Highland Elementary welcomes new assistant principal

Tulani Samuel

Highland Elementary welcomes new assistant principal

Highland Elementary School (HES) has welcomed a new assistant principal. Tulani Samuel, who officially began on September 1, replaces Matthew Darling, who has become the building’s new principal.

Samuel, a Wappingers Falls resident, brings decades of experience to her new role. After working in daycares for several years, she transitioned to New York City (NYC) public schools, teaching students in kindergarten through grade 3. Before long, she began taking on more leadership roles, working as a school-based new teacher mentor, principal’s apprentice and adjunct professor. Most recently, she served as the assistant principal for all five sites of NYC’s Rose Hill Pre-K Center.

When reflecting on what drew her to apply for the position in Highland, Samuel – who recently moved to the Hudson Valley – said that she was looking to lend her experience and expertise in early childhood education to a larger school community that serves students in K-5. “I also wanted to expand my influence as a school building leader to help the children and families in Highland,” she said.


Getting to know students, staff and community members is among Samuel’s top priorities. “I am looking forward to forming new relationships with colleagues, getting to know students and building a rapport with parents,” she said.

Samuel also expects to face some challenges in the upcoming school year, the biggest being the ongoing pandemic. “My role will be to help alleviate parents’ worries surrounding COVID,” she said. “We will pull together as a school community to follow health and safety guidelines and prioritize the well-being of our students and staff.”