“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Oak Ridge in Anderson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Oak Ridge Schools

Oak Ridge Schools Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, December 30, 2017
1. Oak Ridge Schools Marker
Inscription.  The need for good schools here posed special problems. The large transplanted population wanted schools at least as good as those they left behind, and the school population was destined to skyrocket from 830 in October 1943 to 8,223 in October 1945 as families streamed in from every state. The first superintendent, Alden H. Blankenship, was a truly remarkable educator. He did a masterful job of recruiting top-notch staff and almost overnight created an innovative, high-quality school system. The first senior class of 25 graduated in June 1944, and the “Wildcats” football team played their first game that fall. Three existing county schools that had previously served the rural area were put to use immediately: Wheat, Robertsville, and Scarboro in Bethel Valley. Two new schools, Elm Grove Elementary and the original Oak Ridge High School on Kentucky Avenue, were completed in time for the October 1943 opening. The town grew quickly and so did new neighborhood elementary schools: Cedar Hill, Fairview, Gamble Valley, Glenwood, Highland View, Linden, and Pine Valley. But school enrollment levels mirrored plant employment; with the big
Oak Ridge Schools Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, December 30, 2017
2. Oak Ridge Schools Marker
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postwar layoffs at Y-12 in 1946, enrollments dropped by 1,200 to 7,000 students. Oak Ridge schools were excellent from the start; administrators trusted their staff and gave them the freedom and resources to do their best. Parents were heavily involved in and committed to quality education. The Secret City schools established high educational standards that have been sustained and enhanced in the years since. Oak Ridge schools continue to provide fine educational opportunities for all children; their excellence is nationally recognized and a source of great community pride.

Erected in Honor of the Teachers, Administrators, and Staff Who Built the Outstanding School Systems of the Secrete City By the Oak Ridge School System, June 2005.
Erected 2005 by Oak Ridge School System.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EducationWar, World II. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee - Oak Hill - Secret City Commemorative Walk series list. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1943.
Location. 36° 0.82′ N, 84° 15.474′ W. Marker is in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in Anderson County. Marker is at the intersection of Oak Ridge Turnpike (Tennessee Route 95) and South Tulane Avenue, on the right when traveling east on Oak Ridge Turnpike. Marker located

Alden H. Blankenship image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse
3. Alden H. Blankenship
in Alvin K. Bissell Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Oak Ridge TN 37830, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 1946 (here, next to this marker); 1948 (here, next to this marker); Manhattan Engineer District – USAEC (here, next to this marker); Oak Ridge and the Manhattan Project (here, next to this marker); 1942 (here, next to this marker); Y-12 – The Calutron Plant (here, next to this marker); Construction Workers (here, next to this marker); 1945 (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oak Ridge.
Also see . . .  Secret City Commemorative Walk. (Submitted on January 6, 2018, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee.)
Secret City Commemorative Walk image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, December 30, 2017
4. Secret City Commemorative Walk
Credits. This page was last revised on January 25, 2018. It was originally submitted on January 6, 2018, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 164 times since then and 4 times this year. Last updated on January 12, 2018, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 6, 2018, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jan. 26, 2022