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Dr. Karen Orcutt
Superintendent of Orono Schools

I was born and raised in St. Joseph, Missouri, which is in the northwestern part of the state along the Missouri River. I graduated from Central High School. Growing up, I loved to play outside with pets and being in nature. I loved school and played school in our basement when I came home from school. I had wonderful friends and teachers and a very fun childhood.

The University of Minnesota is where I came for a degree in Communication Disorders followed by a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Saint Mary’s. I also obtained both an Education Specialist Degree in Educational Administration, and a Masters Degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology.

My career has lead me to:

  • Speech Pathologist and Program Coordinator, Public Schools of St. Peter, Minnesota
  • Coordinator, Early Childhood/Speech Services, MN Valley Special Education Cooperative
  • Speech Pathologist, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis
  • Speech Pathologist, Orono
  • Director, Special Services, Orono
  • Assistant Superintendent for Programs, Orono
  • Superintendent, Orono

During my career, I am most proud of the following:

  • Richard Green Scholar Award (Minnesota Association of School Administrators)
  • District Leadership for Excellence in Communication Award
    (Minnesota School Public Relations Association)
  • Humphrey Institute, Reflective Leadership Program
  • Bush Public Schools Executive Fellows Program
  • Alliance for Renewal in Special Education Fellowship
  • Director, Minnesota Association of School Administrators Board of Directors
  • Writer and Board of Directors, Superintendency Institute

I have two Golden Retrievers, Lindee and Oakley, and three horses, Mirage, Aggie and Baby Grace.  When I am not at school, I love to read and write and explore nature, and have fun with friends.

In closing, I would like to leave you with two thoughts: I like to laugh at life in general, funny movies, and laugh with friends. My favorite quote is: “You cannot always control external events, but you can control your reaction to them by what you believe and what you do.”