Welcome to Orchard Hill!
Hello Orchard Hill families! My name is Curt Shenk and I am your new Principal. I would like to introduce myself and give you a little idea of whom you will be working with come this fall.
First off, you need to know that I am a people person and strongly believe in the power and importance of relationships. I have found that knowing ones story is a great way to begin developing a relationship. Therefore, I would like to share my story. I am not a prolific writer so this should be relatively brief.
I am the son of a dairy farmer. Our farm was in the Willamette valley outside the small community of Willamina. I grew up working on the farm and in a sawmill that was right down the road. I received my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Ed. from Western Oregon State College and my master’s degree in Administration from Portland State University.
I taught for nine years (mainly 5th & 6th grade) before moving into administration. My administrative experience has all been in the Phoenix Talent district: 3 years as the assistant principal and 5 years as the principal at Talent Middle School and 8 years as the principal at Talent Elementary. Working in the Phoenix Talent School District has been a blessing. It has the small town feel that I grew up in and I cannot imagine working anywhere else.
My wife Diane and I have been married for thirty years. We have two boys; Daniel age 20 and Matthew age 18. We enjoy the outdoors, snow skiing, and visiting National Parks. My personal favorite activity is playing baseball. It has been a joy of mine my entire life.
That is probably enough for now. I am looking forward to working with all of you and getting to know your stories. I officially start at Orchard Hill in early August, but will be in and out of the building most of July. We are facing some extraordinary opportunities to be great problem solvers as we look forward to next year. I anticipate some rewarding collaboration and cannot wait for the work to begin with students, parents, and staff.
See you all in the fall! GO HAWKS!!
Curt D. Shenk
Established in 1983, Orchard Hill Elementary is entering its 35th year of operation. Over the years we have worked diligently to create a sense of school community. The Phoenix-Talent student attendance area is large in scope and covers three cities. Yet there exists a sense of family between district schools, students, parents, staff, community, district level support and our school board.
Since OHES is the newest of the elementary schools we have gone about creating our own traditions, both from the stand point of establishing a stellar reputation for academics, but also for supporting active participation from our PTA as well as our school/business partners. Several years ago our school was able to obtain several grants which enabled us to create programs that would benefit our students in the long run. Through these “restructuring grants” we have established programs that continue to keep OHES focuses on State standards and at the same time be a happy place for kids to learn. We are a Title I school and our student transit rate is above 30%, thus making it important to continually seek new opportunities to better serve our students.
Orchard Hill has a highly motivated, professional and dedicated staff. The key to our success is having a staff that is willing to grow and is open to change. The caring and love of children, and a desire to model life-long learning is and will always be the focus of the OHES staff. Our willingness to work and grow together in order to teach our children safety, respect and responsibility, along with the opportunity to succeed will always be an Orchard Hill tradition.