Skip To Main Content

What's Happening on The Ridge

2024 Jake Thomas Award Winners

Several years ago, one of our students, Jake Thomas, passed away, not long after this celebration. Jake chose kindness each day and was a friend to all. Therefore, in honor and remembrance, we have created an opportunity to continue his legacy each year here on The Ridge.

This Jake Thomas Award is one of the best, because it honors students who continually make the right choices and do the right thing every day. The recipients of this award have proved to be like Jake in how they treat all of those around them. MRIS is proud to offer $100.00 gift cards to each recipient of the Jake Thomas Award. Jake had a passion for running, and because of that, he became a great runner, so we want the recipients to take this money and spend it on something that motivates or inspires you.

Congratulations to our Jake Thomas Award recipients Addison and Jaxon!

MRIS Talent Show 2024

The MRIS Talent Show was a huge success!  Thank you to all of the amazing students who participated.  We hosted singing, dancing, guitar, piano and even a karate demonstration. Congratulations on a great show! Mr. Ink and Mrs. Weekley are very proud of you. 

MRIS Chamber Orchestra

The MRIS Chamber Orchestra performed for judges as part of the Music in the Parks Festival at Dollywood on May 4th.  They were awarded the highest rating of Superior and received First Place in their Class and Best Overall Orchestra. Congratulations!

Congratulations, Mrs. Wright!

Montgomery Ridge is excited to announce that Cynthia Wright, our Orchestra teacher, has been recognized as the WBIR Educator of the Week!  Congratulations, Mrs. Wright!

 

Please click HERE for the full broadcast.

Coin Wars Fundraiser

We appreciate the overwhelming support of our parents, students, and staff who helped raise $7,813 for the Maryville Children's Fund.  Deb Skyler shared with the MRIS Leadworthy classes how money that was raised will help support programs that serve our community.  Way to go Eagles!

Dogwood Arts Chalk Walk Artists

Congratulations to Mr. Ink and the MRIS 4th/5th grade Art Club who placed first in the People's Choice Award in the Collaborative Elementary School division at the Dogwood Arts Chalk Walk!  

Congratulations, Mrs. Hodges

Montgomery Ridge is thrilled to announce that Britney Hodges, a Special Education teacher on The Ridge, has been recognized as the WBIR Educator of the Week!  Congratulations, Mrs. Hodges! 

 

Please click HERE for the full broadcast on WBIR. 

Maryville Express on The Ridge!

Montgomery Ridge Intermediate is extremely excited to announce the grand opening of our very own coffee shop, Maryville Express on The Ridge!  Maryville Express on the Ridge is a joint effort between the Ready Graduate program, CDC classes, and Leadworthy classes at MRIS.  The goal of our program is to provide an opportunity for MRIS students to gain valuable life skills through the process of running a coffee shop for our staff. Maryville Express on The Ridge is a positive experience for our student workers and something our staff enjoys as well. The staff is so appreciative of the amazing customer service that always comes with a smile.

One Book Blitz on The Ridge

Montgomery Ridge kicked off One Book Blitz 2024 on Monday, February 5th.  We are excited to share this year's book title...Charlotte's Web by E.B. White.  One Book Blitz is a community-wide reading experience for students in grades K-5. 

Seventh grade students putting toys together

If you let 100 seventh graders put their mind to something chances are you’ll want to get out of the way. Mrs. Crawford's and Mrs. White's seventh grade ELA classes teamed up to be unstoppable for a good cause.

Seventh graders have been strategizing for weeks on how to earn money. Students created products to sell and completed odd jobs and extra chores to purchase toys that needed to be assembled, so that the toys can be donated to Mission of Hope.  Seventh grade Eagles raised $11,482! We are so thankful for how these students are working hard to serve our community.

 

Click HERE  for the full broadcast on WBIR.

Wind Ensemble and Mr. Hayden who played for the Tennessee School Boards Association in Nashville

Congratulations to Mr. Hayden and our Montgomery Ridge Intermediate School Wind Ensemble for performing for the Tennessee School Boards Association in Nashville!

The Daily Times 

October 18, 2023 

By: Amy Beth Miller 

 Montgomery Ridge Intermediate School’s music teacher says he has 45 stars of Tennessee ready to perform for a statewide audience of 700 to 800 school board members next month. 

“Having a young band do this makes a statement,” said George Hayden. 

“We are so fortunate in Maryville that we get to start band in the fifth grade. A lot of school systems don’t do that,” he said after a rehearsal last month. 

As president of the Tennessee School Boards Association, Maryville school board member Candy Morgan is allowed to choose performers for the Leadership Conference meeting Nov. 17, and knowing the MRIS band program well she had no hesitation. 

