Oak Knoll Installs Jennifer G. Landis as Sixth Head of School
Members of the Oak Knoll School community, friends, family, distinguished guests, and a live streaming audience joined Head of School Jennifer G. Landis for a long-awaited Installation Mass on the beautiful, albeit somewhat chilly, Oak Knoll School campus on Friday, September 30, 2022. The celebration had been delayed due to COVID.
Chair of the Board of Trustees Stephen Loughrey welcomed guests and commented, “Even on a chilly fall morning such as today, it’s such a fantastic sight to see so many people coming together to celebrate. It’s times like this that we are reminded of the importance of community.”
In her Call to Worship, Campus Ministry Council President Courtney Coyle ’23 declared, “Mrs. Landis has remained steadfast in her dedication to our school. Today, we lift up our prayers to officially welcome [her] to her new role as she guides us to a new and exciting era of faith, wisdom and service.”
After the Gathering Hymn, “Send Down the Fire,” the liturgy was presided over by Monsignor Robert Meyer, Pastor of St. Teresa of Avila Parish in Summit, NJ, and Monsignor Jack Carroll. “What a great day for Oak Knoll School and for all of us who are associated with this wonderful institution,” said Monsignor Meyer.
Hudson Miele. ’24 read from Ephesians and Lauren White ‘25 sang the responsorial psalm.
Thomas Baker, Deacon of St. David the King Parish in Princeton Junction, NJ, delivered a homily and then Landis was presented with gifts during the Preparation of the Alter for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Following the Mass, Director of the Holy Child Network of Schools Sr. Eileen McDevitt completed the Installation of Landis by way of blessings and remarks.
“It is an honor and great joy to welcome Mrs. Jennifer Landis in the name of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. More than a name and a history, Oak Knoll School shares with all Holy Child Schools a common mission, a common unique philosophy of education, and an uncommon Holy Child spirit that has been strong enough to reach across oceans, continents, and a hundred and seventy six years,” said Sr. McDevitt.
“So I ask you, Mrs. Landis, to come forward and accept the blessing of God and of all gathered here in the name of the Sisters of the Holy Child and Holy Child educators around the world. May God disturb your dreams and shore up your hopes so that you can lead this community in an education that is bold, and creative, and in an environment that is trusting, reverent, and a holy space for these people and all of these families, so that you may bring to birth a new moment in this school,” Sr. McDevitt concluded.
In her own installation remarks, Landis shared her experience fly fishing on a favorite river and the various spots she has come to love. She encouraged students to enjoy their favorite spots in life and also to seek out unfamiliar territory and stretch their hearts and minds. She concluded by saying she was above all grateful. “You may think you are here for me today, but I am only here because of you. So really, this celebration is a celebration of students. Thank you for being the heart of our community,” she stated. And in that spirit of gratitude, she concluded by saying, “Chipwiches today. Dress Down Day on Monday!”