100 Years of Leadership, Orchard Continues its Nine Founding Mothers’ Journey

See some photos from the past after the article.

One hundred years ago today
, on December 12, 1922, the articles of incorporation were signed and accepted by The Orchard School’s Executive Committee, which was comprised of our nine founding mothers. This formal legal document established The Orchard School as a new business. After the nine mothers’ negotiations with the Indianapolis Public Schools to include Orchard as an experimental school within the public school system were unsuccessful, it was important that the Executive Committee take steps to insure that The Orchard School be an independent entity. The articles formally set up the Board of Trustees.

Over Orchard’s 100 years, the composition of the Board has changed, evolving from the nine mothers to include other parents and members of the Indianapolis community. After The Orchard School’s endowment was established in 1950, an additional Board of Governors was created to oversee the endowment and the long-term success of the school, while the Board of Trustees continued to focus on the ongoing operation of the school.  

Since 2000, nearly 200 Orchard parents, past parents, alumni, and members of the greater Indianapolis community have served as a trustee or governor – and some dedicated individuals have even served as both, moving from trustee to governor over time. Today, both Boards work closely with Orchard’s Head of School Dr. Sherri Helvie, to ensure that the vision of the nine founding mothers endures into a second century by educating and developing the whole child. 

Founders of The Orchard School
Mary Carey Appel

Elizabeth Driggs Bacon

Ruth McCulloch Bon
Evelyn Fortune Bartlett
Martha Carey
Ruth Schuyler Cole
Edith Whitehill Clowes
Mary Parrott Failey
Emily Taggart Sinclair

Quote from “The Path Well Chosen (p.9): 
“The Executive Committee moved toward incorporation of the school management and had articles of incorporation drawn up… These were signed and accepted on December, 12th 1922.  They provided for 11 trustees (as moved by Miss Carey), Mrs. Sinclair moved that the Board be self-perpetuating.”
    • Nine mothers with Marietta Johnson - Several of the founding mothers sponsored a lecture on progressive education by Marietta Johnson, founder of The Organic School in Fairhope Alabama, and unofficial advisor to the nine mothers in the founding and early years of Orchard. Pictured includes founding mothers : back row, Mary Carey Appel far left, Martha Carey second from right, Ruth Schuyler Cole, far right. and in the Front row Elizabeth Driggs Bacon on the far left.

    • Board of Trustees retreat in 2021 by the Cabin

    • Enrollment Management Committee in 2022

    • The Committee on Trustees in the fall of 2019

    • Pictured are Orchard Past Parents Domenic Angelicchio and Philip Genetos - both were members of the Board of Trustees, and served as Chair of the Board, and both were Governors, with Phil succeeding Dom as the President of the governors when Dom passed away.

    • From the cornerstone ceremony in 1957 - from the left - PA President Susan Holt, Board of Governors President Victor Jose, Jr, Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Johnson, and Head of School Gordon Thompson

    • William “Bo”Elder ‘65 and Suzie Fehsenfeld - both have been trustees and are current governors, and served as the chairs of the most recent cap campaign. Both are parents of Orchard alumni, and grandparents of current Orchard Owls.

    • Current Governor and past parent Mary Caito celebrate with interim HOS Kathy Rayburn

    • Trustee Chairs meet with HOS Dr. Sherri Helvie

    • Board of Trustees Retreat 2020

    • Diversity Committee in the summer of 2019

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