“It’s very unique to watch your child enter that school as a beginner and have George Hayden take them to the next level in music education,” Morgan said during a phone interview while she was in Washington, D.C., advocating on education issues with the Consortium of State School Boards Associations. 

“With the right resources, these kids can excel,” Morgan said. 

When the choice came for having Maryville City Schools students perform for TSBA, she said, “I knew that he could have his kids rise to the occasion.” While MCS may be better known for its academics and athletes, Morgan said, “I have a heart for the arts.” 

“One of my hopes is that when school board members from across the state hear us, that maybe they say, ‘Hmm, maybe we can do that,” Hayden said. 

5 in fifth 

At MRIS fifth graders start with just five instruments, flute, trumpet, clarinet, trombone, and percussion. In sixth grade they branch out further, adding instruments including tubas, saxophones, French horns and more. 

Across grades five through seven, MRIS has 104 band members, who average about 45 minutes a day in that class. 

Families also can arrange for students to have private lessons on campus during or after the school day. “We vet our private lessons staff, and they are the best of the best,” Hayden said, including members of the Knoxville symphony and nationally known musicians who live in Maryville. 

Sixth and seventh grade band students working hard are invited to be part of the Advanced Wind Ensemble that will perform in Nashville this year. They have additional rehearsals two days a week for two hours and one Saturday morning a month. 

Special song 

The wind ensemble will open with “America, My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” Then it will go into “Three Stars of Tennessee,” in which the three movements represent the state’s regions: Smoky Mountain Jig, Plantation Sunrise, and Johnny on the River. 

“There’s not really a better piece to bring the whole state together,” Hayden said. 

Learning about the song has been a great geography and history lesson for students too, he said. 

“We want this to be a cross-curricular learning opportunity for the students.” 

If time permits the ensemble also might perform “Rocky Top” and the MRIS fight song, “Where Eagles Dare to Soar.” After the performance, the students will visit the Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson. 

Hayden has been with the school since it opened in 2000 as Maryville Intermediate, and he has taught for Maryville City Schools since 1994. 

In 2007, when Maryville Intermediate had only grades five and six, the sixth-grade band was invited to play at the Midwest Clinic International Band, Orchestra and Music Conference, what Hayden calls the “American Idol” or the Super Bowl of bands. 

“We’re the only sixth grade band that’s ever played there,” he said. That’s where Maryville students premiered “Three Stars of Tennessee,” which was commissioned from composer Gary Gilroy by the Maryville City Schools Foundation. 

This year the foundation donated $1,600 for MRIS music students’ outfits, a suit coat and pants for the boys and dress for the girls. The wind ensemble will wear them in Nashville, and the clothes will remain in the school’s inventory for future years. 

High Expectations 

Hayden said he loves teaching young students. When he teaches band clinics across the country he tells directors, “They can sound great, and they can be great at a young age. We should not short sell them because they’re young or because they’re small.” 

“Think about the Olympics,” he continued. “The younger the gymnast, the higher the medal.” 

Music is graded on a difficulty scale up to six, which is what a high school band might play, Hayden explained. “Grade four at this age is a huge hurdle,” he said, and that’s what the “Three Stars of Tennessee” is. 

“They can rise to the occasion,” Hayden said. “Whenever you raise your expectations, kids will go there.” 

“These young people are capable of great things,” the teacher said. 

Picture of 11 students and instructor who participated in the Junior Orchestra Clinic at Bearden High School

Congratulations to Mrs. Wright and eleven MRIS Orchestra students who auditioned and were chosen to participate in the 2023 ETSBOA Middle Area Junior Orchestra Clinic at Bearden High School on Friday, November 17th and Saturday, November 18th. 

Congratulations to the following students:

6th Grade: Connor R

7th Grade: Reagan A, Adyson F, Jaxon F, Ethan H, Camden K, Ty M, Luke M, Chayde R, Lillian S, and Carson W

Welcome to The Ridge Dr. Keyl!

We would like to introduce Dr. Julie Keyl, the new assistant principal at Montgomery Ridge Intermediate School.  Dr. Keyl has taught in Maryville City Schools for 26 years at both Fort Craig and Foothills Elementary. Her husband, Brian, serves as the maintenance superintendent for Blount County Parks and Rec.  Her daughter, Gracie, is in her first year at Pellissippi State, and her son, Garrett, is a junior at UT Chattanooga.  The Keyl family enjoys traveling, camping, and cheering on UT. Although Dr. Keyl will miss her Foothills family, she is looking forward to joining the administrative team, teachers, and staff at MRIS.  Welcome to The Ridge!

Number One in the State!

Congratulations to our current 7th grade students who scored #1 in the state in English, Math, Science, and Social Studies!  What an amazing accomplishment. We are so proud of you! 

Congratulations, Mrs. Crawford!

