While students were savoring their last days of summer break, teachers and staff gathered yesterday at Cohoes High School for the Opening Day of the 2023-24 school year.
After catching up with colleagues, the event moved into the auditorium, where Superintendent Peggy O’Shea and Assistant Superintendent Dan Martinelli channeled Barbie and Ken while welcoming the crowd.
Mr. Martinelli’s play on the phrase – “I Ken” garnered laughs when it was explained that “I Ken” meant the determination to accomplish something new. “I Can count to 100; I Can identify the details that support the main idea.”
Cohoes Board of Education President Nadia Carey was unable to attend, but sent a video message thanking each person in the audience for their contributions. “Everyone in this room is a key partner: to each other, to our students and to our families.”
Ms. O’Shea’s message was also one of partnership – of strengthening the connection between students and school and between families and school. She also spoke about the district’s mission of preparing students for success in tomorrow’s world.
With ever-changing technology creating jobs that weren’t around even a few years ago, Ms. O’Shea reminded staff how important it is that students have the skills to succeed on whatever path they choose.
“As we teach content, such as reading and math, we want to make sure that collaboration, communication and problem-solving skills are interwoven throughout,” said Ms. O’Shea. “To fulfill our vision of a purpose and a plan for all, we must ensure that students have the necessary knowledge and skills, and a well-crafted plan so they can be successful in their future careers and in life.”
Ms. O’Shea also spoke about the importance of ensuring that all students are in an environment in which they can thrive emotionally.
“We want our students to feel a strong sense of belonging. We want our staff and our families to feel a strong sense of belonging.”
Principals introduced their new staff members (some new to the district; some moving between schools) and many staff were recognized for their dedication.
Following the presentation, teachers and staff attended training sessions. Professional development sessions were also held on September 6 in each of the schools.
Here’s to the start of a successful new school year!