WHY WE LOVE ORCHARD
SOFIA | MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT
I love Orchard because it is so different from other schools. There are no bells or uniforms, and we don’t sit at desks with worksheets all day. At Orchard, we learn through doing activities and being outside in nature. The teachers at Orchard are unbelievably nice and caring. They help us through everything. And the school lunches are really good, too!
In addition to what I mentioned above, there are many other reasons why I love Orchard. For example, there are different learning levels for every student so we can all have a chance to learn in our own way. There is even a learning support class to give students an extra “boost” in school. I also love all the fun projects we do. This year, in sixth grade, we built and launched rockets in science, built and raced derby cars in math, and even got to go on a class trip to St. Louis! It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had because I became so close with all my classmates.
I think one of the best reasons why I love Orchard is because we can express ourselves through music, art, nature, and all sorts of other things. I know that no one will judge me and I can be myself. Everyone is so kind at Orchard. My confidence in myself has grown so much since I started here. I am so grateful and happy to be at Orchard.
WEBER DONALDSON | 1945 GRADUATE
We always felt like Orchard was part of a counter culture. We had a music program, a shop program, and we went on many bird hikes. These were activities that public schools weren’t involved in at this point. A lot of the things that we were doing were projects. We learned by doing and our teachers were like orchestra readers helping us get through a learning project. I remember one of my favorite projects was actually making a world map in fifth grade. To this day I know the capitals of the world pretty well! I think my most fond memories of Orchard are the teachers who made learning fun and who directed us through the learning process.
My career path actually started at Orchard back when we had French class. I fell in love with French because it was so well taught and I was fascinated that I could communicate in this funny sounding code [laughs]. So I continued with French in high school at Shortridge. After that I majored in French at DePauw University. Then I went on a program to France with MIddlebury College for an M. A. Finally I went to Indiana University for my doctorate in French. Eventually, I ended up at Tulane University as a French professor and Chair of the Department of French and Italian. All of us without exception acknowledge the debt we owe to Orchard in launching our career paths and leading us to independent thinking.
I sense in today's Orchard a caring community spirit which is heartening. I am very impressed with your new Head of School, Dr. Sherri Helvie, who strikes me as a dynamic leader who is genuine.
FACULTY & STAFF
TEACHERS, STAFF, FRIENDS & PARENTS
GAYLA WILLIAMSON | CHIEF ACCOUNTANT
What I love about this place more than anything is how everybody that works here is completely committed to kids and family success. I see people going over and beyond on a daily basis to make sure that we are helping the community, and at least on my end of the building, providing outstanding customer service.
I also love the fact that we have school happening all over this 43-acre campus! We aren’t confined to a conventional class because we understand that learning happens everywhere, and even though I’m in the business office, I get to be part of that. I did Kindergarten recess duty for a few years and I’m telling you it was one of the joys of my life. I don’t do it anymore because of scheduling, but I still go down and have a snack with them every so often.
I believe every adult here ought to spend an hour a week with a five-year-old. It truly helps you with perspective. You realize quickly that your problems, worries, etc…it’s probably not that deep!