Dr. Susan K. Lang ‘72 honored as top school superintendent in the state
By Anne-Margaret Swary
BGSU alumna Dr. Susan K. Lang ’72 has been selected as the 2017 Ohio Superintendent of the year. The award, presented by the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, recognizes her leadership for learning, communication, professionalism and community involvement in addition to her reputation as an innovator and advocate for students.
“I am honored and humbled,” said Lang, who serves as superintendent of Wyoming City School District, located just north of the City of Cincinnati. “I have spent my career working to engage children in their education and fostering their unique gifts and interests. Many of the lessons and ideas I have successfully imparted as an educator were directly related to my own experience at BGSU.”
Lang, who graduated with a degree in education from the College of Education and Human Development and is a BGSU Students Affairs Board member, said one of the most memorable parts of her BGSU experience was the opportunity to be involved in activities on and off campus. In her opinion, these opportunities allowed every student to find their niche.
“It was the whole student experience – that’s what BGSU has to offer – the whole person experience, not just going to school purely for your specific academic experience,” Lang said.
That experience helped her realize that a student’s level of involvement in their school environment directly impacts retention and success.
“I have carried that to my district,” she said. “For example, over 90 percent of Wyoming High School students get involved in at least one activity outside the classroom. Wyoming City School District’s focus is on whole-child education, too. We focus on each student’s individual strengths and passions.”
In addition to that focus, Lang tries to confer other key values to both her peers and her students, including the importance of problem-solving skills and good, old-fashioned grit.
Lang, who was previously a teacher in Bay Village City School District, an elementary principal in Medina City School District, and superintendent at Rossford Exempted School District and Canal Winchester Local Schools, is no stranger to awards throughout her celebrated career. She received the Betsey M. Cowles Women in Leadership Award for Educational Leadership in 2014. She is also a previous recipient of the Governor’s Pathfinder Award for Educational Leadership as a result of a project she launched to help connect area high schools and the University of Cincinnati in an effort to expand distance learning and share resources.
Under her tenure, Wyoming City School District has been regularly recognized at the state and national level for academic excellence, including rankings in US News & World Report and The Washington Post.
Lang is not content to rest on her laurels, though.
“I always feel like I have more to learn,” she said. “It’s a matter of having an open mindset and always, always looking to grow.”