November 2015 - Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and



November 2015 - Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and
Principal’s Letter
President’s Letter
Dear parents/guardians, teachers, and students,
Thank you to everyone who made Homecoming such
a special event, especially the more than 120 parents
who helped! It’s hard to believe that a quarter of the
year has passed already. The PTSA is staying in full
swing with two fun events coming up early in
We've had a great homecoming season filled with
spirit and events to celebrate our school's culture.
It's a very special time of year at TJ. Many alumni
have visited this past month to catch up with their
former classmates and teachers, and see updates to
our facility. We will continue to see advancements in
the renovation this month, such as the completion of
the dome and main entrance for visitors. Beyond the
dome will be an entry for receptions, student
activities, and an anticipated popular commons area
adjacent to a courtyard. Also opening in November
upstairs is a College and Career Center Commons, a
student leadership room, and a remote lunch line for
salads and sandwiches. A Keep in Touch email will be
sent to the community as we anticipate this
We have completed the first marking period, and
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Y O U A R E L O O K I N G ….
Noteworthy Dates
Academic News
PTSA Committee Updates
Serving the TJ Community
Campaign for TJ
Class News
TJ Boosters
Useful Links
First, the PTSA will be hosting the Fall Harvest
Luncheon for TJ’s teachers and staff on Tuesday,
November 3. It’s not too late to help out …If you can,
please sign up HERE to help at the event and HERE if
you can contribute to the feast!
Next, on Friday, November 6, please plan to attend
the Principal’s Coffee (and PTSA meeting) at 9:00am
in the Cafeteria. It is always interesting and
informative to hear from Dr. Glazer about what is
happening at TJ.
The PTSA has been working hard to support TJ,
Virginia Governor’s Schools, and FCPS in this budget
cycle. One opportunity that is available to all TJ
parents is to write Governor McAuliffe to ask him to
support Governor’s Schools (including TJ) by
including in his proposed budget (a) the pending
proposal for a new funding formula for the 19
academic-year Governor’s Schools and (b) a $3.6
million increase in state funding for Governor’s
Schools (both of which have been proposed by the
Secretary of Education).
In addition, on behalf of TJ, we ask that you request
that Governor McAuliffe’s proposed budget includes
a provision to eliminate the per-pupil state funding
cap for Governor’s Schools of 1725 students. This cap
penalizes only TJ, which currently has about 1850
students (and is the only Governor’s School with
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Principal’s Letter continued from page 1
many parents have started to view their SIS Parent
Vue accounts to see individual student records. The
school's 1st quarter report card is intended to be a
snapshot of information about student progress.
However, the final transcript record will not include
these grades. There is plenty of time to make
improvements, and focusing on growth is more
important than the grade itself. I would like to make
a few remarks about the communication of grades in
an effort to support our goals surrounding student
• SIS Parent Vue enables parents to view grades of
assignments so parents can feel informed of
student work. Parents, please share this
information with students since the vendor
currently does not provide student accounts.
• Use information in Parent Vue as an opportunity
to have a conversation at home about learning
experiences at school. The numbers themselves do
not portray a full picture of learning or the nature
of the assessment. Parents and students might
explore what students have mastered, where they
still have difficulty, and whether or not students
feel good about their performance.
• Performance on assignments and assessments are
a student responsibility. Therefore, students
should be the primary conduit to ask questions
about assignments and grades, as well as seek
advice on how to improve their performance.
Parents, before contacting a teacher, ask yourself
if you have discussed the issue first with the
• Anytime a student is not doing well in a class, such
as dropping two letter grades or performing low in
multiple courses, the teacher or counselor will
deliberately reach out to parents for a discussion
with the student. Our systems of support
specialist, Mr. Forgash, may be involved in devising
a plan to support student success. If students
facing considerable difficulty are not showing
progress, a school staff member will keep in touch
every couple of weeks.
I know grades, and more importantly learning
experiences, are important to families because they
serve as an indicator of success in school. There are
other valuable skills we want students to learn that
November 2015
are ungraded, such as advocacy, so students are well
prepared to address needs throughout their TJ
experience and beyond. Thank you for your support
by keeping the student at the center of the
conversation and as the primary conduit for talking
about and addressing their learning needs. I hope
you agree the more experience they have at talking
about their learning and learning needs, the more
likely they will succeed in their advocacy efforts in
college and beyond.
Have an enjoyable November with family, free of
homework during the Thanksgiving break. Don't
hesitate to contact me at Evan.Glazer at if
you have feedback and suggestions that will help
make TJ an even better place for learning and
growing. Gooooooooo Colonials!
Sincerely yours,
Evan Glazer
Principal, TJHSST
PTSA Meetings
Mark Your Calendar!
(in the cafeteria, unless otherwise noted)
November 6, 9:00 – 11:00am (Principal’s Coffee)
January 15, 9:00 – 11:00am (Principal’s Coffee)
February 9, 7:00 – 8:30pm*
March 8, 7:00 – 8:30pm*
April 8, 9:00 – 11:00am (Principal’s Coffee)
May 10, 7:00 – 8:30pm*
June 14, 7:00 – 8:30pm*
*Refreshments served at 7:00 pm and meeting begins at 7:30 pm
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Presidentt’s Letter continued from page 1
Useful Links
TJHSST Home Page:
TJ PTSA website:
TJ Booster Organizations:
Academic Boosters:
Athletic Boosters:
Band Boosters:
Choral Boosters:
Crew Boosters:
Orchestra Boosters:
Theatre Boosters:
TJ Partnership Fund:
TJ Alumni Association:
FCPS Blackboard:
FCPS Keep in Touch (KIT):
FCPS School Board:
Fairfax County Supervisors:
November 2015
more than 1725 students). The artificially low funding
cap is unfair to TJ and should be eliminated.
The proposed changes to the funding allocation formula,
the total budget, and the per-student funding cap, will
increase funding for the academic-year Governor’s
Schools, including TJ, and make Governor’s School
funding more equitable, particularly to TJ.
Please take the time to write your letter today. It is
important that these letters go out as soon as possible,
because Governor McAuliffe is developing his proposed
budget right now for presentation on December 17. You
can click here to submit your letter to Governor
McAuliffe by email, or write to him via postal mail at
Governor Terry McAuliffe, P.O. Box 1475, Richmond, VA
23218. These letters will make a difference – please
support state funding for TJ! Your letter should include
an explanation about your connection to TJ and a
personal anecdote about how TJ has benefited your
In addition, for Fairfax County residents, you can help TJ
by VOTING on November 3. See this site for the
responses of Fairfax County School Board Candidates to
questions from the TJ PTSA.
We hope everyone has had a chance to check their
family’s information on the PTSA directory sponsored by
ATOZ Directories. For those who ordered print
directories, we hope they will be available to hand out at
school around November 15 … stay tuned for more
information to come in This Week at TJ. (If you are not
getting the This Week at TJ email blast every Sunday,
please sign up here.) Please note that access to the
online directory will terminate soon for everyone who is
not a member of the PTSA. If you wish to join the PTSA,
you may do so here.
We look forward to seeing you soon – whether to
volunteer during JLC (for more information, please
contact Chitra Gundapalli chitratanuj at, at
the Principal’s Coffee, or at another school event. If you
didn’t have the chance to participate in everything you
wanted to during the first quarter, now is your time to
get involved. TJ can always use your help! If the PTSA can
help you with anything, please contact us here ptsa at
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Academic News
Library News
underclassmen taking Spanish, has started. Maitri
Patel, senior at TJ and SHS tutoring coordinator,
organized a lunch social for tutors and tutees to get
to know each other. In the department of
fundraising, a bake sale will be held on November
13, to raise funds for future cultural excursions and
service projects.
French Honor Society
To help TJ students effectively organize their
research, record and correctly cite their sources, and
generate required bibliographies in APA or MLA Style,
the TJ Library provides a subscription to NoodleTools.
