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Signature Programs

At Oak Hall School, our reach beyond the classroom is enhanced by several dynamic offerings. Recognized at the local, state, and even national level in many cases, these signature programs are led by inspirational faculty and sponsors. In essence, they have the power to change lives.

Arts Conservatory Program

The ACP allows students to concentrate in theater, music, or visual arts.

Established in 2010, the Arts Conservatory Program (ACP) is an advanced track program that allows students to concentrate in theater, music, or visual arts. The ACP is designed to enhance students’ problem-solving skills, global/cultural awareness, and critical thinking skills through intensive creative study.

Entrance is by audition or portfolio; upon graduation, students earn special designation on their diplomas and transcripts.

MUSIC

  • ACP Music students produce 20 collegiate style recitals and perform over 130 pieces of music a year. They regularly perform in the Gainesville Community independent of Oak Hall School.
  • ACP Music students regularly earn spots in Florida All-State Ensembles with others moving on to All-National Ensembles. 
  • ACP graduates have moved on to attend top music institutions, including: Manhattan School of Music, Mannes School of Music, FLorida State College of Music, and Berklee College of Music.
  • We have ACP graduates touring/competing nationally and internationally. We've had multiple album and video releases.

ART

  • ACP Visual Arts alumni have been accepted to top design and art colleges, many of whom have gone on to successful careers in the creative arts.
  • ACP Visual Arts students have won a variety of awards for their artwork and have created several public art service projects, as well as professional, commissioned projects throughout the community.

THEATER

  • Arts Conservatory Theater Discipline sponsors Thespian Troupe 6405 in the Upper School.
  • Each year, ACP Theater students compete at the Florida District and State Thespian Festival, the largest in the country.
  • For the last 14 years, students have qualified for the state festival based on adjudicator scores.
  • Students participate in the annual fall musical, as well as the spring production, playing both actors and crew members.

Chess Club

The Oak Hall School Chess Club was established in 1997 by Coach Tim Tusing. The club started out with a handful of students and has grown to now serve well over 60 students from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 5. The club has established itself as one of the premiere chess programs no only in the state of Florida, but throughout the nation. Members have won dozens of state (Florida Chess Association) and national (United Stated Chess Federation) championships as a team. Individual students have also earned the title of state or national champion.

Coach Tusing is one of only 13 United States Chess Federation Certified National Level IV Coaches. Each year, several Oak Hall School students earn spots in the Top 100 Players List as posted by the USCF.

Program Highlights:

  • 18 National Championships
  • Over 25 State Team Championships
  • 2019 USCF All-Girls National Champions U8 Division
  • Two Individual USCF National Champions: Grayson Cooke (2013) and Jack Judy (2016)

Cross Country / Track & Field

The goal of the Cross Country and Track & Field programs is to guide the athletes to becoming a responsible, accountable, and productive member of the team and Oak Hall School. We strive for excellence on and off the course/track and in the classroom. We encourage and support the athletes to pursue other interests at Oak Hall, such as arts, music, clubs, etc.

Program Highlights:

Girls Cross Country (20 years Coaching)

  • District Champs:  2002, 2003, 2005, 2010-2018
  • District Runners-Up:  2001, 2004, 2008, 2009
  • Regional Champs: 2002, 2003, 2010-2016, 2018
  • Regional Runners-Up:  2005, 2009, 2017
  • State Appearances:  2001 (3rd), 2002 (3rd), 2003 (2nd), 2004 (10th), 2005 (4th), 2006 (17th), 2007 (13th), 2008 (11th), 2009 (4th), 2010 (2nd), 2011 (2nd), 2012 (1st), 2013 (2nd), 2014 (2nd), 2015 (4th), 2016 (1st), 2017 (3rd), 2018 (2nd)
  • State Runners-Up: 2003, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2018
  • State Champ:  2012 & 2016
  • Class 1A Florida Dairy Farmers Coach of Year: 2012 & 2016
  • Gainesville Sun Coach of Year: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
  • NFHS Coach of the Year at the state level:  2016