Montgomery Ridge is excited to announce that Amy Crawford, our Coyotes 7th grade Language Arts teacher, has been recognized as the WBIR Educator of the Week!  We are so proud of you!

Please click HERE for the full broadcast on WBIR.

Picture of a Watch DOG parent and kids

WATCH D.O.G.S. is an innovative program being used by schools across America which helps them to be positively impacted by the committed involvement of fathers and father-figures in their student’s life. 

The Dads and Kids Pizza Night Event was on November 2nd, and our first MRIS Watch D.O.G. volunteered on November 8th. Thanks to Mr. LaMay for spending a day on The Ridge.  

We appreciate all of our Watch D.O.G.S. volunteers!

Please click HERE for the full broadcast on WBIR. 

 

 

 

 

6th and 7th grade collaborative art project of The Eagle

"The Eagle" was a collaborative project amongst thirty-nine different art students in Mr. Ink's 6th and 7th grade classes.  Seventy unique squares were painted and drawn on to create the image.  "The Eagle" is a beautiful addition to The Ridge.  

Seventh Grade : Emma A, Lalo B, Jose B, Madi C, Madison D, River F, Blaise F, Grayson G, Avery J, Grayson J, Rylan M, Hadley M, Reese M, Mei M, Shyla M, Daim M, Roman N, Kazu N, Jasmine O, Derek P, Livvy S, Lily S, Asher S, Khloe S, Rylan W, Eliza W

Sixth Grade:  Dylan A, Bennet B, Paxon D, Hunter E, Elias F, Judah F, Bentley H, Dixie O, Brayden M, Judah P, Lillian S, Jordan V

Thank you PTC!

We appreciate all you do for the staff and students on The Ridge and thank you for helping make Eagle X-Games 2023 a huge success!

Picture of Jake Thomas winners with Principals

Several years ago, one of our students, Jake Thomas, passed away, not long after this celebration. Jake chose kindness each day and was a friend to all. Therefore, in honor and remembrance, we have created an opportunity to continue his legacy each year here on The Ridge.

This Jake Thomas Award is one of the best, because it honors students who continually make the right choices and do the right thing every day. The recipients of this award have proved to be like Jake in how they treat all of those around them. MRIS is proud to offer $100.00 gift cards to each recipient of the Jake Thomas Award. Jake had a passion for running, and because of that, he became a great runner, so we want the recipients to take this money and spend it on something that motivates or inspires you.

Congratulations to our Jake Thomas Award recipients Elizabeth and Zoey!

5th Grade Girls and Boys Track Meet Winners

Fifth grade boys and girls track teams excelled at the Blount County Track Meet.  

Congratulations to the MRIS girls who placed first and the MRIS boys who placed second!  Go Eagles!

Picture of Mr. Claxton and his family

Maryville City Schools is happy to announce that David Claxton has been named the new Principal at Montgomery Ridge Intermediate School.

Mr. Claxton is married to his wife, Julie, who is a sixth grade ELA teacher at Farragut Middle School.  He has two daughters, Lauren and Erin.  Lauren earned a Master of Science degree at the University of Tennessee and works at TVA.  Erin is a Senior at Point Park University in Pittsburgh pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with a Jazz Concentration. Mr. Claxton has served as an Assistant Principal and Principal at West Valley Middle School for the past 11 years. Welcome to The Ridge!

Picture of Students graduating the ESL program

Montgomery Ridge has ten students who will graduate from English as a Second Language program!

Every year, students learning English take four tests in February.  When they score very high on all tests, they graduate from our ESL program.  Please help us celebrate these bilingual students.  Congratulations to Azusa, Keisuke, Rui, Zamir, Beth, Luis, Yuko, Emma, Emily, and Brithany!

CKH National Showcase School Announcement

Congratulations MRIS on being selected as a Capturing Kids' Heart 2022-2023 National Showcase School!  

National Showcase Schools are chosen annually through a rigorous selection process that includes measuring key performance indicators, gathering campus data, and surveying staff and students. The results represent the implementation of CKH processes as well as the culture and climate on each campus. Capturing Kids’ Hearts celebrates campuses where educators are exceeding expectations and creating an environment where students feel safe, connected, and eager to learn. 

Picture of Rangers in Washington DC

Rangers had the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C.

A few of the places they toured were the Air and Space Museum, Mt. Vernon, Ford's Theater, Smithsonian Museums, and the U.S. Capitol building. They enjoyed a Nationals baseball game vs the Chicago Cubs on their last night.  What a great trip!

Student reading OBB

MRIS kicked off One Book Blitz on Monday, May 1, 2023!

This year's book is The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  The kickoff included Mrs. Vagnier reading to 4th grade, 6th graders enjoying hot cocoa, and snow!  It's a Winter Wonderland on The Ridge!