Gresham Middle School (Tennessee)

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Gresham Middle School's logo.

Gresham Middle School is a grades 6-8 middle school in the Fountain City neighborhood of Knoxville, Tennessee, operated by Knox County Schools. Its enrollment is approximately 1,000 students from ages 10–14. The school's motto is "It's all about YOU!"


Gresham's familiar arch sign and walkway

Gresham Junior High School was established in the fall of 1971 in a building that had previously housed Central High School, which moved to a newly constructed building on Jacksboro Pike about two miles from Gresham's current location. The name was chosen to honor Hassie K. Gresham, who had been Central High School's first principal and held that position from 1919-1947. Grade assignments were changed in 1979 and the school was given its current name of Gresham Middle School.[1]

Gresham occupies one of the oldest public school buildings in Knox County, situated on a wooded campus-like site. There has been an educational institution at this location since at least as early as 1892, when a normal school was located there.[1] The historic Auditorium wing was constructed in 1930-1931, and designed by the architectural firm, Baumann & Baumann (who also designed the nearby Fountain City Elementary).[2] Newspaper accounts from the time tell that even though it was during the Depression, Miss Gresham convinced county officials to fund a new building by conducting a tour of the older building on the site. During the tour she told the officials that the old building was such a firetrap that she had dreams of children being trapped in it and burning to death.[citation needed]

In 2009, a Gresham sixth-grade teacher was the first winner of a $25,000 "extreme classroom makeover" awarded by Oak Ridge Associated Universities, providing interactive technology and training and support in its use.[3]


Gresham has a boy's baseball, basketball, golf, soccer, tennis, and track and field team. Girls' teams are basketball, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, and track and field.

In popular culture[edit]

The football scenes for the 1999 movie October Sky were filmed at Gresham's combination football/soccer stadium. The stadium bleachers were repainted for the movie, then repainted back to the Gresham colors. The scene also included members of the Central High School Band, and another scene of a hospital room was shot in a set constructed in a Gresham hallway. The scene with the local science fair was filmed in Gresham's gymnasium.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gresham Middle School website, updated August 1, 2007
  2. ^ Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission, North City Sector Plan - Background Report. Retrieved: 25 May 2011.
  3. ^ ORAU Awards Gresham Middle With $25,000 Extreme Classroom Makeover, Oak Ridge Associated Universities press release, May 4, 2009

External links[edit]