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
- Chess Club
- Cross Country / Track & Field
- Junior Classical League
- Speech and Debate
- Youth in Government
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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)
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.
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
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.
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.
- 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
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.
- 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)
Oak Hall Speech and Debate has achieved state and national recognition on multiple occasions in multiple rhetorical arts performance categories since 2013, and continues to offer challenging and competitive activities that require regular practice, coaching, dedication, and hard work.
It retains membership in the largest interscholastic forensics organization in the world, the National Speech and Debate Association. Through access to this group, Oak Hall Speech and Debate competes and places each year in premier national invitational competitions, such as the Barkley Forum for High Schools at Emory University, the New York City Invitational at the Bronx High School of Science, the California Berkley Invitational, the Greenhill School Invitational. They also compete in state and national championships, including the Florida Forensics League State Championship series, the National Junior Forensics League Middle School National Championship, the National Catholic Forensics League Grand National Championship Tournament, and the Tournament of Champions.
Oak Hall Eagles are eligible to participate in Speech and Debate beginning in 6th Grade through our Debate Club. In Grades 7-12, Speech and Debate is offered as a class with the additional benefit of membership in the National Forensics League Honor Society chapter at OHS.
- 1st Place, Lincoln Douglas Debater in the Nation - twice
- 3rd Place, Lincoln Douglas Debate, Tournament of Champions
- Top Speaker, Lincoln Douglas Debate National Circuit Round Robin & Invitationals - 10 times
- 1st Place, St. Augustine Catholic Forensics League Championship - 4 times
- 3rd Place, Extemporaneous Debate, National Junior Forensics League Middle School National Championship
- 5th Place, Policy Debate, National Junior Forensics League Middle School Championship
- State Finalist, Oral Interpretation of Literature, Florida Forensics League Novice State Championship
- State Runner-Up, Policy Debate, Florida Forensics League Novice State Championship
- District Champions, Policy Debate, Florida Forensics League, Region #2 - twice
- National Speech & Debate Association, Florida Panther District Policy Debate Champions
- Florida Blue Key, Lincoln Douglas Debate & Extemporaneous Speaking Round Robin Invitational
- Florida Blue Key, Lincoln Douglas Top Speaker, Tournament Champion & Round Robin Champion
- Florida Blue Key, Policy Debate, Quaterfinalist
- The Barkley Forum for High Schools, Lincoln Douglas Debate, Quarterfinalist
- Lincoln Douglas Debate Round Robin Invitations: Harvard, The Glenbrooks, College Prep, Valley Mid-America Cup, Minneapple Debates
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.
For the past 62 years, the YMCA Youth in Government program has prepared students for a life of engaged and active citizenship based on the values of civil debate, statesmanship, and research-based policy solutions.
Over nearly 20 years, Oak Hall has developed delegates who understand the most important fact: that in order to lead, you must first lead how to serve others. Our students have learned about Florida law, collaborated with peers from across the state on numerous community service projects, and made memories and connections that last a lifetime and serve them well into the future.
In just the past 5 years, our delegates have been elected to or selected for the following statewide leadership positions and honors. For a chapter of our limited size, Oak Hall students’ achievements are unparalleled:
Youth Leadership Positions
Supreme Court Justice (multiple)
Chief Financial Officer
Sullivan Speaker of the House
Sullivan Senate President
Sullivan Senate Whip
Honors and Awards
Outstanding Statesperson (multiple)
Conference on National Affairs (multiple)
Y-Corps Service Leadership Program (multiple)
Bills and Joint Resolutions signed into law (multiple)
Chosen to symbolically end the State Assembly (multiple)
Outstanding DLA of the Executive Cabinet
Outstanding Criminal Attorney
Outstanding District Attorney
Best Delegate Justice
Top Law Firm
Middle School (known as J-YIG)
Look Out Award for leadership potential
Bills passed at the J-YIG level (multiple)