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 parts created by Fused Filament Fabrication” was published in Polymer.

Dr. Renee Colquitt was selected to participate in a National Science Foundation project titled “Building on Strengths.” The week-long professional development program, conducted at Iowa State University, focused on bridging the gap between mathematicians of color and mathematics teachers of color. Each teacher was paired up with a mathematician for the academic year to collaborate and bring applied mathematics into the classroom.


 The RMS Art Department had 5 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.  One student received the “Best Middle School Piece” for the region.  In addition, another art student won the award for Best 8th Grade Work in the Dogwood Arts Festival Synergy Exhibit.

A Robertsville Middle School 8th grade student advanced to the Tennessee State Geographic Bee in Nashville, where he completed against 100 other students.  Though he did not make the finals, he did an outstanding job this year and during his 4-year tenure as Robertsville’s school-level champion.

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

The RMS orchestra had 4 students selected to participate in the ETSBOA Jr Clinic in the fall.  In the spring the 5th and 6th grade Orchestras participated in the Music Showcase Festival at Dollywood, where they competed against 4 other groups and not only won best overall orchestra but also won section awards. The 7th and 8th grade Orchestras competed in the Music in the Parks Festival at Six Flags over Georgia, receiving the second highest score awarded at the festival.

The RMS 7th & 8th grade Chorus competed in the Music in the Parks Festival along with JMS at Douglas County High School, Georgia, in the Middle School Mixed Chorus division.  Later that day, at Six Flags Over Georgia, we were awarded First Place in the overall mixed chorus competition with a rating of Superior which is the highest rating available to performance groups.  Superior ratings include scores of 90-100 on a performance rubric. Oak Ridge Middle Schools (RMS & JMS) received a total score of 91.


On April 6, 2019, students from the JMS 7th and 8th grade Chorus (combined with students from the RMS 7th and 8th grade Chorus) received First Place and a rating of “Superior” in the Music in the Parks competition festival in Atlanta, Georgia, under the direction of Amanda Wilson (JMS) and Jaime Downs (RMS).

2019 Jefferson Middle School Fitness Star Awards: 31 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 104 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.

The Jefferson Middle School FIRST LEGO League teams competed in the Marble City Qualifier in Saturday, December 1, 2018 at Hardin Valley Academy. The Atomic Eagles received the 2nd Place Champions Trophy and the 3rd Place Robot Performance Trophy. The Radioactive Brix received the 3rd Place Champions Trophy and the 2nd Place Robot Performance Trophy. The Jefferson Middle School Master Builders received the 1st Place Robot Design Trophy. All three teams advanced to the East Tennessee State Championship at Tennessee Tech University on February 9, 2019. At the state level, the Radioactive Brix received the 3rd Place

Programming Trophy. The JMS Master Builders received the 2nd Place Robot Mechanical Design Trophy and the 1st Place Robot Performance Trophy. The Atomic Eagles received the 1st Place Programming Trophy and 3rd Place Robot Performance Trophy.

The Jefferson Lady Eagles Volleyball Team finished the season with an undefeated record of 16-0. The Lady Eagles won the Area 2 Large School District Tournament on September 25th, defeating Norris in the Championship Match, by a score of 25-19, 26-24.  A Jefferson 8th grader was named the District Tournament MVP.  We also had two 8th Graders named to the All-Tournament Team.  The Lady Eagles also won the City Championship and the Regular Season District Championship.  The entire team had an exceptional season.

JMS had a 7th grader win first place in the 2019 Map Competition for Tennessee Students: Middle School Division.

An 8th grader was the winner of the 2019 JMS Spelling Bee and went on to represent JMS in the Southern Appalachia Regional Bee at the UT Campus on March 16, 2019.

JMS students, in conjunction with the Dream It, Do It! competition, were presented with an award for their efforts. The project was designed for students to get an inside look into the day in the life of a worker at partnering industry. The JMS team was paired with Eagle Bend Manufacturing and created an amazing video that highlighted the opportunities from entry level to retirement a worker could have at Eagle Bend over the course of a 20 year career.

The JMS 7th and 8th grade band competed in the Music in the Parks competition at Kings Island in the Cincinnati, OH area. They were awarded 1st place Middle School Concert Band with a Superior Rating. Also, the Jr. High/Middle School Overall Award and the Esprit de Corps Award (best overall of competition with most spirit, pride and professionalism).

JMS Chess Team came in 1st place in the regionals at Lenoir City. They placed 7th in the state.

The 2018-2019 Jefferson Cheer Squad attended UCA Cheer Camp at Tennessee Tech, where they earned 1st Place in Cheer Competition, 2nd Place in Rally Routine Championship, and 1st Place Overall Junior High Cheer Squad.

The Jefferson Lady Eagles Basketball team finished the 2018-2019 season 14-9.  Jefferson had an 8th Grader named to the 2019 District All-Tournament Team.

The JMS Interact Club completed multiple service projects throughout the year.  While attending the Interact District Conference, our club was awarded the plaque for Second Place Middle School Club of the Year.


Jefferson Middle School Principal, Mr. Phil Cox, was named Oak Ridge Schools’ Principal of the Year.


The Linden Track Team won the Oak Ridge Schools second annual Elementary Track Meet. They are back to back champions.

The Linden Chess Team finished 3rd in the region and qualified for the state tournament.


Woodland had seven participants in the Science Fair.  Woodland students won 3rd place in the 3rd grade Physical Science division, 2nd place in the 4th grade Physical Science division, and 1st place in the 4th grade Earth and Life Science division.  A Woodland student also won the overall Grand Prize for the DaVinci Science Fair.

A Woodland student also won the 2nd place STEAM award for an art project with a science theme.


Then Glenwood Elementary track team received 2nd in the boys 800, 1st in the boys 100, 1st in the Boys relay team, 2nd in the girls relay team, and 3rd in the girls 100.

Two students had art work accepted into the Dogwood Arts show.

A student from Glenwood was awarded the Pickle Ball scholarship for the 2019 summer season.


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.  One of those students was the winner for first grade.

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.

Twelve students had their artwork submitted for the DaVinci Art and Science Fair and a 4th grade student won 3rd place for her artwork.


Melanie Bloomer was named Oak Ridge Schools’ Teacher of the Year.

Karen Clark was appointed by Lieutenant Governor, Randy McNally, to serve on the State Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission.  This is a 3-year post.