St. Mary School in Oak Ridge celebrates 25 years as an accredited institution

St. Mary School in Oak Ridge reached a significant milestone this school year. The 2023-24 year marks 25 years of the school being an accredited institution.

While the education practices and standards and the accrediting organization’s name have changed (originally Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, then Advanced Ed, and now Cognia), the devotion of the St. Mary faculty and staff to continuous improvement and their unwavering commitment to their students has not changed, said assistant principal Kendall Doogan.

The school accreditation process is an opportunity for improvement. The organization gives the institution a framework of standards analyzed and evaluated for proficiency. The standards examine everything from policies and practices to the culture and climate of the school. Through school visits, interviews, and panel discussions, the organization evaluates the institution and provides improvement goals and areas of commendation.

St. Mary School opened its doors in 1950 and serves a student population of around 200 from five surrounding counties. It offers small class sizes from 3-year-old preschool to eighth grade. General academics are enhanced with dedicated science labs for both elementary and middle school students, physical education, music, Spanish, art (including drawing, pottery, and glasswork), library, and technology (including coding, 3D printing, keyboarding, and program usage).

For more information on the school, visit the St. Mary website at or contact the admissions office for a tour at 865-483-9700.

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