You’ll find NoodleTools on the library’s database
page. Using the link on that page, students can create
an individual account. The majority of our students
have an account that was set-up during a library
lesson freshman year. NoodleTools is a great research
tool: students can record information on electronic
notecards linked to their sources, thus avoiding
inadvertent plagiarism. Students can tag and
annotate information on the cards, then organize the
cards to build an outline and write a paper.
NoodleTools provides menu-driven prompts for
students to record their sources and provides
citations in correct format so students can spend
more time thinking and creating. If your student
needs help in citing sources or using NoodleTools,
please tell them to visit the library. Email us at library
at if we can help or support your child’s
research needs.
With the school year well underway, French Honor
Society has started its general meetings. To our new
members- bienvenue! Your officers are looking
forward to a year full of cultural exploration and
inter-language events.
We will begin taking applications for new members
after first quarter. Anyone who has taken over five
quarters of French is welcome to apply. Details
about the application process will be communicated
to prospective applicants soon, and applications will
be due before Thanksgiving.
French Honor Society is also excited to celebrate
National French Week from November 11-17 with
school-wide events promoting Francophone culture,
including food and games.
Join Today!
It’s never too late to either join the PTSA or renew
your membership. The PTSA relies primarily on
annual memberships and the Free Money programs
to fund all our activities. So we count on all TJ
families to participate every year.
Spanish Honor Society
The Spanish Honor Society (SHS) is focusing on service
projects and fundraising throughout the month of
November. Members are given the opportunity to
serve as bilingual county pages during the November
3 elections and as ESOL tutors to children in Herndon
on the weekends. The tutoring program, which
matches up Spanish Honor Society members with
November 2015
Please take a moment to review the PTSA
Membership flyer to learn about all the PTSAsponsored activities. Memberships are $25 for a
single parent (or $40 for a couple) and include an
online copy of the 2015-2016 directory. You can
join on-line by clicking here. It’s simple, fast, and
greatly appreciated!
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PTSA Committee Updates
Landscaping Committee
TJ Kids Clean Up Campus
On Saturday, October 17, the PTSA Landscape
Committee and the 8th period Cultivators of the
Earth Club held a Fall Campus Clean-Up Day. The 13
enthusiastic volunteers covered both trailer areas,
staff and visitor parking lots, bus depot, stadium
bleachers, and sports fields (but no construction
areas--anything behind a construction fence was off
wrappers, papers, and pens and pencils, as would be
expected. But they also found some peculiar items
such as a gutted power drill in the parking lot and a
Joseph A Bank suit coat by one of the fences. They
also cut down weeds and swept away gravel from
the main entrance area and Weynoke lunch area.
The Landscape Committee wishes to thank the
following students: Clara Fontaine, Fatima GunterRahman, Alvand Moini, Alex Fried, Jason Stranne,
Colin Murphy, Alex Wang, Melina Seng, and Dylan
Seng; parent Karen Eisengruber, and Cultivators
Club Sponsor Lona Klein.
If you have suggestions for the next clean-up day, to
be scheduled for the spring, please contact Laura
Noble at lauranoble at
Health and Wellness Committee
Understanding Depression in Youth
Almost one third of all high school seniors in the
county reported experiencing symptoms of
depression, according to a Fairfax County Youth
Survey regarding mental health.
As they filled nearly 20 bags of trash, the crew found
plenty of beverage containers, lunch bags, candy
November 2015
In addition, 37.5 percent of female students in
Fairfax County schools reported feeling so sad or
hopeless for two or more weeks in a row during the
last year that they stopped doing usual activities.
One in five male students reported the same,
according to the survey. For the results of TJ’s 2013
survey, go to the TJ PTSA website.
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Recently, McLean High School magazine journalist
David Kagan wrote a research article titled “A
Generation in Pain” revealing the seriousness of
depression and its impact on one’s daily life.
Fairfax County has wealth of resources helping
suffering students and their families dealing with
depression. Many are available at as well as
on the TJ PTSA website.
October is the Month of National Substance Abuse
Prevention Month.
Substance abuse is directly related to depression
and suicide. Although TJ has a relatively low
frequency of substance abuse compared to FCPS
overall according to the 2013 youth survey, the
problem still exists.
United Coalition Prevention of Fairfax is a local nonprofit organization that works to prevent substance
abuse by youth and young adults in Fairfax County
through education, advocacy and collaboration with
partners at the county, state and national levels.
Through its signature programs, campaigns
and strategies, UPC and its more than 60 partners
address the abuse of prescription and over-thecounter medicines, heroin, marijuana, alcohol,
tobacco and club drugs. Here is their website with
resources and events. Other Health and Wellness
information is available on the TJ PTSA website.
We welcome any suggestions and ideas for
promoting health and wellness among our families
at TJ. Please contact Yongqing Lu at yongqing_lu at
Serving the TJ Community
Thanks to all of the TJ parents who helped out with
the Homecoming Dance on Saturday, October 24.
Special thanks to all of the class representatives for
organizing your teams of coat checkers, ticket
takers, dance floor chaperones, and hall monitors.
Many hands make light work, and we could not have
pulled it off without your generous support.
November 2015
Volunteer Opportunities
TJHSST Diversity Committee Seeking Additional
If you are interested in contributing your ideas, time
and energy in building a more diverse TJ student
community, TJ's Diversity Committee is looking for
you! Our committee works with TJ Staff and TJ
Admissions to support, advocate, and encourage
students from diverse backgrounds to be a part of
our TJ community. Please consider adding your voice
to our important discussions about access,
opportunity and inclusiveness at TJ. We meet
monthly, and look forward to your joining us. If
interested, please email Michele Gonzalez
(micheledgonzalez4 at or Renee Jones
(hapfam77 at for additional
Current Need: Geographic Cluster 3 Representative
Is Annandale, Stuart or Woodson your base high
school? If so, we are looking for a person/group of
parents who would be willing to act as our
Geographic Cluster 3 representative{s}. This is not a
labor-intensive role, but an important one in our TJ
community. The primary responsibility for a cluster
rep is to host a Welcome to TJ! party for incoming
freshman families in the spring, usually an April or
May weekend of your choice. PTSA funds the party,
we just need someone to organize the logistics for
the new families coming from these high schools.
The PTSA also asks that, as a cluster rep, you be
willing to share your insights and advice about your
TJ experiences with new families. Please contact
ptsa.volunteers at if you can help out.
Free Workshop for Parents of Teens
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and Tweens
Sunday, November 8, 3:00-5:00pm
$$ Free Money Program $$
Thanks to those who visited our booth at back to
school night. We hope you found the information
Holidays season is around the corner. As you plan
your holidays dinners or shopping wish lists, please
don’t forget to shop at stores that reward TJ’s PTSA.
Partcipating stores include, Amazon, Target, Office
Depot, Verizon, Giant, Peapod, Harris Teeter,
Safeway, shop with eScript and more..
Getting Past “Whatever!”—Maintaining a
Connection with Your Teen
The community is invited to a free workshop for
parents on Sunday, November 8, on how to maintain
communication with their teens/tweens. The
workshop leaders will focus on practical skills for
navigating these challenging years! Participants will
learn to:
• Communicate more effectively with their
• Understand typical teen development vs.
behaviors that are more concerning
• Help your teen/tween manage stress more
The workshop will be led by Cathi Cohen, LCSW,
CGP, and Director of In Step PC, which she founded
in 1995. Cathi is a well-known author, and conducts
frequent workshops for parents, educators, and
mental health professionals. She will be joined by
Mary Shuffleton, LPC, MA, who works with teens
and parents in the In Step practice.*
This workshop is intended for a general audience
and is not faith-based. Community volunteers who
work with teens would also benefit from the
For on-line registration click here or email/call:
cathy at, 703-941-4113.
*For more on In Step, visit their website.
November 2015
Last year, we raised $14,898.50 in rewards from
purchases at Amazon. To learn more about how
you can help raise free money for TJHSST PTSA,
please visit our TJHSST PTSA website and go to
Support the PTSA page for more details and links.
