2017-2018 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: 2017-2018 Accomplishments for Oak Ridge Schools.


ORHS was ranked as the 8th best school in the state by Niche.com – Ranking of the best high schools in Tennessee based on test scores, key statistics, and ratings

Oak Ridge High School had four 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.

An ORHS senior was one of three female students selected to represent Oak Ridge HS at the American Legion Auxiliary’s Volunteer Girls State, an annual program where over 600 high school juniors across the state convene for a week at Lipscomb University in Nashville to learn about government from the local to federal level. Samsung Corporations awards a $1,000 scholarship during the week to one female that exemplifies the ideals of Girls State.

An ORHS senior was selected as an Emory University Woodruff Scholar and earned a full 4-year scholarship.


Future Business Leaders of America students earned the following awards at the Region 6 Conference in Knoxville: 3rd Place, Accounting; 3rd Place, Introduction to Business Communication; 4th Place, Introduction to FBLA; 6th Place, Introduction to Financial Math; and Chapter Award—Silver Chapter Award for increasing membership.

Students in the Virtual Enterprise class received 1st place in Catalog and 2nd place in Newsletter awards at the Southern Regional Conference & Exhibition in Pigeon Forge.


Thirty-three students were inducted into the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica.


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, multiple student projects placed in the top 5.

Four ORHS seniors were named Semi-Finalists for the Siemens competition. Their projects were selected out of a pool of 1860 projects for this honor.

Three students received Aspirations in Computing awards from NCWIT(National Center for Women and IT).

The Cyber Patriot team received gold status for the National Cyber Patriot competition.


ORHS had a great year competing in various science competitions. Science Bowl finished first out of over sixty teams across the state and competed at the National Science Bowl Competition. Math Thesis and ESR students also competed and won several awards at SASEF.

One student scored in the top 1% at the University of Toronto 2018 National Biology Competition. That student was recognized with an International Biology Scholar with Distinction Certificate and a monetary prize.

Two students were USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) semifinalists. As the premiere biology competition for high school students in the United States, the 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.

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 earned a bronze medal at the competition.

One student was awarded honors status in the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad. Only 144 students in the country are recognized after the state examination. He was one of only two students in the state of Tennessee to achieve this very prestigious award.

One ORHS student was awarded The Rensselaer Medal. This merit scholarship, with a value of $25,000 per year, is guaranteed for four years for each Medalist who is accepted and enrolls at Rensselaer. For more than 100 years, Rensselaer, in conjunction with high schools around the world, has awarded the Rensselaer Medal to promising secondary school students who have distinguished themselves in mathematics and science.

Oak Ridge High School Physics students turned in spectacular performances on this year’s AAPT Physics Bowl exam. The exam was taken by over 7200 students representing 638 schools from around the globe. Our students competed in Region 10 which includes Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee. We had competitors in both Division I- 1st year Physics Students and Division II- 2nd year Physics Students. One student won the Division I competition as the highest scoring participant in Region 10! In the team competition we won the Division I competition and came in 3rd in the Division II competition.

AP Physics students competed at the UT Engineers Day events on October 26th. The Urban Stream Reclamation presentation team placed first in a field that included high school students, UT undergraduate and graduate students. The Robo Rage team placed 3rd.


ORHS Orchestra placed 18 students in All-East TN Orchestra, 4 students in All-State Tennessee Orchestra, 1 student in All-National Orchestra. ORHS Orchestra finished 2nd in the Chicago National Orchestra Competition. ORHS Chamber Orchestra earned all Superior ratings at ETSBOA Concert Festival and were invited to the Tennessee State Concert Festival.


Girls Basketball won the District Tournament, Region Runner-Up and Sectional Runner-Up

Track had State Qualifiers in the boys and girls 4×100 relays, girls discus, boys 4×800 relay, and girls 1600. The boys 4×800 and girls discuss made the all state team by placing in the top 8.

