Wrapping Up a Great Year Part 1- TJHSST June Update

Message from the Principal

Dear TJHSST Families:

As we head into our final few days of school, I would like to sincerely thank all our students, faculty, staff, parents, and community friends who have helped us soar! We have continued to grow our TJ family and earn amazing accolades throughout the year. We have been able to reach our goals by staying true to our core values that keep students at the center. We supported our outstanding teachers who delivered world-class education and have celebrated our students’ countless notable achievements. 

We met students where they were and guided them to meet their aspirations. We accomplished our rigorous curricular standards in meaningful ways. Flexibility has been among our keys to our success. Teachers were mindful of students’ workload, designed creative lessons and assessments, 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 we look forward to programmatic innovations that will bring TJ to the next level. Looking to our future, I am excited for the 550 freshmen in the Class of 2028.

Finally, congratulations, thanks, and best wishes to the Class of 2024 as we confer them with diplomas tomorrow evening! Each of their four years at TJ has been a unique experience. This graduating class has accomplished what no other TJ class has done- starting their time at TJ in a virtual environment in the midst of a pandemic. Many of them did not see or meet their peers in person until their sophomore year. Nonetheless, they quickly built community and camaraderie. They have impressed me with their sheer perseverance and grit. The Class of 2024 has been careful to model and pass down TJ traditions to their younger peers. We will miss our seniors and their families! 

I invite all families and friends to tune in to our Class of 2024 Commencement Ceremony from Eagle Bank Arena which broadcasts live starting at 7:20 p.m., Saturday June 8, at the following Live Stream Link.

Wishing everyone a fulfilling, healthy, and lively summer! We’ll send Part II of our End-of-Year news next Friday, June 14.


Dr. Ann N. Bonitatibus 

TJHSST Proud Principal

News You Choose Updates - June Part 2 Next Week Plus Summer Plans

A quick note on News You Choose newsletters for the end of the school year and throughout the summer:

  • We will have a part 2 of our June newsletter coming next Friday, June 14. In it we will wrap up the school year, showcase graduation, honor staff for hitting years of service milestones, and honor those staff who are leaving us. 
  • Look for a Midsummer News You Choose update on Friday, July 12. It will showcase everything going on during the summer at TJ, as well as provide information on the upcoming school year.
  • There will be multiple News You Choose updates in August to help everyone prepare for the First Day of School. Dates of those newsletters are still to be determined.

Last Week of School Coming Up! Here are Some Reminders.

Here are a few important reminders with the last week of school upon us:

  • If your child is not using their FCPSOn laptop for final exams/classes, the laptop can be turned in early on June 10 in Room 281 before and after school. Main laptop collection will be June 11-12 by the art gallery      
    • Please note: This end of year collection is for all students not participating in summer school.
  • All lost and found items need to be claimed by Wednesday, June 12. After that date all items will be disposed of or given away.
  • 🥗 Don’t Forget to Check Your Student’s Lunch Balance!
    • It’s a busy time of year, and we know there are many priorities on families’ plates. As we approach the end of the school year, it is important to remember to check your students’ MySchoolBucks account and pay any remaining school meal balance. 

      Families that earn less than 185% of poverty level qualify for free and reduced-price meals. However, an application must be completed and submitted each school year to receive that benefit. The application for the 2024-25 school year will be available this summer. 

    • If families have a current balance and think they may be eligible for free and reduced-price meals, please fill out the FRM application for the 2023-24 school year. Get more information about free and reduced-price lunch.

  • NOVA Early Online College Fall 2024 Semester Registration

    • NOVA Early Online College (EOC) allows rising high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take up to two tuition-free college courses. EOC courses for the fall semester take place Monday, September 23, through Tuesday, December 17, 2024. Students should register by Friday, July 26, at 5 p.m.

    • Courses are asynchronous, online, and for college credit only. Thirteen courses are offered along with courses that fulfill the IT Technical Support Career Studies Certificate. EOC courses meet the requirements for most of NOVA’s associate degrees as well as being highly transferable as general education requirements for most colleges and universities.