Thank you for all your support!
Your Free Money program coordinator,
Adriane Assang adriane_assang at
Little-Known Secrets of Paying for
College Workshop
Tuesday, November 17, at 7:00 pm
James Madison HS Auditorium
For many families, the high cost of higher education
is a daunting proposition. Parents lie awake at night
trying to figure out how to afford sending 1, 2, 3 or
more children to college and still have enough of
their hard earned money to be able to retire. Some
families have children attending college next year
and others have 12 years to plan; but the fears of
tackling these monumental and rising costs are the
same. The College Funding Coach® is here to help
families figure out HOW to pay for it! This is
information you can’t afford to miss!
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Parent Information Relating to Special Education
All these opportunities are FREE unless noted.
The FCPS Parent Resource Center (PRC) helps parents of students with disabilities. It sponsors workshops, has a lending
library, and has Parent Liaisons to help solve problems. They also post (on their website) the 2e Twice-Exceptional Newsletter,
which provides information on supporting gifted students with disabilities. English: 703-204-3941; Español: 703-204-3955.
Transitioning to College Q&A Webinar, November 3, 11:00am – noon. Ask questions and get answers on College Transition
with Elizabeth Hamblet, a learning specialist at Columbia University where she helps students with time management,
organization, and study skills. Register here.
Youth and Young Adults: Stronger Together, alternate Tuesdays November 3 & 17, until May 2016, 6:30 - 8:00pm in Fairfax.
Sponsored by Formed Families Forward, this peer-to-peer support group for youth ages 14 - 22 meets twice a month through May.
Parents, caregivers, and guardians have their own meeting at the same time in the same building. Light dinner of pizza and salad
will be served. Register here or (703) 539-2904.
When Anxiety Affects Learning: Practical Strategies for Parents and Professionals, November 4, 7:30 - 9:00pm Lab
School 4759 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC. This presentation will focus on practical, evidence-based, yet counter-intuitive
skills and techniques that parents can use to help children and adolescents experience less anxiety. Register here or 202-965-6600.
Wings for All, November 7, 8:00am Dulles International Airport. This airport rehearsal provides families with a child with a
significant disability an opportunity to practice going through security and boarding a plane. Airport personnel also practice their
skills. Register here or 703-208-1119 x 112.
Addressing Dyslexia in the Special Education Process, Sunday, November 8, 2:00 – 4:00pm St. Matthew's United Methodist
Church, 8617 Little River Turnpike, Annandale. Hank Millward of the VA Department of Education will discuss parental rights in the
areas of eligibility, due process hearings, mediation, and complaint resolution procedures. Register here.
TECH THURSDAY - Technology Tools to Support Executive Functioning, Thursday, November 12, 10:00am – noon, FCPS
PRC, 2334 Gallows Rd., Entrance 1, Dunn Loring. This workshop will focus on strategies and technology tools that can help support
students with writing and other tasks affected by executive function deficits. Register here or 703-204-3941.
Future Quest 2015, Saturday, November 14, 8:00am – 3:00pm, George Mason University, Johnson Center (Fairfax campus). This
conference is for students with disabilities in grades 8-12 and their parents about planning for options after high school:
employment, assistive technology, college, and careers.
Register here or 703-993-4496.
Introduction to Special Education, Wednesday, November 18, 10:00am – noon, FCPS PRC, 2334 Gallows Rd., Entrance 1, Dunn
Loring. This FCPS Parent Resource Center presentation is for parents in the referral or eligibility phase of the special education
process and for those new to special education. Register here or 703 941-5788.
Sleep and ASD, Wednesday, November 18, 7:30pm, The Auburn School, 13525 Dulles Technology Dr., Suite 101, Herndon.
Clinical Neuropsychologist, Dr. Polly Panitz, Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrician will be speaking. Registration required
CHADD: Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Oakton ADHD Parent Group - The group meets on the 4th Tuesday at 7:30pm, Oakton Library, 10304 Lynnhaven Place. Contact
Maureen Gill: maureen at
Support Group for High School Students with ADHD meets the 1st Sunday of each month, 3:30 - 5:00pm, 4031 University Drive,
Fairfax, enter on South St. No parents! Call 703-403-3335 to enter the building. Contact: coach at or (703) 6418940.
Support Group for Parents of Teens and Young Adults with ADHD meets the 1st Thursday of each month (November 5, December
3) at 7:30pm at Fairfax Circle Church, 3110 Chichester Lane, Fairfax. For more information: phone/text 703-489-4626 or
ocgreulich at
NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness builds better lives for those affected by mental illness. Oakton Family Support
Group meets on the 1st Thursday of each month, 7:30-9:00pm, Rm 9 of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, 2709
Hunter Mill Rd. Contact: Joanna Walker at 703 620-2633 or Joanna.naminova at For other Family Support Groups click
November 2015
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All Night Graduation Party (ANGP)
The All Night Graduation Party in honor of the Class
of 2016 will take place on Saturday, June 18, 2016,
following graduation. The ANGP is an alcohol and
drug-free all night celebration for our seniors and is
sponsored by the TJ PTSA.
Thank you to all the families who have purchased
their tickets early! We had a great response to our
discounted ticket campaign. Tickets are available
now for $125.00 per student until June 1, 2016.
Even if you are not sure if your child wants to attend
ANGP, please purchase a ticket! Your contribution
helps us make the necessary deposits to reserve the
location, vendors, and supplies. Ticket forms are
available here. Please remember that BOTH the
student and one parent need to sign the form.
The TJ PTSA is committed to ensuring that all
students can attend. If you need financial assistance,
please contact your guidance counselor or the PTSA.
All requests are kept confidential.
Our first ANGP planning meeting is tentatively
scheduled for the week of November 16. Please
check the ANGP website and This Week at TJ for
An undertaking this huge has a budget to match.
Some parents choose to honor their graduate with a
donation and a personal dedication, which will be
displayed on the ANGP website dedication page. We
are also seeking donations from local businesses,
and friends of TJ. Perhaps your company, your
family, or your student's grandparents are
interested in making a tax-deductible donation to
the Class of 2016 ANGP. Click here to donate. All
donations will be recognized on the Class of 2016
ANGP Donor Recognition Page and on the Donor
Wall at the ANGP in June.
Future fundraising efforts will include the
Congratulations Graduate Lawn Signs, TJ Ties and
Scarves, and I Drive Smart Raffle Tickets. Click here
to purchase items as they become available. I Drive
Smart Raffle tickets are on sale NOW!
Thank you to all the volunteers who have already
signed up to help. We need parents to help with
party planning, decorations, fundraising, publicity,
and chaperoning. We would ideally like Senior
parents to chair the various committees that make
this event possible, but all parents are welcome to
help. Interested? Check out the opportunities here.
November 2015
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Back-to-School Campaign Giving is on a Roll!
Donate by Halloween to be Recognized in Thanksgiving Newsletter
Thank You, Generous TJ Parents, for Giving
$125,000 Already this School Year!
Our Back-to-School Night table was wonderfully
busy all night. But we haven’t heard from all of you.
We must double our donation total by the end of
the calendar year in order to fulfill remaining
Research Lab needs, humanities and science
classroom needs, turf and other athletic needs, and
hoped-for green building plans, and you can help.
Dr. Glazer and his son Luke (pictured above), assisted by
Jefferson Society tour guides Jennifer Lee, TJ ’16, and
Christina Wei, TJ ’16 (pictured in lab coat), lead Class of
‘95 alumni and their families on a tour of TJ’s new
Research Labs and common areas, including the exciting
Monticello-inspired dome. Touring TJ as part of their 20
reunion activities, the alumni were almost as amazed by
our school’s new facilities as they were by our current
students’ accomplishments.
November 2015
• A special 2015 Back-to-School Donor List will be
published in the November (Thanksgiving)
newsletter as a thank-you to our newest donors.
No need to wait until next year’s Back-to-School
issue to be recognized.
