Head of School

Welcome to The Orchard School!  It’s a pleasure to introduce you to our joyful and inclusive community as we celebrate the centennial of the founding of our school. This anniversary is both inspiring and humbling: inspiring because it demonstrates the enduring impact of our nine founding mothers on generations of students, and humbling because their vision and courage was unfailing through profound national challenges. The year of our school’s founding, 1922, bore the same imprints of a global pandemic, racial injustice, economic crisis, and monumental social changes and upheavals that we have lived through in recent years. In response, nine inspired and persistent women founded our school. 

In our 100th year, we continue to pursue our mission to develop and educate the whole child.  The dedication and steadfast commitment of the Orchard community to the principles of Progressive education keep our mission alive, and our students thriving.  I am proud to lead a school that never fails to put students at the center of everything we do, but most of all, I am deeply proud of our students. Generations of Orchard Owls have gone on to be the teachers, community leaders, scientists, public servants, writers, artists, athletes, and innovators who bring their passion and commitment to the broader world and make a positive impact, both near and far. 

Whether they’re tapping Orchard’s maple trees and converting the sap to syrup for a school-wide pancake breakfast;  undertaking an engineering challenge in the LEED-certified Makerspace; writing and performing a play for students and families in the theater; or organizing a service learning project in Indianapolis, our students learn through hands-on experiences, and are eager to connect their scholarship to their communities.  

I invite you to visit our 43-acre campus to see our students and teachers at work and play.  We look forward to meeting you in person!

Owls forever,
Sherri C. Helvie, Ph.D.
Head of School


You can read Dr. Helvie's article in the winter issue of NAIS' publication Independent School.

The Orchard School

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