Thank You for a Great Year! - TJHSST June Update

Message from the Principal

Dear TJHSST Families:

As we head into our final week of school, I would like to sincerely thank all our students, faculty, staff, parents, and community friends who have helped us accomplish the seemingly impossible. We stayed true to our core values that keep students at the center. We supported our outstanding teachers who delivered world-class education during a continuing pandemic. We revived traditions and restored relationships. 

Our reflections on the past year reveal an asset mindset. We met students where they were upon returning to in-person learning in the fall. We accomplished our rigorous curricular standards in creative ways. Flexibility has been key to our success. Teachers reduced workload, designed alternative assessments, adjusted deadlines, and were responsive to student advocacy. These actions have been natural extensions to the work we started several years ago as a Challenge Success school, and the meaningful change during our journey has been nationally recognized.

Looking to our future, I am excited for the 550 freshmen in the Class of 2026 whom we welcomed recently at a preview night. I am so very proud of how our school community creates a culture of belonging and support as evidenced by a recent feature on members of this year's freshman class.

Finally, congratulations, thanks, and best wishes to the Class of 2022! Each of their four years at TJ has been a unique experience and this class has accomplished everything, and more, when compared to those in the past. They have been our scaffold as we rebuilt ourselves this year. The strength the Class of 2022 has provided will ensure TJ ascends to even greater heights in the future! We will miss our seniors and their families! 

I invite all families and friends to tune in to our Class of 2022 Commencement Ceremony from Eagle Bank Arena which broadcasts live starting at 7:20 p.m., Saturday June 4, at the following Link to Live Stream

Wishing everyone a fulfilling, healthy, and lively summer!


Dr. Ann N. Bonitatibus 

TJHSST Proud Principal

Twitter @TJAnnB 

Grades 9-11 Final Exam Schedule

Below is the final exam schedule for our underclassmen this year. Each day will be a half day that lasts from 8:40-11:55 a.m. (except Friday, see below)

Monday, June 6 – Periods 1 and 2 

Tuesday, June 7 – Periods 3 and 4

Wednesday, June 8 – Periods 5 and 6

Thursday, June 9 – Period 7 and makeups 

Friday, June 10 – 2 hour day (class time - 8:40-10:40 a.m.)

Staff Recognitions for Years of Service

As the year comes to an end, we'd like to recognize the following staff members for reaching these years of service milestones with FCPS! We appreciate all you do for our kids and TJ!

Years of Service

Staff Member

35 Years

Sandra Chhabra

30 Years

Stephen Rose

Aaron Sacks

25 Years

Amal Abdelhaq

Patty Lister

Vincent Pollet

20 Years

Brian Kennedy

Jayne Matricardi

Maria Gilbert

Mark Forgash

Sonia Del Cerro

15 Years

Jenifer Hitchcock

Karilee Schmitt

Melissa Stile

Men Huynh

Quang Du

Rebecca Fornaris

10 Years

Aubrie Holman

Lona Klein

Mary Susan Burnett

Mary Handlon

Monica Geiger

Vicky Plescow

5 years

Ann Bonitatibus

Daniel Seidenberg

Emil Jurj

Fakhar Zia

JeanMarie Stewart

Maria Del Cid Umana

Teresa Hamrick

Tinhvan Phan

Victoria Fisher


Staff Retirements

We also would like to recognize the follow staff who are retiring at the conclusion of the school year. We thank you for everything you have done for the students and TJ, and wish you well as you embark on your new adventure!

  • Dr. Esther Barkat - School Psychologist
  • Sandra Chhabra - Chemistry Teacher
  • Robert Culbertson - Physics Teacher
  • Rusty Hodges - Director of Student Activities
  • Dr. Thomas Larson - Biology Teacher
  • Betsy Sandstrom - Russian Teacher
  • Cynthia Van De Kamp - French Teacher

TJ Students Earn Honors at Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair

Seven different TJ students won honors at the prestigious Regeneron International Science Fair that took place in May. Four of them won multiple awards. Here is a list of the winners and their category.

