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A look at the Oak Ridge High School Class of 2022


May 24, 2022 #Class, #High, #Oak, #Ridge, #School

D. Ray Smith

This two-part series on the Oak Ridge High School Class of 2022 is provided by Benita Albert and Jessica Steed. It has become an annual tradition for them and appreciated by “Historically Speaking” readers. Enjoy this look back and forward with their perspective on the ORHS Class of 2022!


“I will never forget metamorphic rocks, and the lesson on it from my Woodland Elementary third grade teacher, Mrs. (Gail) Fillers,” recalled Alexandra “Alex” Shanafield, an ORHS Class of 2022 soon-to-be graduate. “Meta rocks are made with heat and pressure, and we lived it by making S’mores sandwiches, wrapping them in baggies, and sitting on them while we watched a long movie on dinosaurs.”

Walker Rice at Blankenship Field, where he played football throughout high school (photo taken by Chad Steed Photography)

She also remembers making a packet of memories in third grade, including a letter to herself which will be returned to her upon her ORHS graduation.

She said, “I look forward to reading the goals I set for my future and seeing how my third-grade dreams apply to my life now.”

Alex, who has matriculated through all grades K-12 in the Oak Ridge Schools, is the daughter of Harold and Jane Shanafield.

Memories of third grade at Woodland School for Amelie Nagle include the assigned “countries project.” Each student was required to choose a country, do research, and prepare a presentation. Amelie chose Ukraine, the country of her maternal ancestors. Her presentation included many mementos, a tri-fold poster, and Amelie attired in costume.

Sam Livesay with the NJROTC in Hawaii for the 80th observance of Pearl Harbor Day.
Alex Shanafield and Amelie Nagle with the Secret City Wildbots’ competition robot they helped create.

She said, “My Ukrainian grandmother loaned me the blouse, vest, and skirt to wear. The headpiece was made by my great-aunt using ribbons from the headpiece that my great-grandmother owned.”

This revelation, an especially poignant one in the spring of 2022 when Ukraine is now at war, prompted me to ask about her family’s safety. Amelie said that distant relatives remained in Ukraine, though she was unaware of their current status. Amelie, who has been in the Oak Ridge Schools from first through 12th grades, is the daughter of Nicholas and Roxanne Nagle.


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