Girls Track & Field (22 years Coaching)

  • Alachua County Champs: 2014, 2016-2019
  • District Champs: 1999-2006, 2012-2019
  • District Runners-Up: 2007-2011
  • Regional Champs:  2001-2005, 2014-2019
  • State Runner-Up: 2015
  • State Champs:  2003, 2004, 2016-2018
  • Class 1A Florida Dairy Farmers Coach of Year:  2015-2018
  • Gainesville Sun Coach of Year:  2002-2004, 2013-2019
  • NFHS Coach of the Year at the state level:  2016

Boys Cross Country (20 years Coaching)

  • District Champs: 2015, 2016, 2018
  • District Runners-Up:  2005, 2006, 2011-2014, 2017
  • Regional Champs: 2016
  • Regional Runners-Up:  2005, 2018
  • State Appearances:  2001 (16th), 2002 (17th), 2003 (6th), 2004 (9th), 2005 (5th), 2006 (11th), 2013 (13th), 2014 (11th), 2015 (15th), 2016 (7th)2017 (10th), 2018 (2nd)
  • State Runner-Up: 2018
  • Gainesville Sun Coach of Year:  2017

Boys Track & Field (22 years Coaching)

  • District Champs: 2001, 2017, 2019
  • District Runners-Up: 2006, 2011, 2016
  • Regional Champs: 2001, 2019
  • Regional Runners-Up: 2006
  • Gainesville Sun Coach of Year: 2017, 2019

GOLD

Girls Overnight Leadership Development (GOLD) is a program involving girls in Grades 11 & 12 (Upper School) and Grade 8 (Middle School). Each Upper School girl is paired with a Middle School girl to act as her Big Sister. The Big Sisters spend weeks writing notes of encouragement for the Little Sisters, as well as preparing a themed night of fun for them. The program culminates in a sleepover event in the Upper School in the spring of each year, incorporating informational panels centered around themes, such as academics, sports, peer pressure, and friendships. 

The event also includes bonding activities, the creation of a class pledge, lots of food, and minimal sleep. GOLD aims to help the 8th Grade girls feel comfortable and confident about their upcoming transition to our Upper School, form a bond of sisterhood with the other girls in their grade, allow them to get to know some of the Upper Class girls, and start them off with practical tips and guidance about all things Upper School.

Junior Classical League

The Classical Languages program at Oak Hall School aims to foster an appreciation for the literature, culture, philosophy, and history of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. In studying Latin and Greek, students gain access to a wealth of knowledge that has helped to shape our world today.

In 1981, Oak Hall established its own chapter of the Junior Classical League, a youth organization dedicated to the study of Classics and the ancient world. The OHSJCL is one of the strongest Latin programs in the nation, having earned top honors and numerous accolades in regional, state, and national competitions. Every year, students travel to the State Latin Forum and the NJCL Convention, as well as to tournaments at Harvard and Yale.

Oak Hall offers Latin starting in 7th Grade, culminating in AP Latin (Vergil & Caesar). In addition to the study of Latin, students are also able to study Ancient Attic Greek, generally in their senior year of Upper School. Several students have pursued both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Classics.

Program Highlights:

  • 1st Place in the Junior Division at State Latin Forum - 7 times
  • 1st Place in the Senior Division at State Latin Forum - 6 times
  • Over 100 top 5 academic awards at the NJCL Convention
  • Oak Hall students have been members of 17 NJCL Certamen championship teams
  • 12 Florida Junior Classical League officers, including 3 FJCL Presidents
  • 2 NJCL Officers

Lacrosse

Since our founding in 2003, Oak Hall Lacrosse players have been committed to a relentless pursuit of excellence on and off the field. We are grateful for the privilege of wearing the Oak Hall jersey and are dedicated to consistently improving as players and leaders every day. Our teams combine to utilize our unique talents, sacrifice for the best interest of the team, and leave a legacy that honors the past, present, and future.

