David Tuttle Schenck was born in New York on December 21, 1921. A World War II veteran, he spent more than two years overseas in the European Campaign serving with a tank transport division before being reassigned to the Pacific.  He graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in business in 1948 through the GI Bill. He married Dee Hall of Atlanta in November 1952.

After a stint in business, he realized his true calling was in education and taught at The Rectory School in Pomfret, Connecticut.  In the summers taught at the Camp Waya-Awi in Rangeley, Maine.  This camp, one of the first camps in the U.S. to teach students with dyslexia using the Orton-Gillingham Approach, inspired David to concentrate his efforts working with these students.  Being dyslexic himself (however never officially diagnosed), he had a keen sense of the struggles of the dyslexic learner and started to put together a plan for a school.

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In 1959, after obtaining a master’s degree from Emory University in Atlanta, he tutored students in a reading lab at an Atlanta area private school who, because of their difficulties in reading, were in jeopardy of failing.  There he realized that tutoring each day was not enough to give these students the support they needed to be successful.  What they needed was a more specialized teaching environment.

David and Dee founded The Reading School, the predecessor of The Schenck School, in the basement of St. Anne’s Episcople Church on Moores Mill Road in Atlanta.  The School was moved to the Schenck family residence on Piedmont Road and then again to their home on Mt. Paran Road.  David and Dee Schenck purchased another property on Mt. Paran Road for the School in 1965, changed the name from The Reading School to The Schenck School.


David served as Director until 1994, when he then became Director Emeritus.  In addition, David was a Fellow in the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, and served as the first president of the Georgia Branch of the Orton Dyslexia Society (now the Georgia Branch of the International Dyslexia Association).


  • The Early Years

    By Marge Tillman, former Director of The Schenck School

    From the beginnings of the School, David and Dee were determined to have a school specifically designed for dyslexic children. It was to be a team effort for the two of them: David was the up-front educator; Dee was the manager of most everything else. They had both been trained in the Orton-Gillingham Approach (O-G) which at that time was used only in one-on-one tutoring situations. In order to reach more children than by just tutoring, the plan was to have small classes taught by O-G trained teachers.

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The Legacy of David Schenck

“…I can’t begin to tell you the number of former students, parents, grandparents, current students and friends of students who have attended The Schenck School who tell me what a life changing experience it has been.”

Gena Calloway~Head of School 

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Early Classroom

“I was frightened 43 years ago when I started my little school for dyslexic students.  Frightened of the prospect of supporting my young family by starting a school with just seven students.  But I never for a moment doubted the rightness of my dreams working with dyslexic children and adults.  Helping them to read and spell gives them the gift of being able to learn.  I have loved working with the thousands of students who have come to my school.  They saw that my dreams came true and so could theirs.”       

David Schenck, April 30, 2003 upon his retirement

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