Hosted annually at Luther Jackson Middle School, the Jefferson activity fair for incoming freshman was held on April 8, four days after rising freshman received their acceptance letters. The eighth graders and their parents sat in on presentations and explanations of Jefferson and the curriculum and also had the valuable opportunity to speak to current Jefferson students and teachers about the school’s community as a whole and in detail. With booths set up in the cafeteria from several sports, a variety of clubs and a plethora of other school sponsored activities, this preview night allowed incoming freshman to have a chance to see what their experience at Jefferson might be like.
As incoming freshman received their admission results on April 4, most of the visiting students were incredibly grateful for the opportunity to get a glimpse of Jefferson life before they made their big decision about where they would be attending high school next year. As a result, many of the current Jefferson students found this experience to be incredibly valuable as well since they had the chance to meet incoming students and introduce them to their passions and experiences at Jefferson.
“It was an incredible opportunity to introduce the incoming freshman to my favorite parts of the Jefferson community,” junior Callan Monette said. “By showing them my experience at TJ, I think they know what they can expect when they attend. They were all so eager to start high school with us and I can’t wait for the chance to introduce them to the school next fall.”
With several upperclassman managing booths of different clubs, activities and sports as well as answering questions posed by the middle school students and their parents, they got to have a first hand look at what the new class at Jefferson would look like and what the rising freshman were expecting from their first year in high school. Whether they were looking at booths of the Environmental Impact Club, the Writing Center or Coding Lady Colonials, the middle school students seemed to show interest in a variety of fields and topics, something that teachers and current students found promising for the future of Jefferson.
“It was fun introducing the incoming freshmen to computer science, because it has shaped my experience at TJ so much,” junior Katherine Van Kirk said. “The girls seemed interested in taking more computer science courses and I definitely think the night was a success. The Coding Lady Colonials will definitely see a rise in popularity if the incoming freshman interest matches their actions when they attend TJ.”
As always, the sports booths were also filled with interest from the incoming students. Ranging from tennis and soccer to field hockey and cheerleading, the largest crowds could be seen around the sports booths and coaches.
“We have had a lot of interest in sports for the incoming freshman, especially the boys as the incoming class is mostly males,” althetic trainer Heather Murphy said. “A lot of them already follow our sports teams on social media so they already know about tennis at the state level and soccer’s record. I think, like every year, that these incoming athletes will definitely help our sports teams.”
Overall, the incoming students took the opportunity to get a glimpse of what their life at Jefferson would be like if they decided to attend. When they saw the plethora of different activities available to them – newspaper, sports teams, coding teams, orchestra, the Writing Center, environmental protection clubs, and more – they seemed a bit overwhelmed, but current students assured them that when they attended Jefferson they would be able to find what they love and use that to enjoy their time in high school the best they can.
“I think that Jefferson has a lot to offer any student that attends,” junior Shirley Burt said. “I think that an event like this freshman preview night cannot even begin to cover all that our school provides to us, but it is definitely a start. These freshman will enjoy TJ, but first they have to find what they like, and a night like this is perfect for them to find just that.”