Boys and Girls Club Memorial Scholarships announced

Boys and Girls Club of Oak Ridge Scholarships 2015

Pictured above from left to right are Ann Likens, Boys and Girls Club unit board
chair; scholarship recipients J. Lynn Dillon, Zach Kassner, and Ragan Anderson; Lawrence Hahn,
executive director emeritus; and Adam Wilson, unit director. (Submitted photo)


The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Clinch Valley recently awarded its scholarships for 2015.

The 2015 Boys and Girls Club of Oak Ridge Memorial Scholarships are in honor of Mike Anderson, Charles Burger, David Hahn, Kevin Hurt, Charles Kennedy, Baxter Underwood, and Jim Vines.

The 2015 recipients are J. Lynn Dillon, Zach Kassner, and Ragan Anderson.

Alternative Program at ORHS renamed Secret City Academy

Oak Ridge Alternative Program

The Alternative Program is housed in the G Building at Oak Ridge High School.


The Oak Ridge Alternative Program has been renamed the Secret City Academy.

The Oak Ridge Board of Education unanimously approved the name change in a voice vote during its June meeting. Staff and students had previously weighed in on the name change.

Here was the rationale, according to a May meeting agenda for the Oak Ridge Board of Education:

[Read more…]

Roane State selected as Center for Academic Excellence in Geospatial Sciences

Roane State Community College, working in partnership with Oak Ridge Associated Universities, was recently selected as a designated Center for Academic Excellence in Geospatial Sciences.

Roane State, which offers one-year and two-year programs in geographic information systems, or GIS, was the only community college chosen for the program and joins 17 CAE GS academic institutions nationwide. Organized by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, the CAE GS program is a new endeavor designed to cultivate centers of academic excellence in geospatial sciences such as GIS.

“We are honored that our GIS program is recognized among several outstanding universities,” said Diane Ward, Roane State’s vice president of student learning. “The college’s selection for the program is a great example of the key role community colleges play in science, technology, engineering, and math education.” [Read more…]


UT Arboretum Society presents Geocaching Workshop on July 28

The University of Tennessee Arboretum Society is sponsoring an Introduction to Geocaching Workshop for rising fifth- through eighth-grade students on Tuesday, July 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UT Arboretum.

The cost is $15 and is payable in advance. Advance registration is required, with a limit of 16 participants.

Students will learn the basics of using a GPS device, determining location, inputting waypoints, following a short course, hiding a cache, and finding caches hidden by others, a press release said. The Arboretum Society will provide the GPS devices for the class to use.

Janet Bigelow, a UTAS board member, will teach this workshop with help from other UTAS members. She is a semi-retired middle school teacher with 41 years of indoor and outdoor classroom experience. [Read more…]

Anderson County teachers disappointed as commissioners delay vote on budget, pay raise

Anderson County Budget Committee and Rachel Minardo, Chris Phillips, and Connie Aytes

Rachel Minardo, right, a first-grade teacher at Claxton Elementary School and president of the Anderson County Education Association, asks for a 4 percent pay raise for county teachers and school staff during a May 28 public hearing on the county budget. Also pictured are Chris Phillips, left, director of accounts and budgets for Anderson County, and Connie Aytes, deputy budget director.


CLINTON—Anderson County teachers were disappointed as they watched county commissioners postpone a vote on the budget and a possible 4 percent pay raise on Tuesday.

But they’ll be back on Monday, June 29, for the next meeting of the Anderson County Commission, said Rachel Minardo, a first-grade teacher at Claxton Elementary School and president of the Anderson County Education Association.

It’s not clear if the 16-member Commission will agree to fund the school system’s request for a 4 percent raise for all teachers and staff. That’s what the Anderson County Board of Education unanimously recommended last month. The request could require the equivalent of an 18-cent increase in the property tax rate.

But during debate over proposed pay raises for some county employees on Tuesday, several commissioners said they want to be consistent and fair to all workers. [Read more…]

Preschool concerns over paint, Head Start funding reaching resolution

Oak Ridge Schools School Administration Building

Concerns over federal funding, lead-based paint, and the Oak Ridge Preschool appear to be reaching a resolution. And that ought to be good news for parents and staff members who have been worried during the past year that the program could lose federal money and even have part of its program shut down.

There have been two separate concerns, one related to lead-based paint at the Oak Ridge Schools Preschool and the other related to the reported falsification of federal data.

Work to repair the lead-based paint could start June 29, Preschool Principal Charlsey Cofer said after a Monday night meeting of the Oak Ridge Board of Education.

And a one-year probationary period with an on-site monitor for the Head Start program ends the next day, on June 30. That monitor was put into place last year as part of a 10-point plan worked out by Anderson County and Oak Ridge schools in April 2014 after concerns were raised about the falsification of federal data at the Oak Ridge Preschool, specifically reports on the motor skills of children.