  • Suraj Vaddi 
    • EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, Third AwardTar Print: Novel Convolutional Remote Sensing Techniques To Quantify Urbanization and Study Water Quality 
  • Eugene Choi, Irfan Nafi, and Raffu Khondaker

    • ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY: STATICS & DYNAMICS, Third Award Decentralized Shared Intelligence of Autonomous Vehicles With Real-Time Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning
      • Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, Honorable Mention
      • Central Intelligence Agency, First Award
      • Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Award to participate in summer school “Web Valley”
      • SAE International, Best Projects
  • Seoyoung Jun

    • ROBOTICS AND INTELLIGENT MACHINES, Second Award Mind Beacon: A Portable Spatial Recognition Device for the Visually Impaired Using a 3D Depth Sensor and Custom Tactile Display
      • Association for Computing Machinery, Fourth Award
  • Ron Nachum

    • TRANSLATIONAL MEDICAL SCIENCE, Third Award PANDwriting: An Accessible, High-Sensitivity Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Screening System Using Vision-Based Handwriting Kinematic Analysis and Machine Learning

  • Sohini Banerjee

    • First Award of in each Regeneron ISEF Category, Air Force Research Laboratory on behalf of the United States Air ForcePost-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Biomarker Identification Using Integrative Network Fusion and Deep Learning With Bayesian Hyperparameter Optimization

Congratulations to all the winners. Your research inspires us!

Grades 9-11 Laptop Collection Reminder

We will be collecting underclassman laptops beginning this coming Thursday, June 9. This collection is for all students not participating in summer enrichment opportunities. Here is some key information.

  • FCPSOn Laptop collection will begin at 10:10am on Thursday, June 9 near the Art Gallery Lobby and Room 118.  We will only be collecting laptops from 10:10-11:40am.
  • Early laptop collection will occur on Monday, June 6 through Wednesday, June 8 in Room 281 from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Last minute collection will occur on Friday, June 10 in Room 281 from 8:00-10:30am.
  • We are only collecting FCPSOn laptops – not FCPSOn chargers or sleeves.  You must keep these over the summer. 
  • If you are participating in summer enrichment opportunities, you will receive a later communication from the TJ Tech Team about when and where you will be returning your FCPSOn laptop over the summer.
  • If your device has any damage or something you would like addressed, please complete this form.

Continuous Summer Access to Online Tutoring with

FCPS students will continue to have unlimited access to 24/7, on-demand, online tutoring support services through during the summer of 2022.  Students are able to use during the summer to review and/or practice in subject areas of interest or need. Students may also choose to access other tools/services such as practice quizzes in a variety of subject areas, as well as self-paced study courses for SAT/ACT preparation.

Details about how students can access via archived courses in Schoology are provided in Summer Access at - Online Tutoring Services.  Students enrolled in summer Credit Recovery Academy, Online Campus, Online Economics & Personal Finance, and TJHSST summer courses will be able to access via their active summer course in Schoology.

FCPS Information on Summer Access

FCPS Flyer with Instructions on Summer Access

End of the Year Medication Pick-up 2021-2022

The school health room is reminding parents and guardians that all medication stored in the health room must be picked up no later than the student dismissal time on the last day of school, Friday, June 10 by 10:40 am. Medication left in the health room after that time will be discarded.

It is FCPS policy that medications must be picked up by the parent or guardian. Medication cannot be sent home with your student. However, with parent or guardian permission, a high school student may transport over-the-counter medications to and from the school health room. 

If you have any questions, please contact your school health room aide, Tanya Holloway, at 703-750-8320 or

Class of 2023 Meningococcal Vaccine Reminder

This message is for families of the Class of 2023, who will be seniors at TJ during the 2022-23 school year.

The Code of Virginia requires all students to be immunized against certain communicable diseases prior to entrance into one of its schools. All 12th grade students are required to have been immunized with one dose of the Meningococcal Vaccine given at the age of 16 or older.

Please review the immunization requirements here.  

Proof of immunization must be submitted to the school. If you have not already submitted your documentation, you may do so by fax: 703-750-5057, email: or by mail to the school (please put attn: Student Services on envelope). These documents need to be returned prior to the start of the 2022-23 school year, preferably by July 1.

For more information on this requirement, visit this FCPS website.

Planning for Meals During 2022-23 School Year

For those returning to TJ for the 2022-23 school year, we have an important update on student meals.

