Community celebrates Dr. Ostos as new head of school

Dr. Barbara Ostos’ transition to Santa Catalina as the fifth head of school culminated with a meaningful installation ceremony on October 7.

Faculty, staff, trustees, students, and Dr. Ostos’ family and friends gathered in the Performing Arts Center to celebrate the start of her tenure. The event, organized with care by Sister Claire and Sister Christine, included student speakers and performances, remarks from the division heads, and a speech by Antoinette Forté, a friend and co-worker from Catlin Gabel, Dr. Ostos’ previous school.

Speakers shared personal anecdotes about their time spent with Dr. Ostos and reflected on the qualities that make her an ideal fit for Santa Catalina. Grade 8 student Paige Skinner, the student senate president, described being part of a school community where she is embraced by caring adults who guide, educate, and nurture her. She said Dr. Ostos has already shown the same commitment. “Thank you, Dr. Ostos, for so willingly embracing who we are, for showing a genuine desire to lead us with your inspired new ideas that are still in tradition with all that is important to us: relationships.”

In her own remarks, Dr. Ostos asked the audience to think about their gifts, calling on them to raise their hands if they were musicians or mathematicians, good friends or hard workers, calm or kind (“Every hand in the house should be up, from my experience,” she said). Some of these gifts were on display earlier in the program when Upper School students performed “Under the Sea” from the upcoming production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Lower and Middle School students in Grades 4-8 played ukuleles and sang the song “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars.

Acknowledging the community’s collective gifts, Dr. Ostos said, “In today’s DC vs Marvel comic book-turned-movie series world in which we live, we might think about God’s gift as our superpowers. And like good heroes, regardless of your franchise loyalty, it’s our responsibility to use our superpowers to strengthen our community. I promise to all of you that I will use my gifts (or superpowers) of communication, care, passion, hard work, humor, and strategic thinking to further the mission of Santa Catalina School in all that I do.”

She concluded, “What are your gifts? What are your superpowers? Think about them, discover them, develop them, because together with your gifts and mine, we will write the next chapter for Santa Catalina School.”

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