• Receive an auditorium seat plaque in the
renovated auditorium when you donate at the
Capstone Partner Level ($1,000). If you pledge
now, you can pay off your pledge over time. For
example, you can make four installments of
$250: a first installment this fall, a second in
spring 2016, a third in fall 2016, and a final
installment in the fall of 2017.
• If you’re considering a larger gift, you will want
to make your pledge now while a variety of
Recognition Opportunities are still available,
including the elegant Art Display Gallery and
several other new opportunities in the athletic
and music & drama wings.
More Questions?
Visit our website. Read the latest edition of our
quarterly newsletter, Newsworthy. Contact our
Development Director, Aristia (Tia) Kinis at akinis at or 703.750.8317. Consider joining others
like you who are passionate about TJ and want to
help make the Campaign for TJ a success.
– The TJ Partnership Fund, TJ’s non-profit
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Class News
2016 – Seniors
Hello Class of 2016 Families!
Did your son/daughter miss out on the October
Spirit Pack? If so, don’t worry, there will be another
opportunity to shop. The Class of 2016 Spirit Pack
online store will be open again before winter break.
Look for the link here in December.
This year’s dues collection has begun. Please send
your check/cash in by December. Please forward
your payment of $35, made out to “TJHSST Class of
2016. The dues can be delivered to room 135 or
251.The check must be written out to TJHSST Class
of 2016 to be properly credited to the class fund.
Your checks can also be mailed to:
Mrs. Rosenblum - Class of 2016
6560 Braddock Rd
Alexandria, VA 22312
2017 – Juniors
Happy November, Juniors and Junior parents! We
hope you are enjoying the long weekend.
Thanks to all who helped at the Homecoming
dance. It would not have been possible without
parental support.
The Class of 2016 is off to a great start organizing
their All Night Grad Party. We would love to have
Junior parents help them and learn from them so
that the Class of 2017 does not have to reinvent the
wheel next year. Would anyone be able to step into
these shadow roles now and then lead the charge
next year? You would be learning from a fabulous
group! Sign up here.
The Class of 2017, in partnership with Kaplan, will
sponsor SAT and ACT Practice Tests on January 9
and February 27 from 8:00am – 12:00pm. Students
will have the option of taking either the SAT (new
version) OR the ACT; they cannot take both tests on
one day. Each test costs only $20 and can be paid by
cash or check made out to "TJ Class of 2017" on
November 2015
site. Students will take tests under test-like
conditions. Ten to 14 days following each test,
families will be provided with a detailed score report
via email highlighting their child’s strengths and
weaknesses. Register here.
Thanks for your support of the class of 2017!
Ann Carr and Lan Fan
2017 Parent Liaisons
mandacarr at
fanlan at
2018 – Sophomores
Aah, November! It’s that time again for giving
thanks for the many blessings we’ve had this year:
• for our troop of parents who volunteered at the
Homecoming Dance;
• for our staff and teachers, especially our class
faculty sponsors, who inspire their students to
make a difference;
• for our construction workers who are building a
school of the future as fast as they can;
• for our families and friends who fill our lives with
love and laughter;
• and for our sophomores who challenge
themselves to become better persons.
Two Novembers from now, these Sophomores will
be Seniors. In no time at all, they shall be busy
writing their college apps and listing down those
opportunities they’ve successfully taken advantage
of. Awards, activities, and accomplishments -they’ll have plenty to enumerate. But hopefully, too,
they can reflect on those rewarding yet unheralded
moments of personal growth and character
formation here at TJ, and give thanks to the people
who’ve helped them along the way.
November 25: Start of Thanksgiving Break: 2-hour
early dismissal
If holiday-shopping on, please support
our PTSA by using this special link. The
PTSA's Tracking ID is embedded in the link. For more
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information on how to support our PTSA, at no extra
cost, please visit the TJHSST PTSA website.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Nancy Yang and Clarissa Maribojoc
chaonanyang at
mom2patmatt at
2019 – Freshmen
We hope all our families enjoyed their first
Homecoming! Thanks to all the parents who helped
make the coat/shoe check at the dance so
I’d like to introduce the TJ faculty sponsors for the
class of 2019: mathematics teachers Isaac Carey and
Dr. Alouf Jirari-Scavotto. They worked with our
Freshmen students and the FroshComm group to
get the Homecoming float ready, organize class spirit
activities and the musical extravaganza! A special
thank you to them — we look forward to working
with them over the next four years!
In addition to Homecoming, October was a busy
month! Freshmen took the PSAT 8/9 last month. The
PSAT 8/9 tests the same skills and knowledge as the
SAT and PSAT, but in a way that makes sense for the
ninth grade level. The PSAT 8/9 provides a baseline
measurement of your college readiness as you enter
high school — and lets teachers know what areas
your students need to work on to better prepare for
college. Find out more about the PSAT 8/9 here. For
the future, the 11th grade PSAT will count towards
the National Merit Scholar Awards.
Students received their first quarter grades at the
end of October. Don’t worry about “curvy grades” —
colleges only see freshman final grades. The
transition to high school, let along TJ, can be tough,
so be sure to encourage your child to use all the
resources available, from getting one-on-one help
from teachers, to eighth period study sessions, to
peer tutoring through the National Honor Society
(email nhs.tjhsst at to be matched with a
upperclassman tutor), to reaching out to your
November 2015
Gym 1 finally opened in October — giving the
volleyball teams a new home! This fall, the Dome,
career center, career center commons, front lobby
commons, student leadership room food vending
kiosk, health room, and art gallery are all scheduled
to open! Visit this website for the latest renovation
news and photos.
A few important dates for your calendar this
November and December:
• Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 2-3 there is no school
due to student holidays
• Wednesday, Nov. 25 there is a 2-hour early
release, with school ending at 2:00 pm
• Thursday and Friday, Nov. 26-27 there is no school
in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday
• Friday, Dec. 18 there is a 2-hour early release with
school ending at 2:00 pm
• School is closed for winter break from Monday,
Dec. 21 through Friday, Jan. 1, 2016
The next PTSA meeting will be a Principal’s Coffee on
Friday, November 6, at 9:00 – 11:00 am in the Café.
Got photos? We’re always collecting photos of the
class of 2019 — both from the school year and over
the summer, playing sports, participating in student
activities, and just hanging out together. Send the
photos to TJHSST2019 at and we’ll
collect them over the next four years to be used at
All Night Graduation Party (ANGP) and for other
graduation activities. If you can provide names of
students in photos and a brief description of
what/where it is, that would be great.
How can you stay connected with the class of 2019
parents? Join the TJ Class of 2019 Parents Facebook
page to ask questions, find out about upcoming
events, and get general information about TJ! You
can also email us at TJHSSST2019 at
Please contact us if with questions, or if you’d like to
help volunteer, support class fundraising efforts, or
can take photographs!
We’re looking forward to an exciting November!
Have a great month, Class of 2019 Class Liaisons
Deb Carstoiu, Julie Cox, and Sylvia Suresh
TJHSST2019 at
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TJ Boosters
Thank you to the sponsors and team captains who
joined us for the Annual Funding Request Meeting last
month! We enjoyed your wonderful presentations!
If you haven’t joined Academic Boosters for this year,
please join or renew your membership now! Your
contributions may be tax-deductible, and will be
recognized on the Academic Boosters website. Also
check whether the companies you work for match
donations—you can double the power of your donation
if they do!
Our annual PHONATHON fundraising drive is coming up
this year on November 21! WE NEED YOUR PARENTS
TO VOLUNTEER! Please send the names of your parent
volunteers (at least 2 per club) and please plan on
sending 2 students per club. Thank you very much. You
can send your parent names to [email protected]
will be open only to students currently or previously
enrolled in AP Chemistry because seating for the tests
is limited. Attendance at the interest meetings is not
required for students who took the tests last year.
There will be a test in January to try out for the team.
Sponsor: Peter Gabor
Team Co-Captains, both seniors: Perry Feng and Joie
Team parents: Wei Feng and Yuyan Zhou (parents of
Perry Feng)
Sponsor: Christine Conklin
If you have not sent in your ROSTER yet, please do so
now! See you on the 21st!
