1509 John Exum Pkwy. - Johnson City, TN 37604
Phone: (423) 232-2190

1509 John Exum Pkwy.
Johnson City, TN 37604
Phone: (423) 232-2190
Fax: (423) 434-5570

Science Hill teacher Richard Marshall inducted into Tennessee High School Speech and Drama League Hall of Fame

Picture of Richard Marchall

A glowing reminder of success is visible as soon as you walk into Science Hill theatre teacher Richard Marshall’s room.

For a little over a decade, Marshall has overseen the 10-12th grade theatre program and the Showstoppers at Science Hill High School. He is quick to tell you that the hundreds of trophies - including the over 190 trophies racked up just last year - aren’t a result of him, but his student’s hard work.

Science Hill sits atop TNReady scores in East Tennessee

TN Ready Chart


Science Hill High School students outperformed state averages in all nine end of course TNReady assessments according to data that was released by the Tennessee Department of Education on Wednesday. 

The same information released from the state also showed that Science Hill finished atop the list in four critical areas in the East Tennessee region.

Johnson City’s only high school finished first in East Tennessee schools when it came to math, finishing only behind Germantown statewide. Science Hill finished second in English in East Tennessee, behind Maryville. 

In Science, Johnson City students finished fourth in East Tennessee behind Maryville, Alcoa and Oak Ridge. In addition, in high school history, Science Hill finished fourth, behind Kingsport, Maryville and Bristol. 

Johnson City Schools Supervisor of Secondary and Instructional Technology Dr. David Timbs said he was pleased with the results that were released on Wednesday.

“I think the most recent scores demonstrate that the tradition of excellence is alive and well at Science Hill High School,” Timbs said. “Throughout the transition to the more rigorous TNReady test, the academic departments at SHHS have kept pace with new strategies, new methods of challenging students and new ways to utilize data to drive improvements.”

Timbs said that the ‘Topper students are pushing themselves to continue the tradition of academic excellence and the Science Hill administration is working hard to ensure that both the students and the teachers can continue reaching to even higher levels.

“While we will continue to look at subgroup performance to guide areas of improvement for Science Hill, the results at Science Hill, when compared to statewide averages, demonstrate the school is on track to emerge as a leader in student preparation,” Timbs said. 

The TNReady is the statewide assessment administered to all students in grades 3-11. It is a more rigorous assessment compared to past state TCAP tests and is fully aligned to Tennessee’s academic standards, which are based on what students need to know and be able to do each year to ultimately be prepared for college and their careers.

TNReady scores fall into one of four achievement levels: mastered, on track, approaching, and below. These categories aim to help teachers and parents easily understand if students are ready for the next step in their academic journey and identify which students may need additional support – which are the goals of state assessments. 

Science Hill Logo

Science Hill records 50 percent increase in AP Tests

An investment by the Johnson City Board of Education seems to be having a nice return, as Science Hill High School experienced a 50 percent increase in students taking Advanced Placement (AP) tests last year.

The Johnson City Board of Education included just under $58,000 in last year’s budget in order to pay for all AP Exams at Science Hill – the board also included the line item in this year’s budget. That helped increase the AP tests taken last year to 750 and helped Science Hill become one of three schools in the state to increase their AP test participation by 50 percent.

“We’re very pleased to be recognized for our significant increase in students taking at least one AP exam this past school year,” Science Hill Principal Todd Barnett said. “We think this figure represents a demonstrated commitment on the part of our Hilltopper staff that encourages all students to take advantage of the many early postsecondary opportunities offered in Tennessee.

“More importantly, we think more of our Hilltopper students are recognizing the importance of taking advantage of these opportunities and the benefits they provide as they prepare for college and/or the workplace.”

But, Barnett said, this isn’t the peak for the Hilltoppers.

“We’re pleased with these numbers,” he said, “but our staff will continue to focus on providing classroom opportunities that help our students develop the skills necessary to successfully compete in a global environment.”

