2018-2019 Accomplishments for Oak Ridge Schools

For a printed list of accomplishments by students and staff at Oak Ridge Schools, please click on this link to download the document: 2018-2019 Accomplishments for Oak Ridge Schools.


Oak Ridge High School had eleven National Merit Semi Finalists. These academically talented high school seniors now have the opportunity to continue in the National Merit Scholarship competition for some 7,500 scholarships worth more than $32 million. Approximately 1.6 million students entered the competition.  The nationwide pool of Semi Finalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrant in each state.

Six Oak Ridge High School Commended Scholars were recognized for the exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.


ORHS HOSA students placed 1st in Medical Terminology and 3rd in Dental Terminology.

ORHS CCTE students earned 308 recognized industry certifications.

ORHS Welding students took 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in competitions in Sequoyah.

ORHS Virtual Enterprise class received top 25% recognition in Catalog at the Southern Regional Conference & Exhibition in Pigeon Forge.


Two ORHS seniors placed 2nd and 3rd in the Tennessee Junior Science and Humanities Symposium and advanced to the national competition.

At the Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair, Senior Division competition, one student placed second and attended the International Science and Engineering Fair. Multiple student projects also placed 3rd, 4th, and 5th.


ORHS NJROTC was awarded the “Distinguished Unit with Honors” in the Area 9 Region, NJROTC’s top unit award.


ORHS Robotics team was named Semifinalists & Gracious Professionalism Award at the West Virginia Robotics eXtreme, August 2018.

Received the IndyRAGE (Raising Awareness for Girls in Engineering) Robotics Competition Champions, October 2018.

The team was named regional winners of the Smoky Mountain Regional Robotics

Competition, March 2019; winner of the Innovation & Control Award with one team member winning the Dean’s List Finalist Award.  The team also earned an invitation to the 2019 World Championships where they were quarterfinalists in the Newton Division.

The team earned an Invitation to the Indian Robotics Competition and our Mentor, Dr. Mark Buckner won the Mentor of the Year award.


As the premiere biology competition for high school students in the United States, the USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) enriches the life science education of nearly 10,000 talented students annually. It provides the motivation, curricular resources, and skills training to take them beyond their classroom experience to the level of international competitiveness.  Nearly 10,000 talented students from across the country registered for the USABO. Nearly 700 were selected as semi-finalists. One ORHS student was one of 20 finalists selected following completion of a three-part, 2-hour exam in April. The 20 finalists met June 23 to July 5 at UC San Diego for 10 days of biology instruction inclusive of laboratory training and conceptual understanding followed by two days of testing.  This student won one of the four spots on Team USA and competed in Hungary at the international competition where he earned a bronze medal.


ORHS Band had 17 students participate in All East and 2 students in All State.  The ORHS Competitive Band earned first place in their division in all 3 of their Marching Festivals.  The ORHS Symphonic Band earned a Superior (1) rating at the Smoky Mountain Music Festival.

ORHS Chamber Orchestra earned Superior Ratings in Sight Reading and Performance for the 4th year in a row and was invited to perform in the 2020 All-State Tennessee Concert Festival.

ORHS Choirs had 3 students selected for All East Honors Choirs and 2 students selected for All State Honors Choirs.

ORHS Orchestra placed 18 students in All-East TN Orchestra and 5 students in All-State Tennessee Orchestra.


ORHS had 1st place entries in the Dogwood Arts Festival, multiple awards in Knoxville Museum of Art and Roane State Academic Festival.


Forty students were inducted into the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica.  Ten students were inducted into the French National Honor Society.  In the National French Contest, ORHS has one Gold medal winner, 2 Silver medal winners. and 2 Bronze medalists.  In the National German Exam, ORHS has 4 Gold medal winners, 3 Silver medal winners, and 3 Bronze medalists.


The ORHS Girls Basketball Team was District Tournament Champions, Region Tournament Champions, Sectional Champions, and made it to the final four of the Class AAA state tournament. One player was a Class AAA Miss Basketball Finalist. Two players were named to the All-State Tournament team.  One player was named to the All-State team by sportswriters.  Four players made the All-Region team and one was MVP.

ORHS Cross Country had one runner earning an All Region spot and finished 28th overall at the State meet.

Eleven ORHS football players made the All-Region team and two made All State. The team was region runner up and won two games in the state playoffs.

Four exemplary ORHS students earned spots in the May 13, 2019 semi-finals of the TSSAA Region 2 Tennis Tournament at Tyson Park in Knoxville. ORHS earned a District 3 Singles Championship and a District 3 Doubles Championship. The Knoxville News Sentinel named twelve East Tennessee tennis players to the TSSAA All-District 3 Tennis Team. Four were ORHS students, out of 108 tennis players that entered the season ending event.

ORHS Volleyball team won the District Title championship, had 1 player named District MVP and 4 players named to the All-District team.


Deanna Pickel was been accepted as a member of the inaugural Tennessee Teacher Ambassador Network. This is an opportunity which closely partners educators with division leaders at the Department of Education so that educators learn deeply about high priority work at the state level, advise us in intentional ways, and become equipped to communicate effectively with colleagues and stakeholders statewide. We received a high volume of applications and the selection progress was rigorous, and we are excited about having such exemplary teachers be a part of the inaugural cohort of Teacher Ambassadors. This will be a year of learning as our Teacher Ambassadors bolster their knowledge of policy, advise on implementation, and use their skills in communication as we all work together to ensure that more students than ever have what they need to be successful.

Deanna Pickel was a contributing author on two publications through her summer work at The University of Tennessee.  “Self-Complementary Multiple Hydrogen-Bonding Additives Enhance Thermomechanical Properties of 3D-Printed PMMA Structures” was published in Macromolecules and “Interfacial interactions in PMMA/silica nanocomposites enhance the performance of