We continue this month with lists of new sponsors and
officers. We present the exciting results of some recent
competitions from a number of teams as well!
Sponsor: Laura Locklear
Captains: Tiger Zhang and Jeffrey Liu
Teaching Coordinators: Tarun Kamath and Neeraj
Treasurer: Ashwin Srinivasan
Webmaster: Prathik Naidu
Sponsor: Marion Billington
Sponsor: Hadan Kauffman
Chemistry Olympiad will have their first meeting on
Friday, November 13, during either 8th period block. It
November 2015
With the bells of celebration sounding and
resounding, the Latin Honor Society (LHS) has
officially resumed its normal operation, and is already
looking forward to taking on the new term of 2015–
First was the old officers' last task to lay the
foundations of a successful oncoming year with the
Ice Cream Social, at which both veteran officers and
prospective newcomers alike presented their
intentions for the new office and introduced
themselves to the rest of the Society. It was social—it
was ice cream—and it marked the beginning of the
new LHS.
Then came the elections, which employed a new
online system designed by the former Webmaster
and current President. Backed by the fluidity of the
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process, elections were wrapped up and the LHS
sped forth headlong into activity, preparing for the
notoriously busy Convention as well as the first
Certamen competition of the year!
The officers this year are as follows:
Consuls: Matthew Sun and Daniel Chae
Praetor Maximus: Kristin Myers
Praetor Magnus: Wonseok Song
Tribune: Sanjeevani Bhavsar
Censor: Ahnaf Khan
Certamen Coordinators: Junyoung Hwang, Arjun
Guidroz, and Ryan Golant
Artifice: Irene Song
Proconsuls: Minjae Kwon and Bill Tang
Here are the Certamen Officers for this year.
2015–16 Certamenis Reges: JunYoung Hwang, Ryan
Golant, and Arjun Guidroz
Sponsors: Tom Rudwick (Senior), Nicole Kim
(Intermediate), and Steve Rose (Freshman)
Sponsor: Maria Bakke
The Forensics Speech Team practices and develops
public speaking skills, competing at a variety of local
and national tournaments with events ranging from
poetry and dramatic performance to
extemporaneous speaking and original oratory. We
have competed in a tournament on October 24, and
are scheduled to participate in another on Nov. 21.
We are beginning preparations for the George
Mason Invitational Tournament in December. The
team practices on Fridays during 8th period, and
welcomes new members.
Sponsor: Nancy Glover
Head Coach: Jennifer Seavey
2015–2016 Captains and Officers:
Captains: Aneesh Reddy and Kaushik Venkatesh
Teaching Coordinators: Shivam Kollur and Aakash
Treasurer: Kunal Shroff
Research Coordinator: Fatima Gunter-Rahman
Publicist: Naman Baraya
TJ Lincoln Douglas Debate sent eight individuals to
the Wake Forest Early Bird Tournament from
September 11–13 in Winston-Salem, NC. Three of
the five individuals who participated in Varsity
broke, and all of the three who participated in Junior
Varsity (JV) shared the 1st place prize.
In Varsity, junior Shivam Kollur broke to the double
octofinals, and seniors Jay Gupta and Kaushik
Venkatesh broke to the semifinals. All three JV
debaters made it to the top three and all received
first place. The winners were sophomores Amitesh
Kotwal, Naman Baraya, and Rachel Ma.
Our team participated in its first Washington-Area
Catholic Forensics League (WACFL) tournament at
Dominion High School on Oct. 10. On the Varsity
squad, sophomore Naman Baraya placed 5th, and
senior Aneesh Reddy placed 6th. Both competitors
have now qualified for Metrofinals in March.
On the JV squad, freshman Neil Kothari placed 4th
and received recognition as 3rd place speaker. Neil
has qualified to move on to varsity.
Five varsity players will be competing in the Capitol
Beltway Fall Classic at Walt Whitman High School
from Oct. 24–25.
Sponsors: Margaret Coffey, Pat Gabriel, David Hill,
Amy Lampazzi, and Hana Rhee
Captain: Sam Hsiang
Co-captains: Kevin Lin and Allan Cheng
Sponsor: Koji Otani
November 2015
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Feat. Delegates of the Interscholastic Model UN conference; TJ student attendees: Will Ryu, Neil Parikh, Will
Frank, Roma Chitko, Holly Frank, Nora Thompson, Richa Gupta, and Giancarlo Valdetaro
Sponsor: Alexandra Pou
TJHSST Model United Nations
Beijing, RDFZMUN 2015
Senator: Will Ryu
TJ Model United Nations, which was invited by the
High School Affiliated with Renmin University of
China (RDFZ), had the great opportunity to attend an
Interscholastic Conference in Beijing. Accompanied
by TJMUN faculty sponsor Ms. Alexandra Pou, eight
student delegates from TJ attended the program
hosted by the aforementioned school for two weeks
in August.
This conference was held not only to engage students
from both schools’ Model UN organizations, but to
also explore methods of international collaboration.
Students also participated in cultural lessons of the
Chinese language as well as traditional arts, and
visited several major sites such as the Great Wall,
Tiananmen Square, and the Terracotta Warrior Burial
Grounds of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.
November 2015
Sponsor: Alex Lennon
2015–2016 Captains and Officers:
Captains: Jay Pan and Aneesh Susarla
Teaching Coordinators: Alison Li and Christine Li
Treasurer: Elizabeth Hu
Publicist: Niharika Vattikonda
Policy Debate is a form of research-based speech
competition in which teams advocate for and
against a resolution that typically calls for policy
change by the United States Federal Government.
We started our 2015–16 season at the Georgetown
Day School Invitational (9/25–9/27). TJ WY (Stella
Yang and Sungjoon Won) had a very good 3-3
tournament and TJ PS (Jay Pan and Aneesh Susarla)
went 2-4 against tough national competition.
The TJ Policy Debate team, along with many other
forms of debate and speech at TJ, competed at
WACFL 1, the first tournament of the WashingtonArea Catholic Forensics League 2015–16
tournament season. In varsity, TJ PS (Jay Pan and
Aneesh Susarla) placed 1st in the varsity division,
winning 1st and 2nd speaker, respectively. TJ SV
(Gulnaz Sayed and Niharika Vattikonda) placed 6th
in the varsity division as well. Both teams have now
qualified for varsity Metrofinals. In the novice/JV
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consisting of Christopher Bi, Liam Rathke, Ben Xu,
and Fred Zhang placed 5th, the team consisting of
Alex Howe, Adam Ardeishar, Julia Zhou, and
William Park placed 7th, and the team consisting
of Nishanth Anand, Naman Rai, and Shreya
Kurdukar placed 12th. Rohan Hegde, Alex Howe,
Fred Zhang, and Nishanth Anand were recognized
for their high individual performances. Then, on
October 10, TJ competed at our first regulardifficulty tournament of the year, Maryland Fall at
the University of Maryland. Our A team of Ryan
Golant, Ruyan Zhang, Rohan Hegde, and Aditya
Sarkar came in 3rd, our B team of Michael Yue,
Saurav Pattanayak, Alex Howe, and Fred Zhang
placed 7th, and our C team of Grant Li, Andrew
Wang, Adam Ardeishar, and Naman Rai placed
10th. Ryan Golant and Andrew Wang were also
recognized for their high individual performances.
The club is currently working on preparing for
several other tournaments in the coming months
as well as organizing middle school and high school
tournaments of our own.
Sponsor: Maria Bakke
The Student Congress Team competes in local and
national tournaments in a public speaking
competition modeled after the U.S. Congress.
Students write legislation and debate the pros and
cons of the legislation with a focus on both speaking
and debate skills.
We will have competed in a tournament on October
17th. We are preparing to compete in another
tournament on Nov. 21st, as well as the George
Mason Invitational Tournament in December. The
team practices on Fridays during 8th period and
welcomes new members.
