Orin Smith Elementary (OSE) is going through some exciting changes. With the retirement of Mr. Brett Ellingson as principal, the Chehalis School District is fortunate to have Mrs. Rachel Dorsey moving into the role of principal. Mrs. Dorsey has been in the district for twenty years and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her new role at OSE. In addition, Mr. Jonathan Fox was approved by the school board on Tuesday as the new assistant principal.

In talking with Mrs. Dorsey, it is clear she is building on a legacy. “This is a time to celebrate all the good work going on here and honor what has been done and move it forward. I want to build on the good work that is already taking place – it’s a solid foundation.”

Mr. Ellingson helped build a culture at OSE, and working together with Mr. Fox, Mrs. Dorsey is honoring the work of those who came before while keeping the foundational values of OSE and Chehalis as paramount.  

OSE’s mission statement acknowledges the need to “help all students achieve greater success.” They believe that student success starts with: 

  • A kind and joyful learning environment
  • A safe place where risk-taking and innovation are valued
  • An engaging atmosphere of high expectations and a belief that all will achieve
  • A cooperative effort between students, staff, parents, and community

Mrs. Dorsey recognizes that to achieve these missional goals, a culture has to be nurtured. What is happening in the classrooms is evidence of OSE’s values. OSE has adopted character traits that hinge on the success of this mission.

Displayed in the school throughout the year are the words that embody OSE and Orin C. Smith, the school’s namesake: Kindness, Empathy, Gratitude, Responsibility, Cooperation, Courage, Respect, Perseverance, Honesty, and Creativity.

Talking to anyone in leadership at OSE, you quickly understand how deep these values run. It is an exciting time for our community as we honor the legacy of Orin C. Smith and the impact that Mr. Ellingson has had while also celebrating Mrs. Dorsey and Mr. Fox as they step into their new roles