Alan is a seasoned educator having filled many roles: teacher and administrator for the New York City Department of Education, Network Leader providing support and supervision for principals in 32 New York City schools, principal of P.S. 69 in the Bronx, and for the past four years he has been Head of Lower School at Portledge School in Locust Valley, NY.
On any given day he is commiserating with parents in the lobby, learning alongside children in the classrooms, touring the facilities with visiting educators, or planning fundraisers to support professional development. He even makes a cameo in the Lower School play. That’s because Cohen believes that the difference between a good school and a great school is one where everyone is teaching and learning. Portledge has an exemplary Reggio inspired Early Childhood program and the grades 1-5 follow the Project Zero tools and frameworks. All teachers have been trained at Reggio Emilia, Italy or Project Zero at Harvard.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and holds a Master’s of Science, Special Education from New York University. He is a Cahn Fellow at Columbia University. He is also the recipient of the Time Warner Principals of Excellence Award and the Outstanding Educator of the Year Award from Education Update. Cohen currently serves as Co-Chair of the Harvard Principals’ Center and founder of Project Zero New York (PZNY). He was recently named Ambassador to Reggio Emilia The Wonder of Learning Exhibit in New York.