Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Making the Right Choice

Posted 05/15/2024 by Riley Rimkus

TJ students are proud to be able to represent their school with Spartan gear. photo by Emanuel Morales-Gomez

Thomas Jefferson High School is the perfect choice for young adults with various interests, as the community works to support every student.

While each high school in the area comes with much to offer, Thomas Jefferson exceeds the expectations of public high school education. During my time here, I have made a point to get involved and try out what TJ has to offer, and after three years here, I find myself qualified to explain to incoming freshmen why TJ is a fit for every student. 

One of the primary reasons I decided to attend TJ was the Center for Career Communications and Technology (CCT) Program. Concentrated in one hallway are the CCT classrooms. Here, students are able to enhance computer, technical, problem solving, oral, written, and visual communication skills. These classes vary from Robotics, to DECA (Business), to Audio Production. One class I decided to take was Newspaper. This class not only built me a tool box for writing essays, but provided a safe and comfortable environment every day during seventh period. Wednesdays in Newspaper are a real treat because we uphold a thirty-year-old tradition of having cookies on this day every week. Yet another CCT class that is well-known school wide is Broadcast Journalism. In this period, junior year students make a new school TV show daily that is played in every classroom. Additionally, the TV show connects all students to events happening at TJ. There are constant announcements about fun activities, club meetings, and upcoming sports happening in the community. 

Another aspect that drew me to TJ was the diversity. I came from a middle school that set me up for success, but did not expose me to diversity. TJ’s students come from a large variety of different backgrounds that are celebrated. I have been able to learn a lot about different cultures. There is even an event open to all students called Multicultural Night where we have a fashion show, dance performances, and musical performances before everyone comes together to try food from around the world. These dishes are brought by TJ families and they are truly delicious. 

While I did have my reasons for choosing TJ, I did not know everything before attending. There were many more aspects of our high school that I have been able to try out and participate in, an example of this being Student Leadership. While many other high schools have a Student Government, TJ has a class during fourth period every day called Leadership. The teachers, Jon Poole and Erin Thompson, made the switch to a Leadership Class instead of a Student Government after a nasty election in the past. The class is run like a student council, where all of the students in the class have an equal say. These students work hard year-round to put on fun events for TJ students. This class was a lot of work and much of it is behind the scenes. The students in this class create entire school events that they then advertise through the Spartan Edition, posters, and newsletters. Each event takes a lot of planning. These events include our Haunted Hallway, the Backyard Bash, the Bonfire, and many more. To create more engagement among the students, these events are spaced out throughout the entire year so no one ever has to be bored. I am grateful for how this class has helped to teach me how to stay organized without dropping the ball.

I also decided to try out a few different sports. My freshman year, I tried out for Girls’ Soccer and got to experience a wonderful first season. This was a great way for me to make more friends. For the first time in my life, I also tried out Cross Country and Track. Our sports are competitive, but there is also room for students to try out something new. Although I do not classify myself as a good runner, I learned how to correct my form and push myself. Additionally, I got to develop connections with trusted adults in the school. Many of the coaches are also TJ staff members, which allows for students to have a trusted adult that they can go to in the school.

After visiting other high schools for sports or clubs, I also have an appreciation for the janitors of TJ. Our school is always kept clean and . Our staff and administration also makes an effort to know the names of every student. I walk down the hallways and watch as our principal, Mike Christoff, engages with different students every day in order to make them feel more welcome. 

TJ makes building your resume and college application much less daunting. Joining clubs is not difficult, as we have a club fair and these clubs are constantly going on the Spartan Edition to inform students on how to join. If there is not a club offered that is of interest, any student is able to create a new club with the support of a sponsor – a teacher who is willing to volunteer their time and classroom for meetings once a week. I am biased, however, towards both Sustainability Club and Interact Club – two great clubs that represent how students get to benefit their own community. Interact has many volunteering opportunities like working at Clothes to Kids while Sustainability runs the school compost. Outside of clubs, we have the Future Center in our counseling department. Here, students can find Emily Bobrick, a career navigator who works with any student who wants to be connected to an internship, job, or apprenticeship. 

A final benefit of TJ that is important to note is the size. While some students may think that a larger school may offer more activities, and a smaller school will have a tighter knit community, neither compares to the benefits of a medium sized school. TJ has around 1300 students, so there are both opportunities to participate in any activity. This would not be possible at a larger high school in the Denver Metro Area. Additionally, a medium sized school allows for teachers to still get to know their students and help them succeed. What TJ really offers to all students is a community that will welcome everyone with open arms. There is something here for every student.