Update on TJ Virtual Summer School

TJ Virtual Academic Summer School registration closes today, June 7, at midnight. Chemistry and Foundations of Computer Science run June 24 through July 29. TJ Math and Research Statistics begin on June 24 and conclude on July 12. Armond Bass is this year’s summer school Principal. All classes will be virtual from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each weekday. School is closed on July 4 and 5.

Information letters will be shared with all students on June 10. Class specific details will be shared by June 21. For further information, contact Margaret Wilson, Administrative Assistant.

Class of 2024 Presents their Research at tjSTAR

Collage of photos from tjSTAR


The culmination of their senior year (and really their entire four years at TJ), the Class of 2024 presented their research projects at the annual tjSTAR (Symposium To Advance Research). Each senior individual or group received a room assignment and a 15-minute slot to present their project and take questions from the students and parents/guardians in the room.

The day began with our keynote speaker, Dr. Eve Chase. A 2012 TJ graduate, Dr. Chase is a data scientist in the government sector who has devoted her career to using data analysis, machine learning, and statistical analysis to build a government that works best for the people. She currently works in the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of the Inspector General, providing data-driven support for waste, fraud, and abuse investigations involving government programs.

Then it was time for the seniors to showcase their research. The 9th, 10th, and 11th graders got to select three presentations to watch that interested them, while 12th graders visited presentations during times when they were not front and center presenting.

The day concluded with lunch from Panda Express, as well as the senior gift, a cool tjSTAR blanket.

Thank you to the TJ Partnership Fund for their generous grant, without which the day would not have been possible. Thanks as well to the tjSTAR student committee and all of the TJ staff for coming together to put on a successful day of research! 


Freshmen Conclude their Year with Annual IBEST Symposium

Collage of photos from the IBEST Symposium


The Class of 2027 put a bow on their freshman year at TJ with the annual IBEST Symposium on June 5.

Each IBEST cohort showed up in their custom shirts, while each group showed off the research project they worked on the past few months!

Afterward, the freshmen gathered in the auditorium to hear from Dr. Amy Williams who gave the event's keynote address.

Five TJ Projects Earn Grand Awards at International Science and Engineering Fair

Five projects and eight different TJ students won honors at the prestigious Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair that took place on May 17. Here is a list of the winners and their category.

  • Anant Khandelwal, Siddhant Sood, and Sritan Motati - First Award in Technology Enhances the Arts and a US Air Force Special Award for their project Diffusion-Based Conditional Mesh Synthesis for Rapid 3D Visual Design.
  • Medha Pappula - Second Award in Behavioral and Social Sciences
    for her project Identifying Underlying Brain Connections in Pediatric ADHD: A Pathway to Early Diagnosis and Reduced Secondary Effects.
  • Sanchali Banerjee - Fourth Award in Environmental Engineering for her project A Novel Framework Using Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to Create Land Resource Management Strategy Through Economic-Environmental Payoff Optimization.
  • Ryan Singh and Surbhi Singla - Fourth Award in Materials Science for their project Utilizing the Chirality Induced Spin Selectivity Effect Through Chiral Carbon Nanotubes to Polarize Current for Spin-Transfer Torque in Spintronic Devices.

For a complete list of winners visit the Society for Science website

National Merit Scholarship Corporation Awards 17 TJ Students Scholarships

Seventeen TJ students have been named winners of $2,500 scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). Scholarship winners are part of a group of approximately 2,500 National Merit finalists chosen to receive scholarships in 2024, primarily financed by the NMSC.  

Winners of the scholarships, with their probable career fields in parentheses, are as follows: 

  • Cameron Ake (computer programming)
  • Jacob Bowen-Glazeroff (law)
  • Dylan Cheng (software engineering)
  • Aiden Cheong (mechanical engineering - robotics)
  • Benjamin Daniil Cohen (neurosurgery)
  • Tristan Devictor (politics)
  • Pranav Elavarthi (computer science)
  • Paul Hwang (aerospace engineering)
  • Ronit Kapur (astrophysics)
  • Mihir Kulshreshtha (finance)
  • Cierra Min (biomedical engineering)
  • Sritan Motati (computer science)
  • Grace Oh (medicine)
  • Alexander O’Quinn (biomedical engineering)
  • Ayaan Siddiqui (software engineering)
  • Sebastian Emin Toro (computer engineering)
  • Emi Zhang (computer science)

Congratulations to all of the winners. View the FCPS Release for more information and to see all 27 winners from the entire county.

