2015-2016 Accomplishments for Oak Ridge Schools


  • ORHS had 10 National Merit semi-finalists and all 10 were named finalists. There were seven commended scholars this year.
  • Three ORHS students received perfect scores on their ACT.
  • Three students from Oak Ridge High School were selected as Haslam Scholar finalists this year. This is the highest number of Haslam Scholar finalists from any high school in the state.
  • Under first year coach Paige Green, the 2016 Lady Wildcat basketball team are the TSSAA Division 1, AAA State Runner ups.
  • ORHS Track team boys 4×800 relay qualified to race at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York City. This is the eighth year in a row that we have sent athletes from ORHS to this meet.
  • ORHS Boys cross country won the Region 2 Championship and were state runners up. There was also a team member named as GLKBGCA High School Athlete of the Year.
  • An Oak Ridge High School senior was awarded the AF Bridges State Award of Excellence scholarship. This $1,000 college scholarship is given annually to a senior student-athlete who best exemplifies the high ideals, ethics, integrity, citizenship and sportsmanship of the TSSAA. This student was also invited to Washington D.C. for the Intel Science Talent Search. This ORHS student was one of 40 finalists from a pool of over 1,700 international submissions. He was the only ORHS student to progress this far in the competition. This same student also won first place at the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in the Chemistry Division. This competition is hosted by the armed forces: US Army, Navy and Air Force and was held in Dayton, Ohio. This student was awarded a $12,000 scholarship for his research on putting additives in to plastics to accelerate their decomposition.
  • The number of College, Career and Technical Education industry certifications hit a record all-time high this year for Oak Ridge High School students. Awards included 6 Adobe, 6 Certified Nursing, 5 Welding and 170 Microsoft Office Specialist certificates for a total of 187.
  • A student in Advanced Computer Applications, Honors, was the Tennessee Fall Champion for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Exam competition. He won in both Excel 2013 and PowerPoint 2013 (he earned a perfect score on PPT 2013—1000/1000 and finished the 50-min exam in under 30 minutes!) He also participated in the U.S. Championship in Orlando.
  • ORHS had a student chosen as a national winner for the 2016 Aspirations in Computing Award from NCWIT (National Center for Women and IT). She was among 35 girls chosen from over 3,100 applicants nationwide. She is only the 3rd girl from Tennessee to ever win this award.
  • ORHS had a great year competing in various science competitions. Science Bowl finished third out of over sixty teams across the state. Science Olympiad also competed at the regional and state levels. Even with an immobile robotic arm and nonflying plane, they were able to make it to place third regionally and make it to the state competition. Math Thesis and ESR students also competed and won several awards at SASEF.
    ORHS Physics ‘Cats competed in the UT Engineering Day. The four student quiz bowl team won the grand prize defeating both Farragut and Hardin Valley.
  • ORHS AP Physics students placed 4th in the region (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee) on the AAPT Physics Bowl exam. The Physics Bowl is a competition for high school students and schools.
  • ORHS Scholars Bowl team won the 2nd annual Gryphon Bowl, a quiz bowl tournament, hosted by Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy in Mooresboro, NC. The team also defeated L&N STEM Academy to win the 32nd annual East Tennessee PBS Scholars’ Bowl tournament. This makes the sixth time ORHS has won the competition.
  • ORHS Technology Student Association had one senior who placed 1st at State and ranked 3rd nationally in Biotechnology Design. Two seniors placed 1st at State and ranked 6th nationally in Chapter Team. One student placed 1st at State in On Demand Video and Digital Video Production. Four students also placed 1st in the state division and 8th in the national division in the Test of Engineering, Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science or (TEAMS) and all 4 students received the Bronze, Silver and Gold Achievement Awards.
  • Members of the ORHS Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honorary Society took numerous awards in ciphering, mental math, the individual math test, chalk talk and the poster competition at the State Mu Alpha Theta Convention. Three were members of the math bowl team that took a 1st place and a 2nd place at consecutive conventions. They were also members of the math bowl team which took 2nd place at the UT Pro2Serv Fermat Math Competition.
  • ORHS had a student who placed 2nd in the state Precalculus Analysis TMTA math competition.
    Two ORHS seniors were named Semi-Finalists for the Siemens competition. Their project on implementing machine learning algorithms to analyze characteristics of exhaust manifolds was selected as one of 300 from approximately 1700 projects for this honor.
  • ORHS Art students had 5 ceramic pieces placed into the Roane State College Student Art Exhibit (only 20 pieces overall). An ORHS student was a first place winner at the Dogwood Art Exhibit at Maryville College. An ORHS Art student addressed Congress at the State Capitol in Nashville in regards to their piece that won first place in the Congressional Medal of Honor Competition. Their piece was entered into a college level art contest called Diversity with a focus on social media as the theme. She won first place in the fine arts category along with $1000 cash. Another ORHS student placed 1st in Photography and 3rd place in Mixed Media at the Roane State HS Academic Festival. There were several students whose work received honors at the Tennessee Valley Fair art competition. Two ORHS students won Honorable Mention at Chuck Fleischmann’s Congressional Art Competition held at Chattanooga State Community College.
  • The ORHS Band placed 21 students via audition into the ETSBOA All East Honors Bands. A couple of the students were actually chosen on two different instruments. Two in the group earned seats in All State 4
    as well. These outstanding students, along with the entire Symphonic and Concert Bands, also earned a superior rating (all 1s in performance and sight reading) at the State Concert Festival under the direction of Spence Milligan and Mike Spirko.
  • The ORHS Concert and Symphonic Bands earned all 1s – a superior rating – in performance and sight reading at the East Tennessee Schools Band and Orchestra Concert Festival at Farragut High School on Wednesday. ORHS Orchestra had 28 students place in All-East TN (most of any orchestra program in East TN), 13 kids in All-State TN (most of any orchestra program in the State of TN). This year, they earned straight 1’s in the East TN Band/Orchestra Concert Festival for the first time. The Orchestra traveled to Washington D.C. and New York City and competed against 7 states in the United States High School Orchestra Competition. ORHS Orchestra won the entire event with a 98.4 score and took home 10 awards, including Best Band or Orchestra, Best Orchestra, and Best Chamber Orchestra.
  • ORHS Chorus had two students selected to compete for the Knoxville Bijou Awards. The Chorus also had eight students selected to participate in the TN All East Choirs with five of those also selected for TN All State Choirs.