Sponsor: Christine Conklin
Thanks to all the students and parents who came up
for TJ Theatre Company's Halloween Spooktacular.
With your help we hosted tots to tweens for a
wonderful costume filled extravanganza.
Sponsor: Aubrie Holman
The TJ Science Olympiad team, which participates
in a highly competitive, academic competition, has
emerged as a prominent and successful competitor
in the past three years. The TJ team strives to rank
highly at the Invitational, Regional, State, and even
National levels. In 2013 and 2014, the State team
went on to win States and competed at the
National level—finishing 23rd overall in 2014, a
best-ever ranking for a VA team. During the last
school year, all three TJ teams won 1st, 2nd, and
3rd place at Regionals. The TJ State team won 2nd
place at the State competition. Currently, Science
Olympiad is in the process of collecting
applications and selecting team members in
preparation for another great year!
November 2015
The stage is being set and the actors are getting
ready, take a peek at what's just around the corner:
TJ actors are hosting Parents Night Out, Saturday,
December 12. Drop off your preschool through
middle school students for a safe, supervised and
fun-filled evening of acting, action and drama. Funds
raised from this event will support a great winter
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production of The Little Mermaid weekends,
January 22/23 and 29/30. Mark your calendars now
and come out for the fun. Parents can stay updated
by joining our Facebook group or contacting Theatre
Director Jennifer Lowery (jalowery at or
Boosters Communications Co-Chair Debra Linick
(TJHSSTTheatreBoosters at / 571-3312554).
TJ's orchestras performed in their first concert of
the year on October 16, under the direction of Ms.
Allison Bailey. Save the date for their next concert
on January 8, 2016.
You'll have another opportunity to hear the TJ
orchestra as they perform at the annual Viennese
Ball on Friday, November 20. Ball attendees will
meet in Gym 2 for a night of waltzes, polkas, and
yes, even some jitterbug, all accompanied by
wonderful refreshments. Waltz lessons will begin at
7:00pm, followed by the Ball from 7:30-10:00pm.
Tickets will be on sale for $10 at lunchtimes during
the week before the event and again on sale at the
door for $15 on the night of the Ball. Start making
your plans to attend!
The TJ Marching Colonials performed “Assimilate – An
Interpretation of 1984” at Herndon High School,
Westminister, MD, Annapolis, MD and Delaware. They
had very successful runs at all of the competitions and
received 1st place at Herndon High School, Westminster,
and Annapolis.
Please congratulate these students who have made
honor ensembles!
Senior Regional Orchestra - Performs on November
14th @ Woodson HS - 2:00pm
Aaron Geldert - Bass Trombone
Gaby Pho - French Horn
Linda Diaz - 1st Alternate Piccolo
Bradford Case - 1st Alternate Bassoon
All-Virginia Guitar Ensemble - Performs at the VMEA
State Conference
Ashwin Sivakumar - Guitar
All-Virginia Jazz Ensemble - Performs at the VMEA State
Aaron Geldert - Bass Trombone
The Symphonic Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and
the Jazz Band had their first concert on October 27.
New Band Spirit Year still available! One of our class of
2015 graduates helped design a new logo for TJ Band’s
spirit wear. Sweatshirts, lounge pants, and t-shirts
featuring the new design are now available for sale. If
you are interested in purchasing spirit wear, please
contact secretary at
Orchestra parents, please volunteer to help at the
Viennese Ball by clicking here or by contacting
Barbara Steele directly at barbarasteele99 at Jobs include ticket sales the night of the
Ball, decoration prep and set-up, refreshment setup, serving, and clean-up. This is a special event that
you do not want to miss!
As always, if you have any questions or comments
feel free to contact the Orchestra Boosters anytime
at tjorchboosters at
November 2015
Band Boosters Need Your Support! The Band Boosters
support TJ's wonderful curricular bands (Symphonic
Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble,
and Jazz Band) and extra-curricular ensembles (Marching
Band, Drumline, and Color Guard) through volunteer and
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fundraising activities that help provide student
scholarships, purchase equipment and supply
uniforms. Please support the boosters by selecting
them via the Amazon “smile” giving program. The
Band Boosters are in need of parent volunteers to
assist with critical activities.
For more information on how to support TJ's band
programs, please email president at
Last October, TJ Cross Country competed at the
Milestat Invitational near Richmond. Labelled
“perennial powerhouses” by the meet previewers,
expectations for the boys’ team were high. Junior
Saurav Velleleth was 6th overall, and senior Nate
Foss 15th. Sophomore Dylan Klapper had an
exceptional performance, more than making up for
our missing 4th runner, earning the team 1st place
in the Varsity race.
The TJ Varsity squad fought through a tough month
of football. During October, the Colonials faced
J.E.B. Stuart, Falls Church, and Lee High Schools.
After a back and forth game that included two
touchdown passes from quarterback Nick Lemanski
to Matt Conway, Conway added another
touchdown strike hitting receiver Wayne Huynh on
a halfback pass. Unfortunately, the TJ offensive
surge was not enough and the Colonials fell to the
Rebels 25-18. After a hard-fought loss to a very
talented Falls Church squad, the Colonials met the
Lee Lancers in front of the TJ faithful during the TJ
homecoming celebration. Despite being plagued by
injuries, the Colonials with Wayne Huynh under
center fiercely tested the Lee defense. Junior
running back Steven Rehard led the offensive
assault with two long touchdown runs. Speedy
halfback John Nguyen found seams throughout the
night. However, the Lee backfield was too much for
the depleted TJ defense and the Colonials fell. The
varsity squad looks forward to a strong finish to the
season facing Wakefield at home for Senior Night.
The following week they will face Marshall to
complete the season.
Varsity Fall Field Hockey continues to impress fans
with an increasingly winning season thanks to the
guidance of coaches Amanda and Aubrey. Against
Herndon on September 25, Kate Eisert of the
Defensive line stepped in for goalie Sunny Truslow
and deftly used her stick to pull an open shot back
from the TJ goal line. TJ played solid for the first half
of the game and Sunny gave it all she had dropping
to the ground to block effectively on a regular basis.
The girls were 6th for Varsity B, with junior Abby
Shoemaker taking 11th in that race. In the JV race
of over 450 runners, TJ boys took 3rd place, with
sophomore Max Judish in 16th place, junior Daniel
Skeen in 23rd, and freshman James McHugo right
behind him with a very strong finish, just outside of
medaling. JV girls were 13th overall, and as a
whole, TJ runners earned a ton of new personal
November 2015
Against Lee High School TJ Varsity won 2-1. Senior
Sydney Grace Miller sent a sure shot on goal and
Sophomore Maddie Min sealed the deal with a final
tap at the goal. Sydney Grace then followed up
later in the game with another point to assure the
win. The next day TJ beat J.E.B. Stuart High School
1-0. With no recovery time playing for the third day
in a row, TJ lost to Centreville High School. They
played phenomenally according to several parents
who attended the game and the girls felt great
about their work with no regrets after the game
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The JVFH team pictured from left to right: Back row - Katherine Schinella (Manager), Lauren Wattendorf, Caroline
Hatcher, Rachel Naidich, Sophia Trissell, Lydia You, Jennifer Li (Manager), Jennifer Hernandez, and Coach
Aubrey Lear; Front row - Neha Khandelwal, Kaitlin Phan, Vi Nguyen, Emmalyn Kim, Maxina Sheft, Nali Huynh, Srinidhi
(Nidhi) Nagireddy, Eden Gordon, and Alice Nolan; Not pictured - Arpitha Shenoy.
went to Centreville.
Getting in a five-day respite, TJ got straight back to
their winning trend with a 2-1 victory against
Wakefield High School. As she has all season long,
Co-Captain Maaike Blindenbach has consistently
used her speed, power shots, and expert handling
to dominate the back and midfields regardless of
opponents. She used her skill to score the first point
in the first half. Maaike’s persistence and
consistency impresses the stadium every game
without fail.
