Getting to Know Your Principal


So you likely belong to his school-wide Google Classroom, and you probably know that he really loves to Tweet.   But do you know all there is to know about our new principal?

Principal Joshua Cogdill, new to VHS this fall, was born in Winfield, IL and lived in Pottstown, PA until he was seven years old. At age seven, he moved to Vernon, NJ where he was raised by his two parents.

As a high school student, Mr. Cogdill described himself as “very involved in the community.” He played football and wrestled, and one year, he was even the vice president of his class.

Once he graduated high school, he attended Michigan State University where he studied business as an undergraduate. He then transferred to Ramapo College two years later where he continued to pursue his interest in business. Not long after, he received his Masters Degree at New Jersey City University.

Before he got into the business of working at high schools, he was an institutional trader on Wall Street, where he did large-block trading. He worked there for a few years before heading to Westwood High School, where he would begin the next chapter of his life.

Mr. Cogdill worked at Westwood High School in Bergen County, starting off as a business teacher. Soon after, he became the vice principal, which is where he got most of the experience that he has today.

When asked if he would call himself a family man, he replied with “absolutely, that’s pretty much all I do”. He has two boys, Reilly and Aiden, ages 8 and 5, both of whom he adores unconditionally.

He says that he is very happy with the results of the new policies thus far, and he is pretty sure that the teachers are too.  As many already know, he put much emphasis on getting students to school on time.  With the the new lateness policy, students are gaining crucial minutes of instructional time which was lost last year due to students chronically arriving late. He even did the math to figure out that when students are late at the rate in which they were last year, an average of 21 hours of instructional time is lost per year.

Mr. Cogdill’s favorite aspect of VHS so far is the community as a whole. “When you go to a football game, everybody’s really into it… there’s a lot of school spirit”. He also said that he admires how all the students manage to juggle all different types of activities while also balancing schoolwork. One of his examples of this is that there could be a student on the football team, and will also perform in the halftime show with the band. He loves how just about everyone is involved in something.

You’re probably curious as to what he’ll do next in efforts to improve VHS. Mr. Cogdill claims that he is in sort of a “wait and see” stage, where he hopes to solicit feedback from students, parents and faculty. He hopes to eventually implement a long term plan.

“I think the kids are just great, they’re such nice people and the families all seem so nice”. With a smile on his face and his trademark enthusiasm, he said “It’s a great place to come to work because it is a constantly positive atmosphere.”