  • ORHS Social Studies teacher Aaron Pickering published an article titled “Datsu-A-Ron: Meiji Reforms and the De-Asianization of Japan” in the Spring 2016 issue of Education About Asia.
  • Paige Green and Allen Etheridge were named PrepXtra Coaches of the Year for their respective sports.
  • Michael Feuer was named ORHS Teacher of the Year.
  • Betsy Hondorf was named to serve on the board of the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association, NISCA and will served as the editor of the bi-monthly NISCA Journal.
  • Jane Sasser received an Outstanding Educator Award from Humanities Tennessee. She was one of six teachers from across the state to receive this prestigious award. This honor is awarded to teachers who are skillful and dedicated and exhibit expansive and in-depth knowledge of the subjects they teach. Additionally, they are to have the respect of students, parents, and co-workers, and have a record of active involvement in community activities and professional organizations, particularly those that promote the humanities.
  • Deni Sobek was nominated and is serving on her second term on the Keep Anderson County Beautiful (KACB) board. She was also elected to the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB).
  • Frank Wood contributed to a paper that was accepted by NHSJS magazine for peer review. The paper is called “Capillary Action Within Highly Ordered Vertical Pillar Arrays” and was the end of a two year study done in the summers in conjunction with University of Tennessee Chemistry Department and NSF.
  • Dr. Elaine Vaughan received the National 2015 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching of High School Mathematics. Dr. Vaughan was also selected as a Hope Street Group Tennessee Teacher Fellows last year and wrote two publications for the organization. They were entitled”The Butterfly Effect” posted http://hopestreetgroup.org/blog/the-butterfly-effect/ and “Are We There Yet?” (will be posted soon).