Oak Ridge Schools will now do its own monitoring, but Anderson County Schools, which supervises the local Head Start program, can come in at any time. [Read more…]

RSI awards eight scholarships to local students

RSI Scholarships 2015

Scholarship recipients and RSI managers pictured left to right are Staci Ferguson, RSI vice president; Abby Colvais; Peter Caswell, RSI vice president; Sierra Sims; Lonnie Goss; Dmitry Petrov; Morgan Cleveland; Jackson Lloyd; and Paul Clay, RSI President. Not pictured are Christian Ironside and Tyler Moore. (Submitted photo)


Restoration Services Inc. and its voluntary Employee Outreach Committee have offered eight $1,000 college scholarships to “help students achieve their greatest potential through higher education,” a press release said.

Six scholarships were awarded to graduating high school students who will be attending college in the upcoming fall 2015 semester. The remaining two scholarships were awarded to children of RSI employees who are upcoming sophomores, juniors, or seniors currently enrolled in an accredited college for the 2015 fall semester. Scholarship recipients were selected from submitted applications that included academic accomplishments, community involvement and leadership roles, and an essay on current environmental threats.

The scholarship recipients entering college are: [Read more…]

Green named girls basketball coach, one half of husband-wife coaching duo

Paige Green

Paige Green

Paige Green has been named the new girls basketball coach at Oak Ridge High School, making her one half of a husband-wife coaching duo. Green’s husband, Aaron Green, is the boys basketball coach.

The appointment was announced Wednesday and went into effect immediately. Green, who has an impressive résumé as a player and has coached middle school and AAU basketball, will replace David Scott, who announced his decision to resign in late May. Scott cited family reasons after a second stint as coach.

It’s not unprecedented to have a husband-wife coaching duo. Aaron Green said he knows of two other similar coaching couples, the McWilliams at Upperman High School near Cookeville and Keith and Jennifer Galloway at Hardin Valley Academy. [Read more…]

Mapping a Difference: Roane State student charts Remote Area Medical services

Chris Zerr

Chris Zerr

Roane State Community College Geographic Information Systems (GIS) student Chris Zerr said she has “loved maps since I was a little kid.”

“They’re like putting together a puzzle that has lots of pieces. Maps allow you to discover what’s there and what’s not there,” she said.

Maps that Zerr recently designed are helping people discover where they can find affordable and often much-needed medical care.

As an honors project for Roane State, Zerr focused on an organization that benefits thousands of people. Remote Area Medical, or RAM as most people know it, was established in 1985 by Stan Brock to provide basic medical care through mobile clinic events in underserved, isolated or impoverished communities. [Read more…]

Letter: Chamber board lists spending priorities

Note: This is a copy of a June 8 letter from the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce and its Board of Directors to Mayor Warren Gooch and members of City Council, and Chairman Keys Fillauer and the Board of Education.

Mayor Gooch and Chairman Fillauer:

The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted, following the recommendation of our Advocacy Committee, to request the following be given serious consideration as discussions and voting occurs for your respective Fiscal Year 2016 budgets.

Spending Priorities:

  • Development and funding of a prioritized capital improvement plan for infrastructure improvements such as city/school buildings, streets, utilities, etc.
  • Pay increase for Oak Ridge Schools teachers and staff and City of Oak Ridge staff.
  • Waterfront improvements.

While we understand that the city is faced with adjusting the tax rate to reconcile with lower property appraisals, we do feel strongly that the city needs to prioritize spending around these three areas in order to position Oak Ridge as a community of choice for new and expanding businesses and residents.


Melinda Hillman

Chairman of the Board


Parker Hardy


Eighty percent of ORHS Class of 2015 attends Graduation Celebration

Graduation Celebration 2015

Photo courtesy Matt Reedy/City of Oak Ridge


Eighty percent of the Oak Ridge High School Class of 2015 attended the 18th annual Graduation Celebration in May, organizers said.

Graduation Celebration was Thursday, May 28, at the Oak Ridge Civic Center. It’s made possible by gifts from local residents and businesses, a press release said.

Each year, more than $25,000 is raised to host the event on graduation night. Graduates are invited to the free party, where they can win cash and prizes like Bonnaroo tickets or up to $3,000 cash at the finale. [Read more…]

ORHS cheerleaders have pancake breakfast fundraiser on Saturday

The Oak Ridge High School cheerleaders have a fundraising pancake breakfast at Applebee’s in Oak Ridge on Saturday.

The pancake breakfast is scheduled from 8-10 a.m. Saturday, June 20. The cost is $5. Tickets will be sold at the door.