The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


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Here, there, everywhere

School community members share their favorite Jefferson building spaces
Alice Nguyen
Senior Tommy Chen leads a dragon dance performance in Nobel Commons. The large entry space supported the Lunar New Year Celebration held by the PTSA Diversity Committee on February 2. “As far as the building supports school events, people attending these school events learn about new cultures,” sophomore Austen Ji said.

The Dome. The auditorium. The planetarium. There are many places in the Jefferson building that support the school’s learning and functioning. Commons areas offer gathering spaces, classrooms offer unique classes and labs support student research. The diversity of spaces is reflective of different uses by school community members, who have feelings on each of the spaces.

The main gym hosts many events, such as pep rallies, performances and sports games. Building administrator  Leo Resquin favors the gym.

“The distinct smell of a polished hardwood court invokes a sense of nostalgia and excitement,” Resquin said. “It’s not just about the physical space. It’s about the laughter, cheers and camaraderie of people enjoying themselves.”

The gym is a place where people can connect.

“Even two opposing basketball teams, fiercely competing against each other, can foster a spirit of togetherness on the court,” Resquin said.

Certain classrooms, such as the orchestra classroom, are also special to students.

“The orchestra room is a place where I can calm down. The music just lets me take a break,” freshman Vaishnavi Sagi said.

The auditorium has many seats and helps support performances and school events. Some of these events include the talent show, Artificial Intelligence (AI) Symposium and Spongebob Musical.

“Theater in general is such an incredible community, and those spaces are related to those people who I love being with,” Saxena said.

A special spot in the auditorium is the booth, which controls sound and lighting.

It’s cozy and I get to hang out with a lot of my favorite people there,” Clarke said. “It also houses the lighting board, which I love to operate and design with.”

Another place in the school designed for people to gather and relax are the commons. There are multiple commons, such as Nobel Commons. Nobel Commons is a large open space at the school entry.

“My favorite place in the building is Nobel Commons because the chairs are very good for napping. If I can sleep in it, it is a good place,” freshman Hasini Jasthi said.

Besides the furniture, the commons offer large, windowed spaces for relaxation.

“I tend to like plenty of light, so my favorite area of the school is the second floor of Nobel Commons,” principal Ann Bonitatibus said.

Other freshmen prefer Turing Commons because many Integrated Biology, English, Statistics and Technology (IBEST) rotations have classes in the space.

“Turing is the best. I spend a lot of time there, eat there and do IBEST stuff, too,” freshman Chirag Singlasaid.

For many staff members, the teacher workrooms and staff break rooms serve as a place for teachers to get away from students.

“I see this as a sacred area for teachers to either get prep work done, take a break – enjoy a meal, or have great conversations centered around instruction or perhaps something going on in their personal lives,” Resquin said.

For students, there are also places where they can enjoy not being a student. One such place is the Improv Club hosted in English teacher Suzette Henry’s room.

“I can go there on Friday 8B blocks to enjoy Improv and temporarily forget about my stressors,” freshman Jonathan Yang said. “The whole school is so unique.”

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