  • RMS had 7 students compete in Mathcounts. Two students made the top 12 and our team came in 3rd. One student went on to the state level.
  • RMS had 9 students compete in TMTA at Roane State. One algebra student scored in the top 10. Two students in geometry made the top 10, one being ranked 4th. At Pellissippi State, 29 RMS math students competed along with over 800 students. RMS placed 3rd in the top 15 for their grade level.
  • The Robertsville Middle School chapter of the Technology Student Association (TSA) had an outstanding showing at the 2016 Regional Conference held in Harriman, TN. Middle and High Schools from across the upper east region participated at the conference. RMS TSA members competed in 12 events, and they brought home 15 trophies. RMS students captured four 1st, four 2nd, and eight 3rd pace awards. The Robertsville Middle School TSA attended the 2016 Tennessee State Conference in Chattanooga, TN on April 6-9. RMS had the largest chapter in attendance with thirty-two 6th, 7th and 8th grade students competing. This was the third year in a row that all our chapter’s students finalized in every event that required multiple rounds of judging. The RMS Chapter earned 1st place in five events, nine 2nd place trophies, and five 3rd place trophies.
  • The Robertsville music department continues to be recognized as a distinguished program winning top awards at festivals and competitions.
  • The RMS Orchestras had 8 students selected for ETSBOA Junior Clinic Honors Orchestra in the fall. In the spring at the Music Showcase Festival in Atlanta, GA, the 7th and 8th grade combined Orchestras received Superior ratings as well as the “Grand Sweepstakes” award as the highest scoring ensemble of all groups attending this festival. The 5th & 6th grade Orchestras additionally received Superior ratings at the Music Showcase Festival Concert Competition at Dollywood.
  • The RMS Band had eleven students selected for ETSBOA Junior Clinic for 2016, placing among the top middle school band students in east Tennessee. The RMS RamTime Jazz Ensemble, in its first year of existence, performed at the Knoxville Opera Company’s annual Rossini Festival Street Fair, drawing a tremendous audience. The RMS band hosted guest artists from the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, Pellissippi State Community College, the Tennessee Wind Symphony, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, and professional musicians Jeff Kile and Marc Payne.
  • The RMS 7th and 8th Grade Chorus participated in the Music Showcase Festival at King’s Island and was awarded 1st Place with a rating of “Superior” among all Middle School Mixed Choirs and also received the Overall award (highest score) for middle school choirs. The RMS 7th and 8th Grade Ensemble (a brand new auditioned, a cappella ensemble) was invited to perform at Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge Holiday Banquet and also joined the 8th Grade Chorus for a performance at McGhee Tyson Airport. 6


  • RMS librarian Scot Smith was elected to serve on the American Library Association’s Michael J. Printz Award committee for 2018.
  • RMS Band Director Dr. Sean Greene was selected to perform with an All-Star ensemble of University of Wisconsin Alumni at the International Tuba Euphonium Association’s International Conference in May at UTK. Dr. Greene was also elected by the membership of the East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association to serve as Jazz Chair on the ETSBOA Board of Directors for a two-year term starting this fall as well as being elected by the membership of ETSBOA to serve as one of three middle school band clinicians at Junior Clinic this December.
  • Mardee Miller was selected by the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project in New York City to attend their Teacher’s Coaching Institute.
  • Cathy Ginel, Melissa Jeter, Michelle Scott, Mardee Miller and Bruce Lay were selected to present at the LEAD Conference in Nashville.
  • Titans received an ORPSEF grant of approximately $5,000 to begin Tech Titans afterschool program.
    We were awarded and Altrusa Literacy Grant of approximately $5,000 to purchase Comprehension Club Kits for reading intervention.


  • The Atomic Eagles, Cyberbrix, and JMS Master Builders participated in the Knoxville Regional Qualifier on Saturday, December 5, 2015 and performed well. The JMS Master Builders got the first place robot performance trophy and the second place champions trophy. The Atomic Eagles received the first place robot design trophy.
  • The Jefferson Middle School FIRST Lego League teams competed at the East Tennessee Regional Championship on February 13, 2016 in Cookeville, Tennessee. The Atomic Eagles received the 1st Place Robot Strategy and Innovation Award. The JMS Master Builders received the 2nd Place Robot Performance Trophy and the 1st Place Champions Trophy.
  • The JMS Master Builders were invited to compete in the FLL World Festival in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • 2016 Jefferson Middle School Fitness Awards awarded 23 students, 5th-8th grade, who scored at or above the 85th percentile on all fitness tests, a GOLD Jefferson fitness star. We awarded 111 additional students, 5th-8th grade, who scored at or above the 50th percentile on all fitness tests a SILVER Jefferson fitness star.
  • The JMS 7th and 8th Grade Chorus participated in the Music In the Parks Festival in Cincinnati, OH, and was awarded 1st Place with a rating of “Superior” among all Middle School Mixed Choirs. The Chorus received the Overall Award (highest score) for all middle school choirs, and received the highest score of any performing group that participated in the Music in the Parks Festival in Cincinnati that weekend.
  • A JMS student qualified for and competed in the Tennessee Geographic Bee.