The ORHS Girls Tennis Team was the district winners. Boys Tennis team was the runner-up for the district.


Dr. Sharon Thomas was selected as the 2018 ETS-ACS Outstanding High School Science Teacher.

ORHS Orchestra Director, Doug Phillips was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Education from Boston University. Dr. Phillips was named one of the top orchestra teachers in the State of Tennessee by Governor Bill Haslam, and Dr. Phillips earned a CMA award from the Country Music Association as one of the top 30 music teachers in the United States.

Aaron Pickering was named a National Association for Teaching Asia Faculty Fellow for 2017-18. His high school world history lessons on the division of the Korean Peninsula and the rise of nationalism in pre-war Japan will be published in the journal Education About Asia.


RMS had 4 students compete in the regional Mathcounts competition in February. The team placed 4th overall. The TMTA High School Math Contest was held in April at Roane State Community College. RMS had 8 students who placed in the top 10.

The Robertsville Middle School chapter of the Technology Student Association (TSA) competed in 26 team and individual events at the 2018 state TSA conference in Chattanooga from April 10 – April 14, 2018. RMS TSA took home ten 1st place awards, five 2nd place awards, and six 3rd place awards.

The RMS Interact Club lived out its mission of “serving humanity by serving others before self” with several community service projects in the 2017-18 school year. Our membership was strong with 18-20 students participating in projects to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey, raising awareness about Polio, encouraging literacy by handing out over 4000 books at the Oak Ridge Christmas Parade, and raising funds to support the education of our international friend, Prya, in India. We capped off the year by attending our annual conference in Pigeon Forge in early March. We once again were awarded 2nd place for Middle School Club of the year. We’re looking forward to continued success in 2018-19!

The RMS Art Department had 4 students who had their works juried in to the East Tennessee Regional Student Art Exhibition at the Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA). This is a very prestigious show, and pieces are submitted from throughout East Tennessee.

Robertsville’s school-level Geography Bee winner advanced to the Tennessee State Geographic Bee in Nashville on April 6, 2018 and completed against 100 other students. This student had a perfect score in the preliminary round but lost a tie-breaker question, preventing from advancing to the finals.

The RMS music department continues to be recognized as a distinguished program winning top awards at festivals and competitions.

The RMS orchestra had 11 students selected to participate in the ETSBOA Jr Clinic in the fall. In the spring the 5/6 Orchestra competed in the Music Showcase Festival and the 7/8 Orchestra competed in the Music in the Parks Festival, with both groups winning 1st place.

The RMS Band had five students selected for ETSBOA Junior Clinic in 2017, placing among the top middle school band students in east Tennessee. In the spring the 7th and 8th grade RMS bands entered a concert festival with Music in the Parks. This ensemble competed against five other middle school bands from various cities located in Georgia, Ohio, and Indiana, and received first place and were among the top rated overall ensembles.

The RMS 7th and 8th grade choir competed in the Music in the Parks Festival at Six Flags over Georgia and received 1st place with a rating of Excellent. Seventh and eighth grade ensemble also performed several times in the community including Methodist Medical Center’s Turkey Day and ORS school board meetings.


At the 2017 annual conference of the Tennessee Association of School Librarians (TASL), Robertsville Middle School media specialist Scot Smith received the Clara Hasbrouck Award. This award is given to an outstanding individual who has demonstrated dedication and commitment to furthering the cause of school libraries in Tennessee by contributing time, leadership, and effort to numerous TASL activities over a period of years. Scot received this award for his work as the co-chair of Tennessee’s Volunteer State Book Award. He also served on the 2018 Michael L. Printz Committee for YALSA, a division of the American Library Association and is presently on the Teachers Advisory Council for the National Humanities Center.


2018 Jefferson Middle School Fitness Star Awards: Thirty 5th-8th grade JMS students displayed outstanding physical fitness, scoring at or above the 85th percentile on all physical fitness tests, and were awarded a GOLD Fitness Star. An additional ninety-two JMS students also displayed outstanding physical fitness and earned a SILVER Fitness Star, for scoring at or above the 50th percentile, on all physical fitness tests.

