Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Pride Is Power

Posted 10/07/2022 by McKenzy Perkins

Seniors show off their spirit while wearing their overalls for TJ day. photo by Saben Synder

Students at Thomas Jefferson show immense pride during Homecoming week events.

With TJ’s homecoming week in the rearview mirror, students revisit the memories that were made. Beginning with the school bonfire and ending with the dance, the week of September 12, 2022, united the whole Spartan community to kick off the fall season.
For seniors, it was a time of recollection and new beginnings since everything had changed since the first bonfire they had attended. Compared to the friends that they had made during their four years of high school, while recalling the crowds of people at their first bonfire might be a memory always cherished. Seniors also began to think about graduation, college, and life after high school. “Freshman year felt way more exciting because it was supposed to be a big high school experience, but as the years went on it became less exciting and more of a memory,” said senior Paige Mulligan. Juniors looked at the year ahead as a year of growth, as though they still had enough time to enjoy the life-changing journey of high school. Sophomores realized there is still much to learn and do, and freshmen were introduced to the opportunities to make friends and grow into new people at TJ.
As the crowds from the night of the bonfire became a lasting memory, students had the chance to show off their respective cultures the next day. Thomas Jefferson is one of the most diverse high schools in the Denver metro area, making it exciting to see unique cultures that are not seen on a daily basis.
As Spartan Pride continued to radiate throughout spirit week, faculty and staff watched waves of pink surge through the halls during passing periods on Wednesday. Mean Girls Day was hailed as a major success among students and staff alike. Assistant Principal Jon Poole discussed how the advisors of the leadership team felt a lot of pressure regarding spirit week overall. “We wanted to give everyone something to remember since it was not an experience people had truly gotten to enjoy since COVID.” Even with this pressure, Poole, counselor Erin Thompson and the leadership students made spirit week one of the best the school has seen in two years.
Later that day, students watched the homecoming nominees rise to royalty. The Homecoming Royalty ceremony, one of the longest-standing traditions at Thomas Jefferson High School, gave nominations to captains of fall sports. When asked about the history of homecoming royalty, English teacher Sean Silvers reflected, “It was a thing when I was in high school, and that was in the 80s.” He maintains that the tradition is still relevant to everyday culture, elaborating that students “should be recognized for their hard work.”
Students and teachers threw back to a decade of their choice for Throwback Thursday, expressing themselves in unique (and sometimes flashy) ways. The excitement continued as juniors and seniors competed for the Powderpuff winning title. The class of 2023 won once again, holding the title for the second year in a row.
On Friday, it was brown and gold all the way. The day allowed Spartans to express their school spirit by wearing their TJ gear. Seniors got in the game right away when many decided to wear their overalls to school and the homecoming football game later that night. Overalls are just another one of the many ways that seniors can feel connected to their community outside of their small worlds. The tradition links them to their preceding classes in which everyone can continue expressing spartan pride.
Despite losing to Bear Valley 27-41, the Spartans still showed immense pride at the game. The stands of All City Stadium were packed as seniors led chants that had not been heard since the homecoming game of 2019. Senior Kendall Hougard described how student participation helped make the homecoming game a night to remember. “I think the spirit that everyone had was something to be really proud of as a senior. Coming back after COVID, participation and spirit in general has been one of the slower things to get back to normal and the homecoming game was our chance to get out of that slump. It was great to see the underclassmen participate too.”
Then came Saturday, arguably one of the most entertaining homecoming dances Spartans may ever experience occurred. Students danced to World Language teacher Kyler Jackson’s terrific DJing skills. The throwback songs were curveballs, especially for those who were chanting “Mo bamba,” a lyric from the Sheck Wes song of the same name, relentlessly. It was a “great last homecoming, all of my senior friends felt like it was a great beginning to the end,” said Paige Mulligan.
Now even though the excitement has died down, everyone who enjoyed their time during the week continues to reflect on the incredible memories they had the opportunity to make. In retrospect, Spartans should give special thanks to the faculty and staff who made it all possible.