BACK TO SCHOOL: New Langston principal happiest helping families

“When did you think I was the happiest?”

That’s the question Michael Scott, the new principal of Langston Middle School, asked his family.

“When you were working with students and their families,” was the answer.

Scott worked in the Lorain City Schools for 16 years, moving from teacher to principal at General Johnnie Wilson Middle School.

He spent his last year and a half as director of professional learning, where he went from governing just one school to 15 and leading a staff of 500.

He applied for the position of principal at Langston because he missed building personal connections with students, families, and staff.

Three committees of parents, teachers, and administrators met with up to seven applicants each, slinging questions at candidates for an hour. Scott said it was one of the most intense interview processes he’s been through.

Superintendent David Hall listened in on one of the panels. He noted that everyone wanted a principal “who was genuine, someone who wouldn’t use Oberlin as a stepping stone to move on to other things.”

All were in favor of Scott.

He will follow in the footsteps of former principal Chris Frank, who replaced Jim Eibel in the head role at Prospect Elementary.

Scott’s first step is to ensure that every student achieves personal greatness.

Through the interview process, Scott said he learned that personalization matters in the Oberlin community. The idea that no student is forgotten and all have voices to be heard is exactly what he wants to be a part of.

“Trust is built over a time, but I do believe people can see into the heart,” he said. “I want students and families to know that they can count on me. I want to reach people wherever they are. If they can’t come to me, then I’ll come to them.”

Scott is still transitioning into his new role and becoming acquainted with the changes at the middle school.

The science, technology, engineering, and math lab has been moved into the old home economics room for increased space. Assistant superintendent John Monteleone is writing a grant to help purchase new hands-on equipment for experiments to improve the shared lab.

Eighth-graders can now take a biology course for high school credit instead of integrated science. The class will be taught by Ronald Bier, according to Frank.

Heightened security is another way the school is getting ready for fall.

Ten new surveillance cameras have been installed in the cafeteria and hallways of the school, according to Hall. If the budget allows, cameras will be installed at other schools, too.

Panic buttons were also placed in the district’s main office. When pressed, they can immediately alert Oberlin police.

Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.

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By Laurie Hamame

Langston Middle School

Principal: Michael Scott

Start time: 8:10 a.m.

Release time: 3:10 p.m.

Number of students: 216

Grades: 6-8