An Introduction to Josh Otlin, Milford High School’s New Principal

Julianne Lesch , Associate Editor

The 30th of August not only marked the first day for students throughout Milford High School, it also signified Josh Otlin’s first introduction to students as principal. With the announcement of former principal Carolyn Banach’s departure back in April, a council of teachers, parents, and students were assembled in order to find MHS’ next principal. This search ended with Mr. Otlin being given the job, and as of July 1st, he began his position at Milford Public Schools.


Back in June I sat down with Mr. Otlin, where we discussed his new role at MHS and his aspiration he has for the High School. When talking about what he wants the people of Milford to know about him, he began to talk about the connection he already had with this school. Mr. Otlin states, “I’d like our students to know that this is a homecoming for me, that I graduated from Milford High School. I’m very excited that when our freshman start this fall, it will 25 years ago that I started as a freshman in this school. It’s kind of sentimental for me, but I want people to know that I wasn’t applying for principal jobs this year. When this job opened up, I applied for it. I wanted to be here in this school and in this community.”


He continued to explain why he felt this job at Milford was right for him, as he mentioned another big deciding factor with this job; his family. Otlin goes on to say “A big part of it is because I’m from here, but that’s not the only reason I want to be here. I want to be here because I live very close by and it’s a huge job that requires a ton of time from me. I have three young children and a wife, so I don’t want to quit on my family because I’m going to be a high school principal. So, this is close to my home, and I can balance my responsibilities as a father and a husband, but also as a principal.”


With Mr. Otlin’s arrival as principal, came aspirations for what he hopes to achieve. When discussing long term goals, he stated “I hope that this become the destination school in the region. You probably know that there are some kids living in Milford who are choosing to go to high school elsewhere. Be that BVT, Hopedale, Nipmuc, Holliston, and Medway. I hope that long term Milford families are really not looking at Holliston, Medway, Nipmuc, and Hopedale as an alternative for their students, as frankly I’m hoping that families in Holliston, Medway, Mendon, Upton, Hopedale are looking at Milford as a destination school. I want this to be the high school where not only kids from Milford want to go to, but kids from surrounding towns want to go.”


Next, Mr. Otlin began to tell of some of his focuses, by stating “short term, my goals for the school includes maintaining and building on what appears to be a very robust, high quality extracurricular program. When you talk to someone at the end of their high school career and say ‘how’s high school? Did you have a good four years or did you have a mediocre four years, or a lousy four years? It really depends on the quality of their extracurriculars. I’m passionate about academics and curriculum, I’ll talk about that next, but I think that from the actual student experience, and whether high school is something that is very positive, where they have a great social experience, where they grow a lot, where they are challenged, where it’s enriching and rewarding, I think that extracurriculars have an awful lot to do with that, and appropriately so.” From here on, Mr. Otlin goes on to highlight some aspects of MHS that have caught his eye thus far, saying, “from right now with what I can gather, we have an athletic program that has a lot of strengths and that is growing. It sounds to me that we have an excellent music program, and a strong performing arts program. We have a number of service organizations that are knocking it out of the park: Best Buddies, Global Citizenship. So, I think as a short-term goal my job is really try to do everything in role to support our extracurricular offerings in being as strong as they possible can be.”


To finish off the interview, I moved away from some of the hard-hitting questions, to some a little lighter. For instance, when asked to describe himself in one word, Mr. Otlin answered “passionate” and if he could pick two people dead or alive to be his assistant principals, he would pick Nelson Mandela and Eleanor Roosevelt. And last but certainly not least, when asked what his least favorite type of ice cream was, he answered “bubblegum.”