Jefferson Middle School had 3 students who participated in the 2018 Duke University Talent Identification Program’s 7th Grade Talent Search. Duke TIP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving academically gifted and talented students. The 7th Grade Talent Search identifies bright seventh graders based on standardized test scores achieved while attending elementary or middle school. Candidates are invited to take the ACT or the SAT college entrance exams as seventh graders, which allows them greater insight into their academic abilities. In addition, they gain valuable benefits and have access to unique resources for gifted students. Two students scored at state level and one scored at national level.

Jefferson Middle School was named the top school in the MakerMinded competition competing against all other schools in the state. JMS was awarded a virtual reality kit as the prize for the hard work of all involved.

Jefferson Middle School FIRST Lego League teams. The Atomic Eagles, JMS Master Builders, and RadioActive Brix participated in the Knoxville Regional Qualifier on Saturday, December 9, 2017, at Hardin Valley Academy. The JMS Master Builders received the 1st Place Core Values Trophy. The RadioActive Brix received the 2nd Place Champions Trophy. The Atomic Eagles received the 1st Place Champions Trophy and the 2nd Place Robot Performance Trophy. All three teams were invited to participate in the East Tennessee State Championship.

On February 10, 2018 three teams from Jefferson Middle school competed in the FIRST Lego League East Tennessee regional championship at Tennessee Technological University in Cookville, TN. The JMS Master Builders earned the 1st Place Robot Mechanical Design trophy. The Atomic Eagles earned the First Place Champions trophy and got to represent Tennessee at the World Festival in Houston, Texas in April, 2018.


Brian Smith was the recipient of several awards: National Geographic Geo-Inquiry Ambassador; TN Dept of Education Social Studies Textbook Panel Reviewer; Smithsonian Libraries Neville-Pribram Educators Award for an Academic Appointment to research “A History of the Scientific Revolution as Applied to the Age of Exploration; University of Tennessee Chattanooga Asia Program Faculty Fellow to develop “East Asia Middle School World History and Geography Teaching” modules; and Google Geo Teacher Institute Administrator for Professional Development held at Oak Ridge Associated University.


The Linden Track Team won the Oak Ridge Schools first annual Elementary Track Meet.


Linden Elementary Principal Roger Ward was named Oak Ridge Schools’ Principal of the Year.


Woodland Elementary School had 9 students participate in the science portion of the 2018 Da Vinci Science and Arts Fair. Two students won 1st place, two won 2nd place, and two won 3rd place awards.

Woodland’s Chess Club placed 4th in the Regional competition.


1st grade students and art teacher, Jon Purtill, won the ORNLFCU Community Art & Mural Contest which provides local artists and school art programs the opportunity to showcase their creativity in a unique fashion. The first grade self-portrait mural is painted on the wall outside the bank’s main office.


Woodmen Life began sponsoring a student recognition program at Willow Brook, called WOW Kids. WOW Kids are students who have made significant progress in academic intervention (RTI2). These students have either moved from Tier 3 to Tier 2 or from Tier 2 to Tier 1. As part of their recognition, each student receives a medal and a certificate from Woodmen Life.

Two students had their artwork accepted into the Dogwood Arts Festival Student Art Exhibition at the Thompson Center for the Arts on Maryville College campus.

Ten students had their artwork displayed at TORCH and included as illustrations for a book on homeless awareness. These students were also featured on a news segment for WVLT Channel 8 News.

Fifteen students had their art displayed at the Children’s Museums exhibit entitled, “Through the Visions of Children” which featured art from every Oak Ridge School. Seven of these student had their artwork submitted for the DaVinci Art and Science Fair.

A 4th grade student won 3rd place for her science fair project at the DaVinci Art and Science Fair.


  • 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.


  • 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.