  • Brian Smith was awarded the 2016 Geography Teacher of the Year and the 2016 Humanities Tennessee Outstanding Teacher Award. He gave a presentation entitled Geospatial Technology in the STEM Classroom: Integrating Place and Projects for Meaningful Learning Across Content Areas at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference in Nashville, TN. He was a Geospatial Academy coordinator and presenter at the L&N STEM Academy. This served as the Required Teacher Certification/Training provided by the Tennessee Department of Education for the Introduction to Geographic Information Systems course. Tennessee Department of Education Social Studies Educator Advisory Team; Summer 2016.


  • Linden had 82 students that turned in summer reading logs with 61 reading 70% or more of the Dog Days of Summer!!! 61 students will be attending our summer reading party on Friday August 19th!
  • Linden had 20 students who participated in the Mountain Biking Club. They participated in monthly rides, with a year ending group ride at Northern Boundary trails. We are planning more group rides this year and possibly working on a trail here on campus.
  • Linden had 10 students chosen to illustrate “Carley’s Mom Learns to Read” for the TORCH program. 1 student was honored with the cover design.
  • Linden had one kindergarten student honored in the Dogwood Arts exhibit.
  • Linden had 30 students participate in the DaVinci Arts and Science Fair. Students awards were: 1st place winner for 4th grade STEM category, 1st place 4th grade ART, 3rd place winner for 4th grade ART, 3rd place for 3rd grade ART.
  • The Linden Chess club competed in the Secret City Invitational and individual and team scholastic tournaments. Earning trophies in both individual tournaments.
  • Linden had 14 students honored in the district art exhibit, Through the Vision of Children.



  • We hosted our first successful Kindergarten Camp (Ready, Set, Kindergarten). This is a summer camp for rising kindergartners. About 15 students participated.
  • Art night was honored with a video by producer Rob Welton and a 3rd grade student was chosen to be the star of the video.
  • Linden held its 8th Family Art Night.
  • Ginger Adams was recognized as both the Linden Elementary teacher of the year and the Oak Ridge Schools district teacher of the year.
  • Christina Graham received a Donors Choose grant for alternative seating worth approximately $750.
    Lisa Buckner received a Donors Choose grant to purchase two Lego story starter kits.
  • Traci Magee hosted the anti-bullying movie, A Girl Like Her, at the high school for all middle and high school girls.
  • Lisa Buckner and Ginger Adams received an ORPSEF grant which funded 17 kindles that were sent home with students during summer. The students then participated in a summer reading program. Kindles will continue to be used in first grade classrooms.
  • Traci Magee hosted open library over the summer.
  • Linden was certified as a STEM school by AdvancEd.


  • The 2016 Tennessee Chess Association Region 1 scholastic individual qualifying tournament was held at Oak Ridge High School with 138 students, representing 46 schools and homeschool groups from across East Tennessee, participating in K-3, K-6, K-9 and K-12 divisions. Eight students from each division qualified to play in the state championship tournament to be held February 6 at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville. Woodland will be represented by one 4th grade student and one 3rd grade student.
  • The Woodland Chess club had two teams participate in the State Chess Tournament in Cookeville on Saturday, March 26th. While neither team placed, we had lots of fun and it was a great learning experience.
  • Woodland students participated in the Arts and Sciences da Vinci Fair. One student placed 1st and another placed 2nd in Life Science, while one student placed 1st in Art.


  • Barbara Krushenski and Kathy Sanderson received a grant from ORSEF for $5,177.50. They purchased a reading intervention kit for use with 4th grade students.
  • Terri Lloyd received a grant from ORSEF for $1, 690. She was able to purchase additional resources to use with students in Gifted Education in all of the elementary schools in our district.