Statewide, more than 29,000 students took AP exams in 2017 – a record-breaking year. Across Tennessee, students earned as many as 79,833 college credits from the AP results – which is a 54 percent increase since the 2011-12 school year.

AP classes offer students the ability to take college-level course work and earn college credit based on their performance on the national AP exam. In recent years, the state has been encouraging schools to increase the availability and number of AP exams they offer as part of a diverse portfolio of early postsecondary opportunities. AP exams are one of the eight early postsecondary opportunities offered in Tennessee. Data shows students who take at least four early postsecondary opportunities, which also includes IB programs, dual enrollment, dual credit, and industry certifications, are more likely to be prepared for college.

"These results show that more Tennessee students are becoming better equipped for their next step after high school – which is great news for their future and the future of our state," Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said. "The more that students can take rigorous courses in high school, the better prepared they will be when they enter postsecondary. That's why it's critical that we see both increased success on AP exams and increased access to allow more students the opportunity to take them."

Statewide, 29,258 Tennessee students took 48,355 AP tests in 2017 – about 3,500 more exams than were taken last year – with the most popular subject areas being English language and composition and U.S. history.


There's an App for that: App helps Science Hill students and parents keep up with important dates

The Science Hill High School counseling department is utilizing an app called Remind in order to help students and parents keep up with important deadlines, events, scholarships and other things that are deemed important by the counseling staff. Any Science Hill student or parent that wishes to sign up for the one-way messaging system may do so. It is possible to unsubscribe at anytime.

The Remind app allows users to choose to receive reminders via email or text. It is a free service and no school officials will be able to see the phone numbers or email addresses in the database. To sign up, please choose from one of the options below:

CLASS OF 2018, choose one of the following:

Text the message: @topper2018 to 81010

Or visit the website: https://www.remind.com/join/topper2018

Send a blank email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CLASS OF 2019, choose one of the following:

Text the message: @topper2019 to 81010

or visit the website: https://www.remind.com/join/topper2019

Send a blank email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CLASS OF 2020, choose one of the following:

Text the message: @topper2020 to the number 81010

Send a blank email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Visit the following website: remind.com/join/topper2020

CLASS OF 2021, choose one of the following:

Text the message: @topper2021 to the number 81010

Send a blank email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Visit the following website: remind.com/join/topper2021

Science Hill High School reserved season football tickets will go on sale to the public on Thursday, July 27 at 1:00 p.m. in the SHHS Topper Student Center.  Please call 232-2205 for more information.

Michael “Todd” Barnett has been selected as the new principal of Science Hill High School.  He will officially take the helm on July 1.  Barnett is taking over for Melanie Riden-Bacon who will serve as assistant principal for alternative learning.   With almost thirty years in education, Barnett began his career as a high school math teacher in Carter County Schools.  In 1998, he joined the math department at Science Hill High School.  Barnett has served as one of Science Hill’s assistant principals since 2003.

Barnett earned his bachelor’s degree from University of Tennessee and his masters of teaching from East Tennessee State University.  In 2002, he completed his specialist in education at Lincoln Memorial University.

“I am extremely honored to be selected to serve as the next principal of Science Hill High School,” said Barnett.  “Science Hill has a long history of excellence in education and we want to continue that excellence. Having been a part of “The Hill” since 1998, I have experienced our faculty’s, staff’s and community’s commitment to providing an exceptionally rich learning environment for all our students. I look forward to serving alongside an incredibly talented and motivated staff to create opportunities and experiences for all students to reach their fullest potential during their time at Science Hill.”

Dr. Steve Barnett, who will lead Johnson City Schools as superintendent beginning July 1, believes Barnett is the perfect choice.  “Mr. Barnett has the heart and work ethic of a servant leader,” Barnett said.  “His passion for meeting the needs of students, vision for SHHS as we move forward, and his desire to collaborate with staff to continue enhancing the rich academic history of Science Hill set him apart and will make him an excellent principal.”