In the second half, Sydney Grace sped up the field
with strength and perhaps wings. Her score was
inevitable so a Wakefield defender tackled her
illegally from behind and received a card for the
drama. TJ’s Stephanie Zablocki vindicated the
move with 14 minutes left in the second half as she
sank a shot bringing TJ to a 2-1 lead. Not to be
outdone, goalie Sunny Truslow and the Varsity
defensive line then locked out the opposing team
for the remainder of the game assuring a clear win.
On October 20, TJ played the Capital Conference
Quarterfinals seeded 3rd and playing 6th seed
Wakefield for a second time. Sophomore striker
November 2015
My-Linh Budzien won the game with a singular
point. Sunny Truslow did the splits to reject a close
range shot with her right leg and hold off the
Wakefield Warriors before the half.
Then in the second half Sunny charged out of the
box to go head-to-head with a break away forward
from Wakefield. Sunny dominated the play and
thwarted the attempt. Sydney Grace Miller had
three fast breaks accelerating down the field in a
fast and furious foot race. She executed two
impressive shots on goal through tight openings.
The slim vertical posts that outline the goal
narrowly denied each shot. The team was glad to
see their friend Stella Sotos back in the action
showing her speed and dexterity post her serious
hand injury. Bayliss Wagner and Katie Zechman
delivered strong midfield advances with aggressive
dribbling and passing up the right side of the field
throughout the game. Co-Captain Katie has
delivered this same performance in every game.
Her offensive dribbling and defensive steals have
been essential to the team’s successes this season.
Katie was particularly effective and engaged in the
Quarter Finals. The team heads into the Conference
Semi-Finals on October 22 with plans to win.
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JV Field Hockey wraps up a fun filled fantastic
season!! The JV Field Hockey team closed out the
season with an overall record of 2W-3D-6L.
Here is a recap of the last few games of the season.
The JVFH team put up a spirited defense in pouring
rain to record a scoreless draw away at Thomas
Edison HS. The home game against Herndon finished
a thrilling 1-2 with the Colonials unfortunate to have
conceded a goal right before the final whistle. The
team pulled off an exciting 1-0 win against Lee HS in
a fast paced game where both teams had several
chances. The team lost the last home game to
Centreville 0-3 – the disappointment was quickly
forgotten in the great atmosphere created by the
supporters present for the Senior Night. The team
played with tenacity and determination to wrap up
the season with a 0-0 draw away at Wakefield HS.
The JVFH team wishes the Seniors in the field
hockey program, Maaike Blindenbach, Angela
Goyal, Rebecca Linick, Sydney Grace Miller, Stella
Sotos, and Katie Zechman, the very best of luck as
their final hockey season with the Colonials comes
to a close!! The JVFH team thanks their coaches and
supporters and is looking forward to returning to
the field soon!!
On October 19, the TJ Varsity Cheerleading Team
competed at the Capitol Conference Semifinals. In
the first round, there was a small technical
deduction that had no basis in the rule book.
However, that did not dampen the Varsity
Cheerleading Team’s spirit. Their second
performance was very strong, resulting in a 5th place
finish. On October 26, the TJ Varsity Cheerleading
Team competed at the Capitol Conference Finals.
The team’s performance of a challenging routine-including precise stunting and sharp jumps--resulted
in a 4th place finish.
The Varsity Coach is Jamie Brown and Assistant
Coach is Carolyn Wilson. Varsity Cheerleading Team
members are: Senior Captain Aly Luckett; Senior
Captain Rachel Vasta; Junior Captain Bailey Knight;
Immalla Chen; Sam Liu; Audrey Huang; Christina
Blake; Kenny Chen; Andreea Foarce; Elizabeth Hu;
Sharon Kim; Lilly Ko; Julia Martinez; Aazrin Mir;
Anjali Khanna; Richard Wang; Christine Zhao; and
Jenny Zhang.
At both competitions, the TJ Varsity Team was
supported by the TJ Junior Varsity Cheerleading
Team in the stands. The JV Cheerleaders’ colorful
posters and loud enthusiasm echoed throughout the
competition gym! The JV Coach is Mollie Gelbourd.
JV Cheerleading Team members are: Talia Carstoiu;
Head Varsity Coach Jamie Brown with the TJ Varsity and JV Cheerleading Teams
November 2015
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Debbie Dong; Elizabeth Ling; Wan Li; Annie Wang;
Sophia Wang; Cynthia Zhang; and Julia Zhou.
You can’t have just one or two good players on a
team to have a winning season. You need a team full
of committed, hard-working individuals who are
willing to push themselves each and every time they
step on the court in order to come up on top at the
end of the day. These individuals are what make up
your TJ Varsity Volleyball team.
Coach Helen, the team’s head coach, is supportive
and always eager to help the players reach their full
potential. She stresses the belief that the players are
capable of being successful and pushes them to
reach their goals.
Before the season started questions like how the
team was going to run a fast offense and maintain a
strong defense loomed over the heads of the
players and coaches. Now as the season nears its
end, the players can proudly say that through
games, both good and bad, the team has done its
best to reach these high standards. Time and time
again the varsity team has shown its fight and
resiliency despite the odds. Here’s a closer look at
the TJ Varsity Volleyball team.
• Amanda really is the backbone of this team. Her
defense and serve receive is incredible to watch.
She is the fighter on the court and has contributed
greatly to the success of her teammates.
• Brittney, our defensive specialist, despite having
faced many fast-paced game scenarios, has
continued to keep her cool. The team can always
count on her to be give 110% whether in practice
or in the heat of a game.
• Wendy, a 5’10'' senior outside hitter, has helped
lead her team to many wins and in the process has
cemented herself as a force to be reckoned with.
A versatile player, Wendy is a great addition to the
• Katie is a senior player with the skills to do it all.
Whether she plays as a setter, hitter, or passer,
Katie always strives to perform her best to carry
the team. There is never a dull moment with Katie
on the court.
November 2015
• Jessica is one of the most talented all-around
players on the team. She’s a dominant force in the
front row and has a deadly float serve that has
contributed much to the success of the team. Her
experience and intimidating skills have been
pivotal to the team and earned her the title of a
feared hitter.
• Tamara, the junior setter and hitter of the team,
has volleyball skills that speak for themselves.
She’s sweet off the court, but fierce as soon as she
crosses the lines onto the court. Her talent takes
center stage and with her skills, she has easily
become an essential team player.
• Sania doesn’t like to take the spotlight, but sets a
great example on the court. A humble athlete, her
skills have elevated the team’s performance and
always shine through on the court.
• Sarah looks good on or off the court. With her
skills as a middle blocker, she has put away balls
time and time again for the team. Without her
talent and spirited personality, the team wouldn’t
be the same.
• Katelin is the quarterback of the team. She
touches the ball more often than any other player
on the team and whenever she does it’s
spectacular. Her setting has greatly benefited the
team and her presence on the court is always sure
to bring a smile to those who watch her.
• Jenny has helped the team reach its goals over
and over again. Her fun personality and amazing
skills have helped the team immensely. Not only
does she perform well on the court, but she also
keeps up the team’s spirit regardless of what the
scoreboard says.
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• Mi Jin is a spitfire on the court whose personality
and skill have aided the team in many of their
games. As a defensive specialist, Mi Jin is never
scared to hustle and dive for the ball, a skill that
has been valuable to the team.
• Kiersten is a dynamic player who has so much
positive energy and is a true team player who
strives to always be the best. She has a great
sense of team. She’s always encouraging other
people to be the best.
This season the Varsity team has had very close
games with other high school teams. Despite their
losses, these girls have played with vast motivation
and have always done their best. TJ Athletics is
proud of these hardworking kids. TJ’s Volleyball
team is something these players have worked really
hard for and it’s something they’ll have for the rest
of their lives.
The 2015 Golf Season had some significant highs and
very few lows. The Coed Golf team won its third
consecutive Conference 13 team title. After coming
in second two years in a row, the team finally won a
regional title in a one hole play-off with North
Stafford after both teams finished with identical
scores of 310. The winning play-off was led by
Seniors Millen Anand and Nathan Chuwait, Junior
Christine Wang, and Sophomore Min Kang.
