The ORME SCHOOL
(on the Quarter-Circle-V-Bar Ranch!)
The Orme School is a college preparatory school founded in 1929 by Chick (Charles H. Orme Sr.) and Minna Vrang Orme, both graduates of Stanford University,
on their cattle ranch and farm located in central Arizona, about 1/2 way between Phoenix and Flagstaff, initially to
provide education for their three children, Kate, Mort and Charlie, but then expanded at the behest of Chick's university classmates who relished the idea of their children being educated on a working cattle ranch where ranch chores, including roundups and rodeos, fence mending, and milking were a part of the curriculum. Chick & Minna's son Charles H. Orme Jr. ("Charlie") took over the school and served as headmaster for 42 years, growing and expanding the school into one of the most unique and honored college preparatory schools in the country. (An excellent article on the school was written by a student for the Arizona Historical Society: cite:
Samuelson, Susan Adams. "The Orme School on the Quarter Circle V Bar Ranch." The Journal of Arizona History 25, no. 4 (1984): 399-422. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41859314).
Years of Service
Dorothy arrived at the Orme School in 1951, her son Chigger only 3 years old. For the next 26+ years, she devoted her professional life to the
improvement and success of the Orme School. From the horsemanship program and drill team, to a flying club, to the development of the various art and music programs, in addition to her science and history teaching,
her influence on the development of the School was immense. Her support and loyalty during periods of uncertainty kept the growth of the
School steady in the difficult world of private schools. Her many students, advisees, her teacher colleagues, the ranch hands, trustees of the School,
parents and visiting artists would all
testify to the profound influence her values and advocacy had upon the development of the School. Situated on a 40,000 acre working cattle ranch, the Orme
School continues to offer a unique educational experience to those students lucky enough to be enrolled there. (Orme School)
The Orme Fine Arts Festival
During her teaching career at the Orme School on the Quarter Circle V Bar Ranch, she taught Biology, Physics, History, Art, Horsemanship, and Flying, and established a unique program for the students, the
Orme Fine Arts Festival, bringing professional artists in many disciplines to teach the high school students for one week, an exciting experience both for the students, who begin to realize that it is possible to have a career in Art, and for the Teacher/Artists (Listing of artists /workshop leaders), who enjoy remembering the excitement of their own youth and forces that led them to their careers. This program, which achieved national acclaim for the school, continues to this day.
Copyright 2004, 2018 Albert Z Lewis Jr. / Estate of Dorothy Swain Lewis - All rights reserved.