TJHSST Senior Memorial Awards and Military Recognition

TJ students enrolling in a military academy or ROTC program next year

TJ Seniors enrolling in a military academy or ROTC program next year

TJ students who have earned a Memorial Scholarship

TJ students who have earned a Memorial Scholarship

TJ held a very special senior award ceremony on May 31 during eighth period.

We had our Military Recognition to honor those seniors who have chosen to serve our country. They are as follows:

Christopher Qian - United States Air Force ROTC, Notre Dame

Leonard Schrag - Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, Air Force ROTC

Leilani Harris - United States Air Force Academy

Euli Kim - United States Military Academy

Paige Burke - United States Naval Academy

Anjali Maddipatla - United States Naval Academy

We also honored those students who have been awarded one of the TJHSST Memorial Awards, scholarships that families have set up in memory of former TJ students. Those were awarded to:

Rishabh Prabhu, senior - Class of 2018 Memorial Scholarship

Benjamin Rubin, senior - Beau Thompson Memorial Scholarship

Brian Zhou, senior - Beau Thompson Memorial Scholarship

Minati Divakar, freshman - Sarah Lahr Memorial Scholarship Poetry Award

Ishara Shanmugasundaram, senior - Sarah Lahr Memorial Scholarship Poetry Award

Sahil Kapadia, senior - Sarah Lahr Memorial Scholarship Essay Contest

Daniel John Chua, senior - Ryan Feng Memorial Music Scholarship

We were please to see counselors, staff, parents, and special guests join the ceremony. Congratulations to all our honorees and to those joining the academies and ROTC- thank you for your service!

TJ's Megan Sawant Elected 2024-25 FCPS School Board Student Representative

Congratulations to TJ junior Megan Sawant, who has been elected by the countywide Student Advisory Council to serve a one-year term as student representative to the Fairfax County School Board. Her term will begin July 1.

From FCPS - Learn more about Megan.

Thank You TJ Academic Boosters!

TJ Academic Booster Club with Dr. Bonitatibus

TJAB officers with Dr. Bonitatibus at year-end banquet


The TJAB (Thomas Jefferson Academic Boosters) held its yearend celebration for sponsored student clubs. TJAB officers and volunteers are pictured with Dr. Bonitatibus. TJAB is a parent volunteer organization nurturing students and academic teams at TJHSST. They collaborate with the administration and provide a platform for parental input. Fundraisers occur through membership drives, merchandise sales, and events like their Phonathon.

In the 2023-2024 school year, TJAB donated $25,165 to 18 academic clubs.

We thank all the families who have contributed to or volunteered with TJAB. Special gratitude goes to this year’s officers: President - Catherine Li (2027 parent), Vice President - Vinod Palikala (2025 parent), Treasurer - Hui Chen (2026 parent), Secretary - Jessica Zhang (2027 parent).

For more information or to join email contact@tjacademic.org

Global Leaders of Fairfax County Program Graduates Includes 17 TJ Students

TJ Students among all of the Global Leaders of Fairfax County program graduates

Photo Credit: Karen Bolt

The Global Leaders of Fairfax County graduated its fourth class on May 19 at Woodson High School. Among the 130  who completed the program, there were 17 TJ seniors. 

Global Leaders of Fairfax County, founded in 2020 by Fairfax County School Board At-large Member Ryan McElveen, aims to prepare fellows to be global citizens and change agents in their local community and the world. Throughout their senior year of high school, fellows have opportunities to engage with leaders from various fields and undertake field trips to civic institutions to advance their understanding of international affairs and global issues.