The extension of the federal no-cost meals benefit to all FCPS students is expected to expire at the end of this school year.

For those who have a need, you are encouraged to submit the Free and Reduced-Price Meal application prior to the first day of the 22-23 school year. The online application will be available later this summer. Watch your email and the FCPS website for more information.

 Learn more about the Free and Reduced-Price Meal program online.

No-cost summer meals will be served at TJ summer school this year. Please visit the FCPS website for updated information during the summer.


tjSTAR Returns to In-Person Event

On May 16, TJ held its first in-person tjSTAR event since 2019. All seniors had the opportunity to present their year-long research projects to the school, while underclassmen had the opportunity to choose which presentations to visit. 

We have a few thank you's to give. First to our featured speakers, TJ alums Kavya Kopparapu ('18) and Katherine Sizov ('15) for speaking with our school in the morning about their experiences at TJ and what they have been working on since graduating. And, second, to our tjSTAR student committee (pictured below), which did a majority of the work organizing and putting together the event. 

Please enjoy this photo gallery from what ended up being a fantastic event!

Photo Gallery of tjSTAR projectsCollage of photos from tjSTAR event, including the student committee in charge of working on the event.

Two TJ Students Earn FCPS Peace Awards

The Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County were begun in 2006 to encourage people to think more about peace as both a means and an end, and to recognize young people who work as peacemakers. Every year, the high schools in Fairfax County are asked to select one junior or senior, or a group of students, whose work has promoted peace. 

For TJ, Damilola Awofisayo and Christopher Arraya each took home a FCPS Peace Award this year.

Dami and Chris are active members of the Student Equity Coalition, a student organization whose mission is to affirm, empower and elevate the diversity of TJ’s school community. The Student Equity Coalition provides a forum for students to discuss issues, see other perspectives, and provide a voice for under-represented groups while creating a closer-knit community among students whose families come from different countries, cultures and religious backgrounds.

TJ has had a FCPS Peace Award winner in 11 of the past 12 years. For more information on this year's recipients, please read the FCPS release on it here.

Student Creates Math Garden in Planetarium Courtyard

Pi Rogers, a junior here at TJ and a Troop 51 Life Scout, built a math garden in the Planetarium Courtyard as his Eagle Scout project on April 14th and 15th, 2022. The idea of a math garden was inspired by the Avant-Garden at the Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersburg, FL.

The TJ math garden consists of square stepping stones arranged to demonstrate four mathematical concepts. The leftmost section shows the first 16 numbers of the Fibonacci Sequence. The left center section is a right triangle, displaying the Pythagorean theorem with squares of length 3, 4, and 5 on the sides. The right center section is a visualization of pi as 22/7. The rightmost section is a grid of the first 4 stages of 4 different fractals. There are also four engraved granite plaques in front of each section explaining the concepts demonstrated by the stones.

Here are a couple pictures of the project. Great job Pi, this will be enjoyed by TJ students and staff for years to come!

The finished product of the math gardenPi Rogers and friends work on math garden

J-Day Returns to TJ!

On Friday, June 3, the annual J-Day event made its triumphant return to TJ! It had not been held since 2019 due to COVID related concerns. During the afternoon students had the opportunity to play basketball, football, ultimate frisbee, lacrosse, see performances, and sample (many) foods at the over 60 booths that different clubs sponsored.

Here is a small photo gallery of the day's events.

Collage of photos from J-Day


In each newsletter we want to give some quick shout outs to TJ staff, students, teams, and alumni:

