Laura Tarlo has been named the new principal of Cohoes High School.
The appointment was approved Wednesday during the Board of Education meeting. A Cohoes native, Tarlo has served as the high school’s assistant principal since 2016.
“I feel excited because it’s like my life has come full circle,” Tarlo said. “As a teenager walking the halls of the high school I never imagined I’d be principal, so it’s surreal.”
On July 1, Tarlo will officially take over for Bryan Wood, who is retiring after ten years in leadership roles at the high school, the last four as principal.
“I’m so grateful that she’s the one continuing the work we’ve done here,” Wood said. “Laura is hard-working, loves the community, and she’s a great role model for our students.”
“Bryan has taught me the importance of transparency in leadership,” Tarlo said. “He’s great at bringing stakeholders together and sharing ideas to reach a goal.”
Tarlo’s career began in Cohoes as a teacher assistant from 2002 to 2004. She then taught business at Shenendehowa High School from 2004 to 2015 and served as a class principal there during the 2015-16 school year.
Tarlo hopes to utilize her business background in her new role.
“I want to give students the opportunity to explore their own career interests,” she said. “I also want to create a more streamlined approach to making sure all graduates have financial literacy.”
Tarlo admitted that, while she plans to hit the ground running, the task of reopening school in September will be a unique challenge.
“My plan right now revolves around flexibility,” she said. “I want to be open-minded and creative. We’ll have to follow guidelines but also find ways to keep our school community together and promote a positive culture. Whatever September looks like, I still want our students to have that tiger pride.”
“We are extremely confident that she will be able to successfully lead our high school through this difficult situation and to greater achievements in the future,” Superintendent Jennifer Spring said.
In her spare time, Tarlo runs an interior design company and blog.
So could the high school be featured in a future blog post?
Tarlo laughed and said “Of course I have to get the office decorated to my liking.”
Regardless of what tasks or challenges lie ahead, Tarlo believes the high school has the right people in place for a bright future.
“I truly believe that we have the best teachers and school community in the area. It’s like a family,” she said. “You can see from this situation that we’re in how we band together and give each other help and support.”