Program Highlights:

  • District Champs: 2011-2016, 2018, 2019
  • 2018 Sunshine State Athletic Conference Tournament Champions
  • All-Time Record vs District Opponents: 71-4
  • 6 Players Selected as Gaiensville Sun All-Area Player of the Year
  • 38 Players Selected to All-Area 1st Team
  • US Lacrosse All-American: Thad Spiker (2017, 2018), Jaxson Lamb (2018), Kyle Cox (2019)

STEM

Our STEM program strives to prepare and inspire students to approach problems and challenges through innovation, collaboration, and creative problem solving. OHMS STEM integrates the skills used in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to solve real world problems. Students will develop their teamwork, collaboration, logical reasoning, and communication skills in a project-based learning environment.

Learning units for Middle School STEM include CAD design, structures and engineering, game theory, coding, food science, wood shop, rocketry, and robotics. 

Youth in Government

For 62 years, the YMCA Youth in Government has prepared students for a life of engaged and active citizenship based on the values of civil debate, statesmanship, and research-based policy solutions.

For nearly 20 years, Oak Hall has developed delegates that understand the most important fact: in order to lead, you must first learn how to serve others.

We are the only chapter without a supporting local YMCA organization that can provide funding. We are the only school in the North Central Florida delegation. Unlike the large public districts with multiple schools, our results depend on the quality of our small number of student delegates.

Program Highlights:

2016 State Assembly

  • In every Senate and House, excluding one, if an Oak Hall student was present, they were chosen as the Outstanding Statesmen. 
  • Only 9 bills passed the House and Senate; 3 of the bills were ours, and all 3 were signed into law.
  • 2 of our delegates were chosen to attend the National Conference and 2 more were alternates.
  • 3 candidates ran for State Office; all 3 made it through the primaries and 2 won their elections for State Attorney General and Sullivan Speaker of the House.
  • 1 of our underclassmen was chosen as the Sullivan Senate Whip.
  • Our chapter president was chosen to symbolically end the session in the Capitol rotunda.

2016 Junior Assembly

  • Sam Bullard was the runner-up for Senate Statesmen.

2017 State Assembly

  • An OHS student became the State Governor.
  • An OHS student is elected as the Sullivan Senate President.
  • In the Bowen House, we won Outstanding Statesman. This student's bill was also signed into law, a unique achievement for someone in 9th Grade.
  • In the House and Senate, we won the Runner-Up for Best Bill in the Senate and also passed the only Joint Resolution that was signed by the Governor. 
  • In the Williams Senate, our delegate was chosen as the Outstanding Statesman, and her bill was signed into law.
  • Our lobbyist was chosen as the Outstanding DLA of the Executive Cabinet.
  • Our district attorney was chosen as the Outstanding Attorney.
  • On the Supreme Court, one of ours was chosen as the Best Delegate Justice.
  • Our Supreme Court law firm was chosen as the Top Firm.
  • 3 of our delegates were selected to attend the National Convention.
  • For the second consecutive year, our school was chosen to symbolically end the State Assembly.

2017 Junior Assembly

  • 3 Middle School students attended; 2 of their bills were passed with one of them ranked as the #1 bill in the Senate. That student was was also chosen for the Y Corps state tour. The third student won the Look Out Award for up and coming delegates.

2018 State Assembly 

  • An Oak Hall delegate was elected Lt. Governor.
  • Another OHS delegate was elected Sullivan Speaker of the House.
  • One of our graduates was accepted as Youth in Government Advisor for the Assembly.
  • A delegate was chosen for Y Corps and 3 more were selected for the National Conference.
  • Our students won the Outstanding Criminal Attorney Award and were runner-up for Best Law Firm.

2018 Junior Assembly

  • 3 bills were passed, and our delegate had her bill ranked #1 and was the first one that passed.