Delivered on the occasion on the Lang School's Head of School Installation Ceremony—Monday, November 13, 2023
Dear Lang Friends, Families, Faculty and Staff,
Thank you for celebrating my installation as your new Head of School. I’m deeply honored and humbled to assume this position and I am looking forward to all of the great accomplishments we will achieve together.
I joined Lang on July 1st, after most of the staff and all of the students had already left for the summer. The leadership team worked diligently to catch me up on all things Lang as quickly as possible, but there was always something missing. I was missing the students and all of our families and I was impatiently looking forward to September. Finally on September 6th, our families returned and our students excitedly entered our space, most of whom zoomed right past me, not the least bit interested in who I was. Instead they charged forward to reconnect with the teachers they couldn’t wait to see. I was quickly humbled and reminded that I had a lot of work to do to build trust and develop relationships with our students and families. I quickly got to work and today after being open just over 8 weeks I already feel so connected. From Benjamin saying “Hello Mark Otto” every morning, always sure to use my first and last name to Irene sharing her daily jokes with me after lunch, Thomas being sure to update me and other staff members on any MTA changes daily and Miles providing me with a computer keyboard that he built. Each of our students is uniquely special and their individual personalities fill me with joy every single day.
As I move forward on this journey as your Head of School, I am inspired by our shared vision—to create a learning environment that empowers our students to discover their unique strengths, fosters a love for learning, and prepares them to be confident, compassionate, and innovative citizens. Together, we will build on the strong foundation that the Lang School stands upon and forge a path towards an even brighter future.
One of my core beliefs is that education should be inclusive and embrace the diversity of our students. Lang will continue to celebrate the unique abilities and talents of every individual, ensuring that each student feels valued, heard, and empowered to reach their full potential. Over my past few months at Lang I have seen how passionately our faculty and staff foster a culture of respect, kindness, inclusivity and empathy, ensuring everyone feels welcome and supported.
Excellence will be our guiding principle. We will strive for academic excellence, providing a rigorous and intellectually stimulating curriculum that encourages critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving while meeting the diverse learning needs of the exceptional students at Lang. But, excellence extends beyond academics. It encompasses character development, social-emotional growth, and fostering a strong sense of community all of which will be priorities in our collective work in the years ahead.
As we embark on this exciting journey together, I am committed to fostering a culture of collaboration and open communication. Our success as a school community relies on the collective efforts of teachers, parents and guardians, students, and staff working harmoniously towards our shared goals.
Above all, I will ensure that the Lang School continues to be a place of inspiration—a place where students are excited to come to learn, where creativity thrives, and where dreams take flight. Let us inspire our students to be curious, courageous, and compassionate individuals who make a positive impact on the world.
I must say, I am filled with enthusiasm and optimism for the future of the Lang School. Together, we will create an environment where every student's potential is recognized and nurtured, where they feel valued and empowered, and where they are prepared to embrace the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
In closing let me thank you once again for the trust you have placed in me. I look forward to partnering with each and every one of you as we embark on this exciting journey together. Let’s create a legacy of excellence, innovation, and inspiration that will shape the lives of our students and the community for years to come.
Thank you so much.