TJHSST Spring Break Bulletin


Dear TJHSST Community:

Welcome to the last quarter of the school year! 

We are busily preparing for many events: academic competitions, final exams, AP tests, our culminating arts performances and athletic contests, annual events like tjSTAR and J-Day, and prom. We'll then celebrate our Class of 2019 graduates and roll out the red carpet for the Class of 2023!  While the closing weeks can be hectic, remember to take time to enjoy all that TJ has to offer.  

Challenge Success Update

Throughout the year we have been exploring how students and staff can have balance in their lives.  A few month ago we shared results from our Challenge Success survey given to students. Since that time our team of staff members, students and parents have been working on three main areas of focus for next year: rigor/workload, sleep, and managing expectations.

Some of the ideas we are considering include education sessions, stakeholder focus groups, fish bowl activities, teacher-led surveys, a parent survey and shadow days.  Moving forward, we will look at how we can benefit from the input of students, school staff, and parents to best address each focus area.

Springtime Reminder About Dress and Attendance

As the temperatures heat up, the inhibitions of our teens decrease in equal degrees!

Please remember FCPS has a Dress Code policy that requires students to be appropriately clothed for a school environment. Any clothing that interferes with or disrupts the educational environment is unacceptable. Prohibited apparel includes anything that shows excessive bare skin or private parts. Thanks to all for keeping our model school a professional learning environment.

The sun beckons particularly to our seniors who feel a Senior Skip Day is a rite of passage and well-deserved after four years of excelling at TJ. Please be aware that skip days are unexcused absences and not sanctioned by FCPS. Moreover, they can be disruptive to our instructional program. When seniors skip school, there is an implication that the teachers need to "hold" on instruction or otherwise accommodate the skipping students with make-up opportunities. We ask that seniors and families continue to respect the important and thoughtful work teachers do each day.

Spring Break and PDF

Have a wonderful break filled with PDF! Playtime, Downtime, Family Time. Enjoy taking long walks, playing tennis or being out on a beach. Spring Break is a great time to catch up on sleep--try to enjoy 8-10 hours of quality snooze every night. Put down electronic devices for at least 2 consecutive hours during the day and at least 30 minutes before going to bed. Rediscover family mealtime and cook together one evening or volunteer together. You give so much to TJ every day, now give the gift of PDF back to your family over the break. Stretch and breathe!

I hope you love the diverse interests and talents at TJ as much as I do! Nearly every day we have an opportunity to celebrate group and individual accomplishments. While we can't capture all moments in pictures, I'd like to share a gallery of smiling faces with you. Scroll below to see a sample of what's brought us joy the past several weeks.

Looking forward to seeing everyone back to school on April 22.



Ann N. Bonitatibus, Ed.D.




Congratulations to theater arts teacher Andrew Reid! He is a finalist for the FCPS New Teacher of the Year award. Region 2 Leaders recently visited TJ and surprised Mr. Reid and his A.P. Music Theory class with the good news. We're proud to have the best!

National Science Bowl

TJ Science Bowl Team won 1st place at Regional competition and represents VA at nationals. Sponsor teachers Myra Spoden and Cathy Scott are proud of Wenbo Wu, Kaien Yang, Daniel Fu, William Xu, Yoseph Mak. Read press release here.

Sohn Peace Award

Student Angie Sohn was recently recognized for a Student Peace Award of Fairfax County for her humanitarian outreach to North Korean refugees. Dr. Brabrand says it’s like the Nobel Peace Prize for FCPS. Angie is pictured with parents and Assistant Principal Volita Russell.


We can find music anywhere any time at TJ! An FCPS photographer caught these flutists making melodious tunes.

PTSA Coffee

Our PTSA is the best at getting parents involved! We appreciate strong participation at curriculum panels and Principal's Coffees.

Natl Chess

Checkmate! The TJ Chess Team has been named National Champs under the sponsorship of teachers Peter Gabor and John Zacharias, with team captains Praveen Balakrishnan and Camden Wiseman. See press release here.


Student collaboration is powerful at TJ! We see great minds mentoring each other and debating important topics of the day.


If you missed Spamalot, our spring musical, know that our performers can act, sing, tap dance, and gallop, all with great comedic timing!

First TECH

Teacher Chuck DelaCuesta brags on TJ's FIRST Tech Challenge team, Robot Uprising. After a successful showing at states, they qualified for nationals this month by winning awards in  outreach and design.


TJ students have plenty of time to relax with friends throughout the day. It's refreshing when we don't see a laptop or book cracked open!



The Track and Field Team knows how to celebrate Senior Night in style!


TJ Science Olympiad placed first at state competition and advances to nationals at the end of May! Proud teachers Aubrie Holman, Rachel Mills and John Woodwell congratulate the team and thank all the parent support.


We are proud of how TJ students regularly give back to other schools and inspire young scientists. Here, TJ female scientists are mentoring girls at neighboring Weyanoke Elementary School.

Science Fair

Students Kaien Yang, Rishabh Misra, Divjot Bedi and Rachel Naidichwith were grand prize winners in Fairfax County Science and Engineering Fair and advanced to state competition. 


TJ students excel as writers taking home the Columbia Scholastic Press Assoc. Silver Crown award for Teknos, which also took home Best of Show at the local Society for Technical Communication  competition. This is not a student contest. All other entries were private companies and national labs, and TJ bested them! Editors Lilia Qian, Isabelle Deng and Daniel Huffman.


Senior Adam Ardeishar won 3rd place and $150,000 in the presitgious Regeneron National Science Talent Search competition for his project combining a classic previously unsolved math problem called the “coupon collector problem” with extreme value theory. Read press release here


Latin music, food, and fun filled Nobel Commons for the Spanish Honor Society's annual Bulería Dance. Following a buffet, TJ's Ballroom Dance Club, with help from a local ballroom dance instructor, provided step-by-step guidance on how to perform classic Latin dance moves. Teachers Peggy Gendive and Nannette Mateo are masters of the dance!

Sr Computing

Senior Computing Team brought home first place from the Virginia Commonwealth University’s high school programming competition.  Winning team included seniors Charlie Gunn and George Tang, junior Arvind Ravipati, and sophomore Spandan Das.  Proud teacher Ria Galanos pictured, too.


We love our parent volunteers and recently thanked them at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Tea. The many hours parents dedicate help support our teachers, office staff and students. We couldn't do what we do without you. Thank you!


Our coders were on fire at this year's HackTJ! The gymnasium was filled with hundreds of our students and guests from other local schools and nearby states. 


How many TJ students can we fit in a picture? Just ask our Social Studies teachers who recently hosted students on a visit to the U.S. Capitol. They had the opportunity to talk to elected officials and flex some citizenship muscles.