Benjamin Fowler and Julie Golden of Oak Ridge High School and Scot Smith of Robertsville Middle School have been named as Outstanding Educators for 2017 by Humanities Tennessee. Three of this year’s six recipients of the award are from Oak Ridge Schools. According to Humanities Tennessee, the Outstanding Educator Awards recognize teachers who have demonstrated excellence in teaching the humanities and who encourage the humanities to be an important part of their students’ lives. Each of the recipients, selected from a pool of nominees from across the state, receive a $2,000 fellowship to further their professional development in the humanities; their schools receive $1,500 for humanities programs and materials, a press release said. [Read more…]
Submitted by Oak Ridge Schools
On November 13, Oak Ridge Schools employees took part in the 2015 “Jeans For Troops” fundraising drive benefiting the GI Go Fund, a nonprofit organization that helps veterans returning home find employment, go to college, access their health care and financial benefits, and link to housing.
During the drive, in which schools and companies from all across the country participate, Oak Ridge Schools gave their employees the opportunity to wear jeans to work in exchange for a $5 donation to the GI Go Fund.
“I am so very proud of our staff who honored military veterans and their families through this fun event,” Superintendent Bruce Borchers said.
“For generations, America’s teachers have been responsible for educating America’s children,” said GI Go Fund Executive Director Jack Fanous. “They have always been individuals that mothers and fathers could rely on to set a positive example for their children. This Veterans Day, teachers around the country have set the example to our nation’s children that this is a day to remember the men and women who have fought and died to preserve our liberties, our freedoms, and the American way of life.” [Read more…]
Note: This story was last updated at 11 p.m.
CLINTON—The Anderson County Commission has again approved a 10-cent tax rate increase for 2 percent pay raises for county employees, teachers, and school staff, and this time the result is final.
The first attempt in July ended in a legislative stalemate when commissioners failed to raise the tax rate by 10 cents, even though the budget they had passed earlier anticipated that increase. Commissioners first vote on the budget and then vote on the tax rate.
In their second attempt on Thursday, August 13, commissioners first approved budgets with the total 10-cent increase and then raised the tax rate by 10 cents. That ended a long process that began as early as May and included seven meetings, according to one official.
“We’re just relieved that the process is finally over,” said Rachel Minardo, president of the Anderson County Education Association. [Read more…]
There will be a community tour of Oak Ridge Schools on Tuesday, August 25, and 20 slots are available.
“Come visit elementary, middle, and high school classrooms,” a press release said. “See how Oak Ridge teachers and students are teaching and learning while school is in session.”
The tour is scheduled from 8 a.m.-2:45 p.m. Tuesday, August 25.
The day will begin at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, then will proceed through an elementary, middle, and high school for classroom visits. Lunch will be provided. [Read more…]
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…]
Teachers in Oak Ridge and Clinton have been selected to serve on the first Governor’s Teacher Cabinet.
The Oak Ridge teacher, Cathy Ginel, is a seventh-grade science teacher at Robertsville Middle School. The Clinton teacher, Abbey Kidwell, is a fourth-grade teacher at South Clinton Elementary School.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced the appointment of the 18 teachers to the cabinet on Tuesday.
The cabinet will meet quarterly with Haslam and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen to share real-time information from the classroom, give advice on policy considerations, and provide a direct line of communication to schools and communities, a press release said. [Read more…]
Information from WYSH Radio
The Anderson County Board of Education will meet in a special-called session at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night (May 26) in the boardroom on the fifth floor of the Jolley Building in downtown Clinton.
The board is expected to discuss a compromise put forward by its Budget Committee to seek 2 percent raises for county teachers instead of the 4 percent raises they initially called for in budget negotiations. Funding just those raises at 4 percent would require the equivalent of a 23.5-cent property tax increase, which is highly unlikely to be approved by the Anderson County Commission.
Budget deliberations are continuing, and adjustments are still being made to the system’s proposal for the new fiscal year that begins July 1, including a reported $800,000 in cuts made last week by school officials.
Following this evening’s special-called meeting, BOE members are expected to meet with county commissioners to continue working on the fiscal blueprint for 2015-2016.
To the Editor:
We have a unique opportunity for this community to come together, not just for the good of the schools, but for the good of the people.
The Oak Ridge school system is a big draw for newcomers to the area. When our family chose to relocate to East Tennessee, the Oak Ridge school’s reputation was a large factor in purchasing a home here and joining this community. As our oldest moves through elementary school, I can say this was the best decision for our family.
Oak Ridge is filled with teachers who truly care for their students. And, the Preschool is no different.
The Oak Ridge Preschool is an essential, irreplaceable entity that serves so many families. Two of my children have had the privilege of attending the Preschool and growing through the care of the teachers and staff. [Read more…]
By Laurie Paine
What do you think of when you hear that number? As a parent, I can tell you that if that was my child’s grade I would be heartbroken, concerned.
“How can I help?” would be my next thought.
47 percent is roughly how many Oak Ridge students are economically disadvantaged. This is one of the most frequently quoted statistics recently, and sadly, it is often used to justify spending for less-than-stellar results. Rarely, the children behind this number are even given a face or a name…
So who are the 47 percent? [Read more…]
Aaron Wells, a lifelong Oak Ridger and president of the Boys and Girls Club of Oak Ridge, is running for Oak Ridge Board of Education in the November 4 municipal election, a press release said.
“Over the last two decades, I have spent countless hours coaching, mentoring, and fundraising for the youth in our town,” Wells said in the release. “After much prayer and discussion, my wife Melissa and I made the decision that I would run for school board.”
If elected, Wells said he will focus on achieving four priorities.
“First and foremost, I commit to truly listen to our teachers and integrate their feedback into all of my decisions,” Wells said. “Teachers are the lifeblood of our schools, and they know better than anyone how to make our students successful. We can no longer afford to ignore their invaluable feedback and concerns. The Board of Education must fight to restore to them the freedom they need to do what they do best—inspire and educate our children.” [Read more…]
Local teachers within 50-mile radius encouraged to file intent to apply by Oct. 15
Oak Ridge Associated Universities is now accepting applications for its $25,000 Extreme Classroom Makeover competition. Now in its seventh year, the competition provides the latest educational technologies to update one teacher’s classroom. Interested teachers must file their intent to apply no later than October 15.
The contest is open to public school math and science teachers who teach grades third through 10th and are located within a 50-mile radius of Oak Ridge. Entrants must have the written consent of their principals and, if chosen, be willing to have their 2015-2016 classroom experience highlighted on the Internet and in various media outlets. Teachers, students, and even parents whose children are benefiting from this initiative will be invited to blog about this year-long experience on the Extreme Classroom website. [Read more…]
To the Editor:
Aaron Wells is holding a fundraiser this Thursday night, September 25, between 6 and 8 p.m. at Razzleberry’s in Jackson Square. He is running for a non-partisan seat on the Oak Ridge Board of Education. Congressman Fleischmann and Lawrence Hahn will be attending the event, and Anne and I would love to see you there.
Aaron values the importance of inspiring, high quality teachers in education. He wants to help Oak Ridge schools maintain their superb reputation in the future, especially since his own child will be going through this school system. [Read more…]