PIKE ROAD, AL (WSFA) - The Pike Road School has a new principal, but as it turns out, it's a familiar face on campus. Mrs. Angela Lang has been an administrator since the school opened. Her role won't change much, but the appointment is key as the system braces for substantial growth in 2016.
"As an educator, it's one that you always you long for," Lang said of teaching at Pike Road School.
It's an opportunity Lang has been preparing for for nearly two decades, long before Pike Road was on her radar. She's a veteran educator who's taught in five states, survived Hurricane Katrina while working in the New Orleans schools system, a principal in Tennessee and the Tennessee State Department of education, not to mention launching a "one to one" initiative for a North Carolina school district while relocating across the South with her husband's job.
"Alabama is originally home," Lang explained. "The opportunity to come back home is one that we have looked forward to for 18 years."
Lang explained moving back to Alabama with four children forced her family to give serious consideration of where their three school-age sons would graduate. Her family was attracted to Pike Road's mission and vision as parents and members of the community.
"We moved here not thinking I would become a part of it as an educator, but as the benefit of being a parent," Lang said.
Doctor Suzanne Freeman, who has been serving a dual role as superintendent and principal remembers the day she interviewed Lang, explaining she was
"blown away," immediately knowing Lang was the right fit.
"For us, today did not feel different for her or me necessarily because we've always worked together with our team," Dr. Suzanne Freeman said.
Lang's vision for education meets what Freeman calls, "the Pike Road way," focusing on each student's scholastic needs and goals with a strong work ethic.
"Having the opportunity to create that intellectual curiosity, where your students are engaged and working on authentic learning," Lang explained. "There's no "one size fits all," the changes evolve as our learners evolve. It's meaningful and it's also a challenge to adjust to make sure every child has a meaningful experience while they are here."
Lang has two sons in the Pike Road School, currently 5th and 7th graders, who reportedly don't mind coming to school with their mom each day. Her oldest son is a freshman at Tuskegee and she also has a son who is a senior at Park Crossing High School.