Farewell Letter To Orchard | Karen Dean - 35 Years

Karen Dean
Dear Orchard,
My oldest child entered kindergarten at Orchard in 1978 when Gordon Thompson was Head of School. I came as a new parent ready to volunteer and be involved in the school life. Little did I know that I would eventually work in the library and become a part of the Orchard community for such a long time. It has been a gift to work in a position that gave me the opportunity to know students and teachers across the entire school. Being an advisor, teaming in 6th-grade language arts and writing, and traveling to Japan on a teacher exchange are just a few of the wonderful experiences that have enriched my life in incomparable ways.
There is never a dull day around the children, and I love the spontaneity and enthusiasm they bring to their learning. Teasing out of students exactly what they’re looking for is like solving a puzzle at times. The delight they exhibit if I can find just what they’re asking for makes my day. 
I am continually awed at the creative ways teachers provide students such amazing learning experiences. It has been a privilege to work with so many dedicated educators throughout my years at Orchard. I have loved partnering with them and having them as friends. They are at the heart of what Orchard was and continues to be. 
When I think of Orchard, I also remember all the families I have known over the years. There are so many parents and grandparents I’ve enjoyed knowing and who give an incredible amount of time to support Orchard in a myriad of ways. 
In several books I've read to classes, authors talk about how one can be happy and sad at the same time, and that is most assuredly how I feel. Although I will miss the children and their energy, connecting with families, and especially those I’ve worked with for so long, I am definitely looking forward to spending more time with my own family. Paraphrasing a line from a children’s book, when one story ends, another begins. I’m ready to start that new story.
With great fondness and appreciation,
Karen Dean


Earlier this month, Karen finished reading to a group of third grade students and told them this would be her final year at Orchard. Sadness filled the room as every student jumped up to give her a hug. To say Karen will be missed is an understatement. Those pictures and more are below.

Parent Portal users click here to see photos of Karen.

Orchard's Retiree Reception is Tuesday, May 14th, from 4-6PM.

Submit a Comment


No comments have been posted