseball coach and encouraged his classmates to get the word “can’t” out of their vocabulary.

“If you keep telling yourself you can’t, then you never will.” 

ENL teacher Karrie Bottenfield, Salutatorian Nyasia Wade, Class President Carli O’Hara and Student Council President Gabrielle Verchereau-Greco also addressed the crowd.

It was a joyous moment for family and friends as their children were called up to receive their hard-earned diplomas. Congratulations to the Class of 2024!

Graduation 2024 Photo Album Drive

Preparing our students for success in tomorrow’s world.

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