Veteran Cohoes educator Peggy O’Shea named Superintendent of Schools

Supt. Peggy O'SheaThe Cohoes Board of Education on Wednesday approved the appointment of Peggy O’Shea to the position of Superintendent of Schools for a three-year term, effective immediately. Ms. O’Shea was named acting superintendent in October, then interim superintendent in December. She has served in those roles while continuing to perform her duties as assistant superintendent.

“I am thrilled and honored for the opportunity to lead the district and to serve the students, staff and community of Cohoes in the position of Superintendent,” Ms. O’Shea said. “Cohoes is a very special place and I look forward to working collaboratively in my new role to enhance opportunities and outcomes for our students.”

Ms. O’Shea joined the district in 1995 as an assistant principal at Cohoes High School. In 1998, she became the principal of Van Schaick Grade School. Her tenure as assistant superintendent began four years later in 2002.

“The board believes that Ms. O’Shea is the perfect candidate to fill this position. After a very challenging year navigating a pandemic, reinventing the delivery of instruction, and a looming financial crisis, it was very clear that we did not need to look further for the next Superintendent of Cohoes,” a statement from the board said. “Ms. O’Shea’s diverse experience in school operations and instruction, and her history of success as a family advocate will surely provide our students with opportunities to thrive both emotionally and academically.”

As assistant superintendent, Ms. O’Shea championed the introduction and growth of the Universal Pre-Kindergarten program and worked to implement trauma-sensitive practices through the study of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). She has increased technology integration and communication through the implementation of new platforms including Schoology, Google Classroom and ParentSquare. Ms. O’Shea oversees district grant programming and has secured a number of competitive grants, including a recent McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grant.

“Through Ms. O’Shea’s roles as acting and interim superintendent, her steady, calm demeanor has positively impacted the school climate and educational environment in our buildings,” the board added. “The board is very excited to be working with such a competent and compassionate leader. Without question, Ms. O’Shea has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the Cohoes City School District and its students. We believe that under her leadership, we are well on our way to rebuilding a stronger district, a more sustainable budget, strengthened relationships, all while developing a rigorous, well-rounded experience for students with a purpose and plan for all!”

Prior to joining Cohoes, Ms. O’Shea held positions as a middle school associate principal,  a special education teacher and coordinator, and a reading teacher. Ms. O’Shea received her Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education from the College of Saint Rose. She is also an alumni of the State University of Albany, receiving a Masters of Science in Reading, a Masters of Science in Educational Administration and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration.

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