2021 New Faculty & Staff

Light of Leadership

2021 Light of Leadership Mass

On August 13th St. Mary’s School held their annual Light of Leadership Mass. During this Mass, the 8th graders fill the roles of Readers, Ushers, Cantors, and Gift Bearers. At the conclusion of Mass, the class receives a special blessing as they are elevated to be the leaders of the school. They are given a blessed Miraculous Medal of Mary, the Mother of God, the patroness of the school, and a lit candle. Upon receiving the medal, the class recites:  

Heavenly Father, please form my intellect that I may discover what is true. 

May your grace strengthen me to choose the good 

And guide my body to do what is good. 

Help me, Father, to follow You  

And to love well by willing the true good of those You place in my path each day. 

Help me to lay down my life for those around me. 

By all my actions, may I inspire my fellow classmates to greatness of soul,  

So that we may achieve our final goal of life with You in heaven. 

Please finish this good work You have begun in me 

That with Blessed Mary, Ever Virgin, Saint Dominic, Saint John Paul and all the saints 

I may praise you forever in heaven.  Amen. 


The class then processes with the priest and deacon to the front of the school where they place their lights before a statue of Jesus and the Children.  The 8th graders then proclaim: 

Dear Jesus, help to spread your fragrance everywhere I go; 

Flood my soul with your spirit and life; 

Penetrate and possess my whole being so completely  

That all my life may be only a radiance of yours; 

Shine through me and be so in me  

That everyone with whom I come into contact 

May feel your presence within me. 

Let them look up and see no longer me—but only Jesus.  Amen. 


The Light of Leadership Mass is a relatively new tradition to the school. It started within the last decade. Despite its newness, it is a milestone that 8th graders have come to look forward to and signifies the start of their final year at St. Mary’s.  

Family Service

A Family Ready to Serve the Lord!

Sr. Scholastica Niemann, OP, and her nieces and nephew after Sunday Mass at St. Mary Church.

Sr. Scholastic graduated from St. Mary’s School and Knoxville Catholic High School. Her nieces Tennison and Maria Barnes graduated from St. Mary’s School and are now attending Knoxville Catholic School. Her niece, Lucy Barnes, and nephew, Dewey Barnes, currently attend St. Mary’s School in the seventh and fourth grade respectively. Her sister, Tatjana (Niemann) Barnes teaches Pre-School, 3-year-old class at St. Mary’s. Truly a family ready to serve the Lord and His children!


Oak Ridger Article on the Fall Festival

Saint Mary’s Parish’s Fall Festival featured in the Oak Ridger.

Oak Ridger Article

Light of Leadership Mass 2020

8th Grader Wins Essay Contest

SMS Student Caleb Beauchamp takes 1st place in the regional Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest

St. Mary’s School Congratulates Caleb Beauchamp for taking 1st place in the regional Patriot’s Pen Youth Essay Contest conducted annually by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The VFW website describes the essay as an opportunity for students in grades 6 – 8 to “examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief.”

Each year more than 138,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen Youth Essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $900,000 in state and national awards. Each first place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

Caleb’s essay was chosen from among all of those submitted to VFW Post 12051. In addition to his essay being chosen and winning $100, Caleb’s essay will advance to the state level.

Students Place High in Regional Science Fair at UTK

Article from the East Tennessee Catholic

Students at St. Mary School in Oak Ridge continued their tradition of success at the Southern Appalachian Science & Engineering Fair (SASEF), this year held virtually due to Covid-19 on March 30th, 2020.

The annual St. Mary School middle school science fair was held Feb. 6th. Projects were divided into two categories, biological and physical sciences. Awards were determined by an expert panel of judges representing local civic organizations, industry, and educational entities. Fourteen St. Mary students received awards, making them eligible to compete at the regional SASEF at the University of Tennessee on March 30th.

The SASEF is sponsored by UT and numerous local companies and agencies and draws students from 23 counties in East Tennessee. The goal of the fair is to promote teaching the scientific method in science, engineering, and math. Over the past 20 years, 13 St. Mary students have been named grand champion or reserve champion at SASEF.  This year, St. Mary’s had 6 students, representing 5 projects entered into the Fair and those 5 projects won a total of 7 awards.  The following awards were received this year by St. Mary’s Students:

  • THE SASEF LOCAL AWARD-Southern Appalachian Science and Science and Engineering Fair staff presents $50 cash awards and certificates and to our favorite projects:
    • Music to My Ears By: Maverick Queern
  •  Junior Division Honorable Mention –SASEF awards the distinction of honorable mention to those students whose projects were determined by the judges to be of exceptional merit.
    • Dropping Like Flies By: Tennison Barnes and Isabella Zolnierczuk
    • Music to My Ears By: Maverick Queern
    • Is it Worth Dying For? By: Sarah Duhamel
    • Set Them Up and Knock Them Down By: Jonas Tilson
  • Junior Division Certificate of Excellence Awards-The Certificate of Excellence Award is given to those students whose project was determined by the judges to be of exceptional merit and deserving of higher honors. Each Certificate of Excellence winner will receive at least $50.
    • There MITE BEE a Problem By: Victoria Corbett
  • Overall Junior Division Award Winners: $75 Award
    • 4th There MITE BEE a Problem By: Victoria Corbet