Over 15 years ago, Orchard Hill Church leadership began dreaming about a preschool. During those years, several members of the congregation visited with OHC's ministry leader (Dave Bartlett) concerning preschool possibilities; the timing didn’t seem right. OHC's Long-range Planning Team kept the possibility of a preschool on their agenda.
In 2005, Jamie Panning began visiting with OHC's ministry leader about starting a preschool. In 2006, a nursery-preschool wing was opened at OHC. That facility was designed with a possible preschool in mind. Architects and Children's Ministry staff worked together to create spaces that would be appropriate for 3, 4, and 5 - year-olds in a preschool setting. Jamie Panning became the "Volunteer Founding Director" of OHC Preschool. She began gathering information, working with DHS and Child Care Resource and Referral. She also met with the ministry leaders and children's ministry director. It was decided that the preschool would open in the summer of 2008 - this was God's timing.
A preschool planning team was formed which was comprised of women who were interested in early childhood education and/or had experience in preschool teaching and directing ( Jamie Panning, team leader, Ilene Boelman, Kathy Bohlman, Kari Bullerman, Jane Eilderts, Jess Hansen, Mary Janssen, April Peters, Julie Timm, Sheryl Weller, and Joan Trebon and Judy Walsten, Children's Ministry representatives) This team spent many months discussing the vision and mission of the preschool, researching, sharing ideas, meeting in small groups, and praying for the preschool to create a program to help children learn about Jesus and grow in their educational development.
During the winter of 2007/spring of 2008, a search team was formed to hire a director and teaching staff for the preschool. Lynn Doyle was hired as director on May 1, 2008. Three teachers were hired soon after and they worked together diligently to prepare for OHC Preschool to open in the fall. OHC Preschool opened Sept. 8, 2008 with two classes of 3 - 4 year-olds meeting Tues. and Thurs. and one class of 4 - 5 year-olds meeting on Mon., Wed., and Fri.
Jennie Knapp was hired in July 2009 as OHC Preschool Director. During Jennie’s time as the preschool director, she helped foster growth in the preschool. OHCP now offers three classes of 3-4 year olds meeting twice weekly, one class of 4-5 year olds on Mon., Wed., and Fri., and one class of 4-5 year olds meeting Mon.-Fri. afternoons. During the summer of 2014 Jennie resigned to follow God’s calling for her to be a stay at home mother.
Christie Roberts was hired in July of 2014 to replace Jennie Knapp as the OHCP Director.