Help for the Holidays

November 21, 2014 by ·  


The TJ community stepped up to help those in need. photo by Jerry Esparza

The SkillsUSA annual food drive is a success for the Thomas Jefferson community.

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Winning With Westerra

November 19, 2014 by ·  

Winning with Wisterra_290

Paula Hammel, Pat Golinski, and Suzanne Morris-Sherer pose with the check awarded by Westerra. photo by Sasha Mesropov

TJ’s growth in school spirit and pride raises recognition in the community.

School pride at TJ has skyrocketed this year. Students are encouraged to “Spartan Up” by doing good deeds in the TJ community and are rewarded with stamps on Spartan Up cards. The program’s incentives have been so successful that in October, TJ earned a $700 grant from Westerra Credit Union.

The Spartan Up rewards program encourages students to do good deeds and embrace school values to make TJ a better school. Last year TJ adopted the SPARTAN acronym – Self Advocacy, Pride, Aspire to Achieve, Respect, Teamwork, Academic Accountability, and No Excuses – which creates a foundation of the school’s values. When students perform good deeds that embody our school values, they get stamps on Spartan Up cards from teachers or administrators. After five stamps students can turn in cards for different rewards such as sweatshirts and gift cards. “Every school has positive behavior supports that encourage positive behavior, and the stamps do just that,” said Assistant Principal Paula Hammel.

The Westerra Credit Union School Grant Program is dedicated to improving the educational experiences of students by giving generous funds to schools in the Douglas County, Jefferson County, and Denver Public school districts. The grants may go to things such as art supplies, sports equipment or after school activities. Schools across the state applied for the grant, hoping to be given funds to help improve students’ lives at school.

TJ was one of the lucky schools selected to receive the funds, which will go to the Spartan Up program. The check was delivered to TJ by Pat Golinski, a representative of Westerra Credit Union. Golinski believes that “every little bit of incentive helps to reward good deeds.” When Hammel received the grant she was excited that people feel that the program is worth something. She recalled, “I applied early August. I was nervous because you never know who’s gonna get it. I’m glad they feel it’s meaningful.” The grant will be extremely beneficial to the program, allowing a wider array of rewards, including gift cards to more places and at higher prices. “We will use the grant for the Spartan Up prizes and awards as an incentive for students to keep doing positive things,” explained Hammel. With the help of the grant, the program will continue to grow and increase positive attitudes at TJ.

The Spartan Up rewards program is only one of the many ways that TJ has evolved into one of the top schools in DPS. Since then TJ has grown into a school that people can be proud of attending. People are passionate about showing pride by wearing school colors and attending events ranging from volleyball games to the homecoming dance to plays and musicals.

The reward of the grant proves just how important good deeds are at TJ. The administration hopes that the growth of the program attracts more people to do good deeds and keep TJ at the top of its game.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

November 14, 2014 by ·  


Senior Megan Stone reviews college materials from California schools as part of her preparation for upcoming application deadlines. photo by Quinn Roder

Seniors gear up for the application process.

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Testing Time

November 12, 2014 by ·  


graphic by Alex Villescas

TJ students and administration prepare for the new CMAS test. Read more

TJ Welcomes a New Health Office

November 11, 2014 by ·  


TJ’s nurse practitioner assistant Aurora Soto in front of the Health Clinic. photo by Sasha Mesropov

Denver Health occupies space in Thomas Jefferson High School for a student based health center.
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Spartan Smarts

November 6, 2014 by ·  


The TJ Matchwits team poses during a study break. Back row: Coach Brian Weaver. Front row: Nicholas Matthews, Alex Villescas, Timothy Knudsen, Kham-Shem Toure’, Sam Trout. photo by Savannah Orth

TJ sends a team to the Matchwits game show in Pueblo. Read more

A Higher Education

November 4, 2014 by ·  

TJ seniors get a unique experience at CEC Middle College of Denver.


Senior Julian BlackCrow spends much of his time and energy in the workshop. photo by Tim Knudsen

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30 Years and Still Young

November 2, 2014 by ·  


Spanish teacher Rose Young-Romero helps junior Adis Rogonich with his classwork. photo by Savannah Orth

Teacher’s love for TJ brings her back for her 30th year. Read more

Spooky Spartans Welcome Ghosts and Goblins

October 28, 2014 by ·  


TJ’s Trick-or-Treat Street will take place on Friday, October 31, from 4-6 p.m. Artwork by Alex Villescas

Second annual Halloween outreach event is sure to be a treat for many. Read more

Before the Crew Assembles

October 18, 2014 by ·  


TJ Theatre premieres in March. Graphic by Thomas Silverstein

This year’s play has been announced, and it’s audition time for the cast and crew.
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