Return to Headlines

Catherine O’Hara Appointed Principal of Chester Elementary School

At the January 23rd meeting of the Chester Board of Education, Catherine O'Hara was appointed as Principal of Chester Elementary School effective July 1, 2019.  Ms. O’ Hara will be succeeding current principal, Cindy Walsh who will be retiring at the end of this school year. 


Ms. O’Hara has been in education since 1996 and has been employed in the Chester School District since 2003. During her time in Chester she has served as a classroom teacher, Academic Intervention teacher, and most recently as a Teacher on Special Assignment in the role of District STEM Coordinator.


Ms. O’Hara holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering and Management from Clarkson University; a Master of Arts degree in Education from St. Michael’s College; and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in School Leadership from SUNY New Paltz.


In her role as District STEM Coordinator, Ms. O’Hara has been essential to the success of the district’s implementation of STEM and its Project Based Learning initiative.  She is passionate in seeking educational opportunities that promote real-world application across disciplines while stressing the importance of creativity and innovation, problem solving and critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and local/global citizenship.


In public comments following the announcement, Ms. O'Hara praised the leadership of (retiring) principal Cindy Walsh and the faculty and staff of Chester Elementary School, Chester Academy and the school district for providing an amazingly strong foundation for continuing and expanding growth for its students.  


Ms. O’Hara is an enthusiastic, compassionate, student-centered, and progressive minded leader with a demonstrated record of success in collaborating with students, teachers, and the community.  Her significant experience, training, and enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and STEM education will provide many new exciting opportunities for Chester students. 


We wish Ms. O’Hara the best of luck in her new position next year.