Farewell Letter to Orchard | Teressa Hart - 18 Years

My introduction to Orchard happened when I was the mother of a curious 2-year-old. I was working as a speech pathologist in a public school and wanted the very best preschool I could find for our daughter, Jena. My husband and I toured every Indianapolis preschool and felt that Orchard was the perfect fit for our family.
Jena loved being at Orchard and was reluctant to leave at the end of each day, so I spent hours at pickup on a playground bench with the Kids Connect teacher, Ann Mead. Ann inadvertently taught me the “Orchard Way” during those afternoons. Her manner was gentle and responsive. I learned so much from her and used those lessons to teach my own students. In fact, many speech students in Pike Township benefited from my afternoon teacher-education sessions.
I was both elated and terrified when a speech pathology job was added at Orchard, and Bonnie Smith invited me to fill it. I was very aware that Orchard teachers were exceptional, and I hoped I could measure up. I enjoyed being a member of the Learning Support team, but I found my niche when I joined the fifth grade team as a social studies and literature teacher.
I have learned so much about children, education, and life while working at Orchard. I’ve been part of innovative teams and supportive communities. I have discovered new passions while developing curriculum, Winterms, and clubs because, at Orchard, everyone grows. Growth can involve periods of great discomfort, and I’ve felt that as well. I am grateful.
I am retiring to Missoula, Montana, a place where I have deep connections and where my beautiful preschool daughter is now a preschool teacher, sharing Orchard magic with her students.
Thank you, Orchard. My life is better because of my time with you.

Congratulations to The Orchard School's 2022-2023 retirees! Even though we miss seeing you around campus, We're excited for your future endeavors and please know you're always welcome back. #owlsforever

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