  • The TJ CubeSat Team traveled to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD to participate in the final Vibration Test and Fit Check for TJREVERB. The entire team worked with Dr. Jin Kang of Maru Space Tech to run tests that determined if the Cube Sat was fit for flight. The satellite passed with flying colors! After the test, the team was treated to a tour of the Academy’s Engineering Department and a semi-private air show by the Blue Angels.
    • Robotics Lab Director Kristen Kucko, along with two students will be travelling July 18-20 to deliver TJREVERB, the student built CubeSat to the NanoRacks Integration facility at Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. The team will be touring Johnson Space Center as well as working with NASA and SpaceX Engineers to secure the payload to the NanoRacks CubeSat deployer. The Cube Sat is scheduled to fly on SpaceX CRS-26 October 2022. Great job to everyone who has worked to put this project together over past few years!
  • The TJUAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) Team has designed and built a plane from scratch using the laser cutter and other equipment in the Robotics Lab. They will put it to the test June 15-18 at the annual AUVSI-SUAS competition. The competition requires students to design, integrate, report on, and demonstrate a UAS (unmanned aerial system) capable of autonomous flight and navigation, remote sensing via onboard payload sensors, and execution of a specific set of tasks. The competition has been held annually since 2002.
  • The TJ Girls' Soccer Team won the National District Championship this year. They also advanced to the second round of the Regional Tournament. Great season everyone! 
  • Congratulations to TJ Alum Ehren Kruger ('90)! Now a writer/producer in Hollywood, his latest movie Top Gun: Maverick (which he co-wrote with two other writers) has been a big hit at the box office.

Athletics Information for the 2022-23 School Year

Here is some important information about athletics for the 2022-23 school year from our Department of Student Activities.

Sport Starting Dates for 2022-23

Fall sports (golf (July 28), football, cheer, field hockey, volleyball, cross county, dance) will start on August 1st.

Winter sports (Basketball, gymnastics, swim & dive, track & field, wrestling, dance) will start on November 7th.

Spring sports (Soccer, lacrosse, softball, tennis, track & field, crew, baseball) will start on February 20th.



  • VHSL Physical Form-Must be the January 2021 version
    • Must be dated on or after May 1, 2022
    • New every school year
    • Form is on our website under FORMS
    • MAIL forms to: Heather Murphy, ATC, 6560 Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA 22312
  • DUE at the time of out of season condition events, or July 29th for FALL sports.
  • Athletic Registration-ONLINE
    • Must be completed every school year
    • ONLINE: website “Athletic Registration”
    • Indicate all sports for the 2022-23 school year
    • Complete concussion education
    • Complete emergency care card
    • Complete weight room permission, field trip driver’s information, & insurance
  • Physicals from 2021-22 school year expire June 30, 2022. Students wanting to do out of season conditioning from July 1, 2022 on will need a NEW physical.


It is at the coach’s discretion if they hold out of season conditioning. A physical will be due that time. If you have turned in your physical to Heather Murphy, students will be added to a compliance report. If not, please give it to coach on your first day. Physicals are due PRIOR to tryouts each season. July 28th for golf and July 29th for football, field hockey, cheerleading, and cross county. There will be no more sports passes. Coaches have access to a compliance report that indicates students have turned in a valid VHSL physical & competed athletic registration.

Questions or concerns? Email head athletic trainer, check out our website, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @TJHSST_Sports

Remember to Clear Student Obligations

TJ Students - do you still have TJ textbooks/paperbacks sitting at home? Please turn them in to the Finance Office (Room 105) to clear your student account of any outstanding obligations. Be on the lookout for individual student email reminders regarding any outstanding books, field trips and activity fees. Fees can be paid on MySchoolBucks. Feel free to stop by the Finance Office (Room 105) with any questions.

Marching Band Enrollment Open through June 7

TJHSST Marching Band (a.k.a. “TJMC”) enrollment open until June 7.  See for more information including the Marching Band calendar, curricular enrollment info, info specifically for incoming freshmen or students new to the band program, and all other band-related information. 

Lost and Found Will Be Cleared Out On June 8

If students have anything they think might be located in the lost-and-found near Darwin Commons, they have until June 8 to retrieve it. All items remaining in the lost-and-found after June 8 will be discarded.

TJ is Now On Twitter!

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is now on Twitter! Visit @TJHSST_Official  for news, upcoming events, reminders of important deadlines, and updates of all the fun activities going on at the school.

Be sure to give us a follow!

Important Calendar Reminders

June 4: Class of 2022 Graduation - Eagle Bank Arena, 7:30 p.m.

June 6-9: Underclassman Final Exams (half day, students released at 11:55 a.m.)

June 10: Last Day of School (2-hour day, students released at 10:40 a.m.)

June 21: TJHSST Summer Programming Begins

August: New student orientation (specific date still to be determined)

August 22: First day of School