Principal's Notes

Dr. Douglas Otto Middle School - January 28, 2016

"Working hard for something we don't care about is stress; working hard for something we love is called passion."

-Simon Sinek
NEA's Lily Eskelsen García on What Teachers Do
Inviting All Students to Learn

How to differentiate instruction without stereotyping students.

AMC 8 Students Place Among Top Five Schools in the State

Congratulations to our students for their amazing achievement in this year's AMC 8 Math Competition. Our students scored in the top five of all schools in the state, and was one of only two Plano ISD campuses that scored in the top five. I am grateful and truly impressed by the skill of our wonderful math teachers and students.
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SIGS Coming to Otto this Summer

Our campus will be full of excitement year-round as we begin hosting SIGS this summer. Positions will be open for any Otto teacher who desires to work with elementary and middle school PACE students from all east Plano feeder schools.

Professional Development Hours

Just a reminder that all professional staff will need to document eight additional hours of professional development this semester outside of the regular school day. See me with any questions you have about this requirement.
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Vanessa Chavez - Experienced Teacher of the Year

I am pleased to present Vanessa Chavez as Otto Middle School’s Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Chavez is a dynamic educator who has the utmost passion for Choral Music. Vanessa’s great zeal for music is unique as she most effectively ignites the same passion in her students and is recognized in the community as a very special teacher.


The passion Mrs. Chavez has for Choral Music is evident to everyone who visits her classroom. Students absolutely adore Mrs. Chavez as she teaches with great enthusiasm and skill. Vanessa’s choirs consistently perform with great confidence and, due to Mrs. Chavez’ expertise, demonstrate a musical ability far beyond their years. Parents routinely send comments to me about what a wonderful teacher Vanessa is along with praise for her exceptional performances.


Mrs. Chavez is the only Choir Teacher Otto has known, and Vanessa has worked tirelessly to build the program into the wonderful organization it is today. Aside from the numerous concerts presented on campus, our choirs also perform in the community and present a Choral Open House each year for community members to visit the campus to observe our choirs in action. As her ensembles have been selected as a Performance Choir for the National Conference for Choral Music, Mrs. Chavez’ achievement as an educator is noticed beyond the boundaries of Plano ISD.


Vanessa’s work has created a Choral Program that is a beacon in the community and represents everything we embody as Otto Bobcats.

Courtney Langdon - New Teacher of the Year

We are very proud of our New Teacher of the Year, Courtney Langdon. Working with us last year as a long-term substitute, Courtney has been a true "Bobcat" from the very beginning. Always positive and highly professional, Courtney is constantly looking for ways to be more involved in the Otto Community. I am pleased and very grateful that Courtney will serve as co-sponsor of our Cheerleader Squad next year.


Some comments about Courtney from staff members:


  • Courtney has gotten very involved in tutorials and has a great desire to help kids.
  • Courtney has joined Otto with the knowledge, management, and skill set of a veteran teacher.
  • Courtney is very organized and relates to her students in a positive way.
  • Courtney has such a positive classroom environment. The kids love her and are excited to be in her class. She takes care to make each student feel recognized and accepted in her classroom.


Congratulations, Courtney! You are doing an amazing job and we are all very proud of you!

DeeDee McGee - January Staff Member of the Month

Congratulations to DeeDee McGee for being selected as our Staff Member of the Month for January. DeeDee is a wonderful Office Manager and our campus simply would not be the wonderful place it is without DeeDee. Always positive and willing to help, DeeDee is a consistent presence on the campus and a welcoming face to our parents and visitors. I can easily say that DeeDee takes my dreams for Otto and makes them a reality...she also keeps me honest! Please join me in celebrating DeeDee as our staff member of the month. You are the best!

TI STEM Teaching Award Nominee

Please join me in congratulating Jerry Schmitto as our Texas Instruments Innovations in STEM Teaching Award Nominee. Jerry is doing a fine job of teaching our technology classes and I am proud to have him represent Otto this year. An exceptional teacher, Jerry has done a wonderful job of building our technology program. Adored by his students, Jerry's classes are consistently filled to capacity. Awesome job, Jerry!

Otto Bobcats - Organized, Mindful and Scholarly!

The future is not a gift - it is an achievement. -Harry Lauder

Dr. Douglas Otto Middle School

Otto Middle School, namesake of Superintendent Dr. Douglas Otto, opened its doors in August 2010. Otto is a comprehensive Plano ISD middle school that offers a variety of honors level courses in the core subjects, as well as PACE, Math Rocks, Spanish III Honors and Spanish IV AP. Elective courses include band, choir, orchestra, theatre, journalism, art, athletics, Gateway to Technology, French, Spanish, AVID, and more.