Mary D. Lang

The Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center sits at the corner of Mulberry and Center Streets in the heart of Kennett Square. It’s a fitting memorial to a woman who dedicated her life to the Kennett community beginning in 1884. As a high school senior, Ms. Lang substituted for an ill teacher in the “beginners room” for what became the remainder of the academic year. What was meant to be a temporary position evolved into a 44-year career dedicated to Kennett’s youngest residents.

 

From 1884 to 1928, “Miss Mame,” as her students affectionately called her, was the first teacher most Kennett children would ever have. She left such an impression on her students that upon her retirement, the borough observed a “Miss Mame Day” to celebrate her service to the community. Hundreds of students came to celebrate her legacy, and the high school orchestra underscored the occasion with an adaptation of Auld Lang Syne wherein they substituted the lyrics with her name.

 

Fifteen years after her death, the school district opened the Mary D. Lang School in the very spot where her career began. The building served as an elementary school until 2011, when the district expanded and redesignated the building as the Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center. And once again, every kindergartener in the district felt the embrace of Miss Mame. Her legacy of caring for Kennett’s children lives on with each successive year.