Introduction and change…

Dear Fairview Families,

I am humbled and honored to introduce myself as the new principal at Fairview High School. In this time of transition, finding yourself hesitant or wary is more than understandable given the potential impact of change. We feel this way because we have all experienced personal and professional changes in our lives that have yielded what are sometimes inconsistent results. This, therefore, will not be a journey that we take alone.

Like you, my life has been filled with periods of change and transition. I started my career in education twenty-three years ago having taken a job in a city (Memphis, TN) where I knew not a soul and could only orient myself if I knew the direction of the Mississippi River. However, I met life-long friends and, most importantly, my wife, who has been with me on this meandering journey that led us, via a stint in Baltimore, to the Erie area in 2001 where we would eventually settle and start a family. Each of these steps along the way involved professional change, as well–the most substantial of which led me to leave the English classroom at Fairview High School in 2013 and embrace the change inherent to leadership positions in the field of education.

Your changes, like mine, usually include some element of risk that challenges our attitudes and beliefs. Although the nature of change is universal, our responses to change are personal and always the result of individual choice. Although the external factors may be many and varied, the choice that we make about our attitude toward any given situation is always and only our own. I choose to see change as an opportunity to open new doors while also reinforcing what works.

Change can be challenging for adults, but its effects can be even more acute for students. Our students’ lives evolve at considerably accelerated rates compared to previous generations. That does not mean that their lives are harder or easier, but it does mean that what happens to them happens more quickly than what we experienced. As adults, our role is to help them navigate these obstacles and changes while they rise above the clatter that can clog the path through young adulthood.

We have a responsibility to show them that attitude is a choice while modeling the mindset and actions that we want them to embody. We will be the adults, as a faculty and staff, who will embrace change as opportunity and challenge them to grow while here. Be the parent who joins us in this responsibility and demonstrates that supporting and challenging the students is an effort that we all share.

Again, I am more than appreciative for this opportunity, and I look forward to the time that we will spend together as a school community and family. I will be in most days during the summer working to assure an efficient and effective transition to the students’ first day on August 30. You will be hearing from us occasionally (but not too often) throughout the summer, but please do not hesitate to stop by and say hello.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”  – Nelson Mandela


Matt Lane
Fairview High School – Principal

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