To be good in high school you have to bring a team
together in a short period of time. Coach Kate took
the challenge and in three months tamed a team
that hadn’t played together that much and turned it
into a well-balanced and strong team. Coach Kate
understood that communication is a two-way street
that involves a back and forth between coach and
athlete. She continuously challenged the players to
do better and push their limits. She inspired them to
believe in themselves.
The JV finished the 2015 season with well-deserved
wins. Whether in scrimmages or games, the team
really fought hard on the court. They won their
scrimmage against Hayfield and then continued the
season to defeat Fairfax, Annandale, and West
Potomac. Whether the game ended in a win or loss,
the players on the JV team played at a high level and
their skills never stopped shining through.
The next week the team advanced to states at the
Magnolia Green Golf Course in Richmond, Virginia.
After last year's third place finish, the team was
poised to do even better this time around. Eight
strokes behind first place Deep Run, and three
strokes ahead of last year's champion, Mills Godwin,
the team fought hard and all the Tj golfers improved
their second day scores, but was unable to catch the
eventual winner, Deep Run High School. However,
we did hold on to second place, and shaved three
more strokes off our score to keep Mills Godwin in
third place. The team of Nathan, Millen, Min,
Christine, Albert Zeng, and Chris Cao played some
pressure packed golf on both days.
Our Junior Varsity Volleyball team was full of
talented payers and they all showed a lot of
sportsmanship on the court.
The team will miss its Seniors who graduate this
year, Nathan Chuwait, Millen Anand, Albert Zeng,
Peter Andringa, and Nikki Kothari.
Nathan Chuwait will graduate as TJ's first individual
State Golf Champion. He also is a three time
Conference Champion, and a three time Regional
Champion. At the 5A/6A State Tournament, he had
November 2015
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the low score of 140 in both divisions.
On the girls' side, we made significant improvement
in adding skilled players to the team. Jiny Cho,
Theresa Kim, Celine Jeong, and Christine Wang all
advanced to the State Regional Qualifier for
determining players who will go to states. Christine
and Theresa both qualified and played at the Red
Wing Golf Course in Virginia Beach. Both girls played
well and Christine finished in the top 20 in the 60player tournament.
Registration has started for the 2016 rowing
season! No prior experience is needed to row with
us. Every year we sign up approximately 120 co-ed
members to our team, which include returning boy
and girl rowers and coxswains and also a significant
number of first time rowers for our freshmen and
novice boats. Please check our website to register
online. If you have questions about the registration
process, please contact the TJ Crew Membership
Chair, John Randolph, at john at
We welcomed many of our prospective rowers and
their parents at the TJ Boathouse Open House at
Sandy Run Regional Park, on October 10. It was a
great opportunity for all potential rowers and their
families to come see our facilities, visit with coaches,
veteran rowers, and crew parents, and experience
on-water rowing with our returning rowers in one of
our racing shells.
Rowing is a spring sport. However, many of our
rowers and coxswains (both boys and girls) have
already started rowing in competitive and
developmental teams with the Resilient and Still
Water Rowing Clubs. Our TJ rowers and coxswains
have had great success placing against highly
competitive teams in head races on the Occoquan in
four and eight person boats. This fall, TJ team
members will also be traveling to compete in
November 2015
regattas held in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and
TJ Men Rowing with Resilient and Still Water
TJ Women Medal at the Occoquan
The official TJ Crew team training begins on
Thursday, November 19 with our winter
conditioning program, held at TJ every day after
school. Participants in the winter training program
must complete three forms to begin practice. Please
check our website registration page to download the
For questions, students should contact the Crew
Captains at TJMensCaptains at and
TJWomensCaptains at Questions may
also be emailed to our team’s head coach Kim
Ehrman at kimehrman at, and/or TJ Crew
President Ed McDonald at TJCrewpresident at Parents are always welcome at the Crew
Booster Board Meetings, which are held at TJ on the
second Wednesday of each month.
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Winter sports (Basketball, Indoor Track, Wrestling,
Gymnastics, Swim and Dive) start on November 9.
The required paperwork to tryout is a valid VHSL
physical, Emergency Care Card (ECC), Parent online
concussion education and Student online concussion
education. All forms and links can be found here.
All paperwork must be turned in by November 6 for
students to receive their PASS. Students can receive
their pass two ways: 1) Fall athletes that are
interested in playing a winter sport can email Ms
Murphy (heather.murphy at for a pass; 2)
Students can turn in required paperwork at school
to the athletic trainers on October 30, November 5,
or November 6 to receive their pass.
Calling all TJ Football
Dust off those cleats and come out for the First
Annual TJ Alumni Flag Football Game & BBQ on
Friday, November 27, from 3:00-6:00pm at the TJ
Stadium Field.
Coaches will not collect paperwork on the first day
of winter sports. They will only collect the pass. All
students must have a pass to tryout. For further
information, please go to the Colonial Athletics
website and read the Winter Sports Paperwork
Procedures, VHSL Physical FAQ sheet and Winter
Sports Tryout information.
Please email heather.murphy at if you have
any questions regarding the Winter Sports Pass.
Reach out to your friends and start lining up your
teams! Visit the FB Event to RSVP. Spread the word
and hope to see you there!
Questions? Email Mindy Conway at minconway at
November 2015
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November 2015
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Show your school pride and spirit with attractive, durable license plate frames. Proceeds benefit the
Thomas Jefferson Band Boosters. These are great gifts for any occasion!
1. Selection
Option A:
Our popular TJHSST class year license frame
1) Select graduation year and note quantity:
_________ write in the year
2) Frame Style: Verify which of these applies to your vehicle:
Standard _______ (holes and renewal stickers on top)
Reversed _______(holes and stickers on bottom)
Option B:
Customized license frame order
Personalized with any school name, graduation year, team, club or slogan!
1) Circle background color/letter color:
Typical: red/white on top with blue/white on bottom
Or: white/red, white/blue, white/black, red/white, black/white, black/gold, black/grey,
gold/black, dark green/white, dark green/gold, blue/white,
blue/gold, yellow/black, burgundy/white, burgundy/gold
2) Insert your message (include spaces):
|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__| top
10 11
13 14 15 16
17 18 19
|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__|__| bottom
3) Frame Style: Verify which of these applies to your vehicle:
Standard _______(holes and renewal stickers on top)
Reversed _______(holes and renewal stickers on bottom)
2. Payment:
________ x $20.00 each = ______________
Please make check payable to “TJHSST Band Boosters”.
Thank you!
3.Your Information:
Name: ____________________________ Phone: _________________
Provide e-mail address, and you will receive e-mail when your order is available for pickup at the TJ front office:
E-mail Address:________________________________________________________
Student’s name:________________________________________________________
SEND FORM AND CHECK payable to “TJHSST Band Boosters” to:
Therese Chaplin 6027 Bitternut Drive
Alexandria, VA 22310
Questions? Contact tchaplin at
or 703-971-3776 (home)
November 2015
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November 2015
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Noteworthy Dates
November 2015
November 2015
Teacher Workday
School Planning Day
2nd Day for Winter Athletes to turn in
required paperwork to receive their
PASS (see pg 24)
Principal’s Coffee, 9:00-11:00am,
LAST Day for Winter Athletes to turn
in required paperwork to receive
their PASS (see pg 24)
Viennese Ball, 7:00-11:00pm, Gym 2,
Choral Rm
Academic Boosters Phonathon,
Annual Fundraising Event (see pg 13)
2 hour early release, 2:00pm
Thanksgiving Day
School Holiday
1st Annual TJ Alumni Flag Football
Game & BBQ, 3:00-6:00pm, TJ
Stadium Field (see pg 24)
December 2015
Band Concert, 7:00-10:00pm,
2 hour early release, 2:00pm dismissal
School Holiday
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