Collage of photos from J-Day


One of their favorite events of the entire school year, TJ students had the opportunity to let loose at the annual J-Day celebration on May 24. Part field day and part fundraiser, J-Day includes indoor and outdoor activities with the chance to buy various food and crafts. 

No activity or food cost more than $15, with most between $1 and $5. Thanks to the PTSA and SGA, several activities were completely free!


Collage of photos from Techstravaganza


TJ's Tomorrow's Women in Science and Technology (TWIST) club held its annual Techstravaganza event on May 18. Techstravaganza is a free, hands-on STEM activity fair for elementary and middle school students open to all members of the public that attracts thousands of visitors from the DMV area each year. 

TWIST's goal is to encourage students from diverse and low-income backgrounds to pursue STEM subjects.

At Techstravaganza, dozens of booths allowed kids to participate in fun activities, while learning some key STEM principles.

There were 2,936 visitors registered, with approximately 800 students from a variety of schools. TWIST worked hard to have 170 organization volunteers and 316 TJ student volunteers. Many thanks to TWIST faculty sponsor Dr. Sonia Del Cerro.

Please enjoy the photo gallery of some of the fun above!

Buddy Bench

Murthy family poses with Dr. Bonitatibus at the Buddy Bench

Murthy family poses with Dr. Bonitatibus behind the Buddy Bench

Plaque on Buddy Bench in memory of Vishnu Murthy

Plaque on Buddy Bench in memory of Vishnu Murthy

On May 31, TJ was thrilled to officially dedicate the Buddy Bench that now sits in the Nobel Courtyard for our students to enjoy!

"Buddy Bench" is a safe space that helps promote kindness, camaraderie and lessen loneliness. It provides a place for students where they can reach out to their peers. It also helps bring awareness to stress and mental health issues that students face and help them take steps to become more resilient.

Donated by the Vishnu Murthy Foundation, it is dedicated to the memory of Vishnu Murthy, a 2019 TJ Graduate. Pictured are Dr. Bonitatibus, Vishnu's parents, and his sister Veda who is a current TJ student.

TJ Cultivator's Club Gets Creative with their Resources

Collage of photos of the Cultivators Club's work.


The TJ Cultivator’s Club has been enjoying the Greenhouse this spring. This year they grew “TJ School Lunch” tomatoes from seeds, cleverly using leftover cherry tomatoes from the cafeteria. They also grew several cucumber plants using the cukes from their salads.

Other snacks included sugar snap peas and mixed lettuces. The students are hopeful that the blueberries and strawberries in their sensory garden will ripen before the last day of school. Pictured are the tomatoes, a “salad board,” and other student-grown veggies.


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

  • Congratulations to senior Benji Cohen for being named a US Presidential Scholar! One of the highest honors for high school graduates in the nation, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. Benji was one of only 161 winners in the United States and only one of 6 from Virginia.
  • National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) revealed the results of its Achievement Awards in Writing competition on May 5. Five TJ students were honored by the program, including two receiving the top level First Class distinction!
  • TJ's literary magazine Threshold received a Gold Medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for its 2022-23 edition! This is the highest possible honor. The 2023-24 edition was just released and we are hoping that trend continues with another entertaining publication!


Students examining photos and artifacts from Holocaust Survivor
  • Thank you Humanities teachers for an important lesson as they had Holocaust survivors come speak to sophomore classes on May 30. The photo above is an image of students looking at some of the photos and artifacts one of the speakers brought. 
Girls Tennis Occoquan Regional Champions!
  • Congratulations to the TJ girls' tennis team for their State Runner-Up finish! That comes after winning both District and Regional Championships this season. The team is pictured above after winning the Occoquan Region Championship back in May. 
Nine TJ Student-Athletes at table signing their letters to play in college


  • Nine TJ Student-Athletes have signed to continue their athletic careers in college! We are so proud of you for your success both in the classroom and on the field!

Parents Always Learning

Parents/Guardians Meeting with Dr. Bonitatibus and administration staff


You may remember in May's News You Choose newsletter when we told you about some TJ parents who are serving on FCPS Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid's Family Vision Group. One of the initiatives was to open more dialogue with administrators. 