  • Glenwood was certified as a STEM school by AdvancEd.
  • Students participated in the Burning Man Elephant Project – a worldwide project designed to promote the relationship between art education and inclusivity. Glenwood Elephants are displayed at the
    Burning Man Art Exhibit in Nevada.
  • Glenwood had 36 students to participate in community and regional art shows: SAB annual student display, Through the Looking Glass Glenwood Showcase, Oak Ridge Schools annual exhibit at the Children’s Museum, Dogwoods Arts festival, and the Da Vinci Arts and Science Fair.
  • Chess Club members won several matches at tournaments.
  • Mrs. Fitch’s kindergarten class won the Dream Box Popsicle challenge, and Mrs. Fitch won the Discovery Education science textbook use.
  • Glenwood’s PTO raised over $50,000 to fund new play structures for our playground.
  • The 3rd Grade pumpkin book reports were featured on the local news.
  • Glenwood received the Read to be Ready grant of $30,000 to fund a four-week summer reading camp and a visit from First Lady Crissy Haslam to promote summer reading.
  • Glenwood received the 21st CCLC grant of $87,500 to fund Extended School day programs.
  • Glenwood received the Oak Ridge Education Foundation grant of $5000 to fund STEM 2.0 summer camp.


  • Melody Shear earned a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction and endorsements in special education.
    Molly Chance had two artworks accepted and exhibited at the Dogwood Arts Festival and exhibited during the Oak Ridge Educator Show at Through the Looking Glass in Jackson Square.
  • Amy Kennedy was awarded the Glenwood Teacher of the Year.
  • Jessica Bivens received the Silver Beaver Award from the National Boy Scouts of America which is the highest award given to a volunteer from a council.
  • Jacob Passmore earned a Masters Degree in Teacher Leadership.
  • Myra Rife earned a Bachelors Degree in Education and was accepted to the Masters Degree program.
  • Amelia Bell earned an Ed.S. in Instructional Leadership.


  • The Tennessee Arts Commission awarded Willow Brook with a Student Ticket Subsidy Grant in the amount of $2930 to send our first and second grade students to see the Oak Ridge Jr. Playhouse production of “Nate the Great” and our kindergarten and fourth grade students to see Classic Productions for Students’ production of the “Seussical” at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium.
  • Willow Brook was presented a check in the amount of $1,691 from Belk’s Adopt-A-School program.
  • Willow Brook provided 444 students with before and after school programs funded through the State 21st Century Community Center grant of $87,500. This was the 3rd year of the three-year funding for this grant cycle. The grant also served 35 students for five days over summer break. Willow Brook has been the recipient of this grant for the past 14 years.
    The Oak Ridge Schools Education Foundation awarded two of our fourth grade teachers with a grant in the amount of $2,079 for Movin’ with Multiplication, in which a set of multiplication mats and two fraction mats from Math and Movement were purchased to assist with increasing fact fluency.
  • Willow Brook was awarded $2,500 from SCI Consulting to enhance our literacy program.
  • Two of WBES students had their artwork accepted into the Dogwood Arts Festival Student Art Exhibition at the Clayton Center for the Arts on the Maryville College campus.
  • Fifteen students had their art displayed at the Children’s Museum exhibit which featured artwork from every Oak Ridge School.
  • Nine students had their artwork illustrated in a book and at the corresponding art show at TORCH for Homelessness Awareness Month.
  • The Willow Brook 3rd grade Chess Team took 9th place at the State Tournament.
  • Our Readers and Leaders program had eighteen individual tutors working with twenty students and four classroom tutors working with eighty students. Our tutors logged in 420 hours of reading time.
  • Willow Brook’s Family Impact Center provided six academic workshops, six life skills and self-help workshops and eight family engagement activities throughout the year.
  • Willow Brook had twenty-nine partnerships with community organizations and businesses.


  • Second grade teacher, Kim Lee, was WBIR Tennessee Educator of the Week for May 2, 2016.
  • Fourth grade teacher, Peter Blair, was awarded $500 from the Sunset Rotary Club of Oak Ridge to purchase materials for students to conduct Art and Science projects for the DaVinci Art and Science Fair.
  • Second grade teacher, Kim Lee, was accepted to the Writing Institute at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City.


  • Linda Dalton was awarded two grants. One grant for $673.00 was awarded for literacy materials/books for her classroom. A second grant for $1,166.00 was used to buy books to give to children in an effort to increase literacy in the home.