OAK RIDGE - Oak Ridge Military Academy (ORMA) plans to graduate 11 seniors this coming Saturday, May 22, and anticipates increasing enrollment in the next school year, according to Maj. Robert Forde, the academy's admissions director.
"Things are looking pretty good," Forde told the Oak Ridge Town Council May 6, explaining that all of the graduating seniors have been accepted by at least one of their three top choices for college.
ORMA anticipates enrolling "well over 100" students for next school year, after enrolling 113 students in the current year, according to Forde. Seven in 10 current students have decided to enroll again, he said.
Councilman Doug Nodine said the school's staff has "done a great, great job. Just a few years ago, we were thinking it wasn't going to make it."
When he joined ORMA in 2019, Forde said he encountered skepticism about the school's prospects after years of slumping enrollment. Since then, it has relied on billboard advertising, online sites such as Boarding School Review and open houses on campus to recruit new students.
Since last August, 145 families have visited the school, Forde said.
"The school needs to survive," he said. "It is a great institution. It is a great leadership academy. And it's a big part of Oak Ridge.'