One of the TJ parents on the group, Mirtha Arce, recently organized a meeting with the TJ Administration, where parents were able to get questions answered, and advice for their student's future high school years. Thank you Mirtha for putting together such a helpful meeting!

TJ Athletics - Tryout and Paperwork Requirements for 2024-25 School Year

Tryout and paperwork requirements to play sports at TJ 2024-25


Everyone needs a new VHSL physical to participate in sports during the 2024-25 school year. Physicals should be dated May 1, 2024, or after. During the summer, all physicals can be mailed to TJ C/O Heather Murphy 6560 Braddock Rd Alexandria, VA 22312.

If you plan on doing summer out-of-season practices, you can bring your physical to coach on your first day. Dr Murphy will be at TJ on August 1 from 9:30-4:30 where you can drop off your VHSL physical in person. VHSL physicals are required for out-of-season practices and before you can try out. Coaches receive a list of everyone who has turned in a physical on our compliance report. During the school year, physicals can be turned in at the Activities Office

Fall sports will start on August 5 (golf begins August 1), Winter sports on November 12, and Spring sports on February 25.

Online athletic registration (https://tjhsst-ar.rschooltoday.com/)  is required every school year before tryouts. You can register for the 2024-2025 school year AFTER July 1, make sure to indicate all the sports you will do next year when registering.

If you have questions, you can email the Director of Student Activities Dylan Forshay at dtforshay@fcps.edu or the Head Athletic Trainer Dr. Heather Murphy at  hrmurphy@fcps.edu.

Have a great and healthy summer!

How to Contact Us

Need to get ahold of someone at TJ? Here is some commonly requested contact information:

Main Office - 703-750-8300

Attendance Office - thomasjeffersonhigh.attendance@fcps.edu

Student Services - 703-750-8340

Student Activities - 703-750-8333

Security - 703-750-8331

Administration Contact Information

Dr. Ann Bonitatibus - Principal

Mr. Shawn Frank - Assistant Principal (oversees Class of 2025 and World Language, Art, Music, and Physical Education Division)

Ms. Yaara Crane - Assistant Principal (oversees Class of 2026 Science and Technology Division)

Ms. Chrystal Benson - Assistant Principal (oversees Class of 2027 and  Mathematics and Computer Science Division)

Ms. Volita Russell - Assistant Principal (oversees Classes of 2024 and 2028 and Humanities Division)

Ms. Sara Genetin - Director of Student Services (oversees Counselors, Social Worker, School Psychologist and other staff providing student support)

Mr. Dylan Forshay - Director of Student Activities (oversees Activities Office, 8th Period, Athletic Office, Building Maintenance, Custodians, Food Services)

Mr. Leo Resquin - Director of Technology (oversees Technology Team, Testing Tech Support, tjSTAR, Safety and Security/Transportation)

Mr. Mike Roth - Communications Specialist (oversees NewsYouChoose and eNotify, Event promotions,  print/digital text, photo, video, Social Media accounts, TJHSST Webmaster and Visitors US & International (TJPF)

For another specific staff member, please use our Staff Directory to find contact information. 


Follow TJ on Social Media!

Be sure to visit Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology On its official social media channels!

Visit our X (Twitter) account @TJHSST_Official  for news, upcoming events, reminders of important deadlines, and updates of all the fun activities going on at the school.

Visit our Instagram account @OfficialTJHSST for pictures and highlights of those fun events!

We'd love it if you give us a follow!

Important Calendar Reminders

June 6-11: Grades 9-11 exams (1/2 days of school, dismissal at 11:55 a.m.)

June 6: Class of 2024 Graduation Rehearsal at TJ - 9:30 a.m. students only

June 8: Class of 2024 Graduation - 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Bank Arena

June 11: Grades 9-11 laptop collection

June 12: Last day of school (2 hour day, dismissal at 10:40 a.m.)

June 14: June News You Choose Part 2 newsletter released

June 24: TJ Virtual Summer School begins

July 12: News You Choose Midsummer Update released

August 15: New student orientation in the morning (still to be determined)

August 19: First day of the 2024-25 school year.