History of OKE


Orchard Knob Elementary School is located at 2000 E. 3rd St. and is bounded by Orchard Knob Ave. and Willow St. The school first opened in 1902 as the Tenth District School. Its present site, adjacent to the National Site to commenorate the Battle of Ochard Knob, was selected in 1904 and the school was renamed Orchard Knob Elementary. The new name was selected to relect the historical connection of the Civil War site. 

Professor John Williams was the first Principal of the school, which included grades one through twelve. At that time, children who entered school reading were placed in the first grade; those who were not reading were placed in the "charcoal class" which is equivlent to our present-day kindergarten.

The school burned down during the period when Mr. Billingsley served as principal. The building was later replaced. When the community was incorporated into the city of Chattanooga in 1962, Orchard Knob became a city school.

Over the years, many physical and educational changes have taken place. By 1945, the school served grades one through nine. In 1968, new classrooms were added. The building contained thirty-two classrooms designed to accommodate up to thirty-five students per room. In 1989 OKE merged with Highland Park Elementary and now serves students in grades pre-k through five.  In 2008 a new school was built to replace the previous on the same property.

The new school serves more than five hundred students in grades pre-k through five, from various backgrounds and cultures. The present administration includes Principal Mr. LaFrederick Thirkill, and one Assistant Principal Mrs. Jennifer Brownlee.

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