History Timeline


The Oakridge School was formed by a group of concerned parents and educators who wanted to provide a quality education for their children and for future generations.

Handley United Methodist Church (1979-1982)

In 1979, enrollment began with 85 students in Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade. The education building at Handley United Methodist Church served as the main campus while land was acquired and construction began on a permanent campus.

New Headmaster

Andy J. Broadus was appointed Headmaster.

House on Meadowbrook Drive (1981-1982)

By its third year, the Oakridge School was growing and began offering enrollment through 10th grade. The upper school classes were held at the house on Meadowbrook Drive, affectionately known as “Taco Bell.”

Handley Middle School Building (1982-1987)

As the school continued to grow, a larger campus was needed. The Handley Middle School provided the space on a temporary basis.

Early Childhood Center

In the fall of 1984, the Early Childhood Center opened.

The ECC opened with three pre-kindergarten classes and three kindergarten classes.

The Upper School

The Upper School moved to the permanent campus in the fall of 1985.

The First Graduates

In 1985, seven students became the first Oakridge graduates.

Lower School, Middle School, and the Student Activity Center

The Lower School, Middle School, and the SAC opened for the 1986-87 school year. These buildings completed the move to the permanent campus.

Lower School, Middle School, and the Student Activity Center

The Lower School, Middle School, and the SAC opened for the 1986-87 school year. These buildings completed the move to the permanent campus.

The Oakridge School Flag

The Oakridge flag is raised for the first time at the 10th birthday celebration.

ECC Extension

The extension allowed the ECC to offer classes to 3-year-old students.

Multi-Purpose Activity Center

The MAC was built to provide extra athletic space and to serve as a Fine Arts performance area.

In May 1995, the MAC was dedicated as the Amon G. Carter Activity Center.

Extension to the Lower School

The extension was built to provide a space for foreign language and a state-of-the-art technology lab.

Information Center and Fine Arts Center

The Information Center was completed in December 1999 and houses the library and the technology lab.

The Fine Arts Center was completed in May 2000 providing 32,000 sq. ft. dedicated to the arts. The Performance Hall has a 400 seat capacity.


The Garden area was established to provide an outdoor classroom dedicated to horticulture.

National Wetlands

The National Wetlands Project was completed in 2002 and is a nationally protected area and serves as a habitat for nature.

Football Stadium Dedicated

The football stadium was named in memory of alumni Jeff Conatser (Class of 1993).

47.5 Acres Purchased 

The purchase of this property allowed for Oakridge to begin construction on a state-of-the-art athletic complex.

President & New Head of School

Andy Broadus was appointed as President.

Jon Kellam was appointed as Head of School. 

Security Center

The Security Center was completed in September 2007 and provides a friendly and secure welcome to the campus.

Quinn Family Kindergarten Center

The Kindergarten Center was completed in the summer of 2011.

It provides four innovative classrooms and a multipurpose area.

Building Renamed

The Early Childhood Center is named the Betty Garvin Garton Quinn Family Kindergarten Center.

New Campus Name 

The campus is named the Andy J. Broadus Campus.

New Building Name

New campus building housing performance hall, fine arts classrooms, and galleries named John P. Flavin Fine Arts Center.

Frank Field Opens

New football field opens at the Oakridge Athletic Complex.

The Oakridge School - Looking Ahead to the Future…

Over the past 40-plus years, the Oakridge family has strived to maintain the core values set forth by the founding families.

It was and continues to be our mission to inspire students to seek their full potential in academics, the arts, and athletics in a challenging and nurturing environment that cultivates social responsibility, mutual respect, and personal integrity.

Our vision for the future is to attain national recognition as a college preparatory school that provides educational excellence grounded in responsible character development and ethical leadership.

“The Oakridge School… a school like no other!”

Sharing Stories from Oakridge's Past, Present, and Future

Betty Garton, who retired in June 2019 as director of the Early Childhood Center, served Oakridge for 37 years. She discusses the warm sense of family that so many of our students, faculty, and staff come to know and feel.

Choosing a school that is a good fit is important. As we celebrated 40 years, longtime French teacher, Debbe Sable, explained how "fit" factored into her children's successes at Oakridge. Debbe retired in 2020 after more than three decades at Oakridge.

He captured thousands of stories through his lens. Retired School Photographer Monte Borders reflected on the moments that mattered most to him as Oakridge marked its 40th anniversary in 2019.

From the moment most people step onto our campus, they remark about its beauty. As we celebrated our 40th anniversary in 2019, Head of School Jon Kellam reflected on his first time seeing Oakridge and discussed the school's outlook.

Businessman, former pro athlete, and alumnus Jay Fitzgerald in 2019 talked about Oakridge's commitment to preparing students for college and life.

Educator Ashley Read has a unique perspective. The "Alpha and Omega" Owls talks about what it is like to be a student, alumna, parent, and staff member at Oakridge.

Owls today enjoy a beautiful Fine Arts Performance Hall, spacious library, and well-resourced administrative offices. In the late 1990s, a capital campaign raised $6 million to make these campus staples possible. John Esch, then-campaign chair, along with his son, alumnus Gregor Esch, talk about what stands out in their minds about that special time in Oakridge history.

From the very beginning, faculty and staff worked diligently to attain accreditation and national recognition. Retired Oakridge Administrator Rick Horvath discusses the early building blocks.

While much has changed since the opening of Oakridge, the heart and soul of who we are has not. In 2019, Head of School Jon Kellam and Retired Headmaster and President Andy Broadus explained.

Corliss Elsesser is a founding Faculty Member and Alumna Parent. She experienced much during her time in education, but see why she calls Oakridge "one of the most special schools" she's ever been involved with an how Oakridge prepared her daughter for a top college.

Culture is everything. Oakridge Regent and Alumnus Parent Michael Heiskell in 2019 discussed the nurturing feeling of community that allowed him to entrust Oakridge with educating his children.

Former Regent, Staff, and Alumna Parent Marilynn DeVore reflects on her daughter's time at Oakridge, which helped her to explore her many interests and to succeed in college and beyond.

Dr. James Shadle is among the early founders who helped to set the parameters for what Oakridge would become. The former Regent, Board Chair, and Alumni Parent discusses the dreams, which are impacting students today.