Regional- In-house Competition 2018

Photography: 1st Place: Jackson Reid

Photography: 2nd Place:  Miles Harrison

Photography: 3rd Place:  Tim Bulger

Video Cinema: 1st Place: Landon Cramer & James Oss

Video Cinema: 2nd Place: Joan Lindsey & William Schultz

Video Cinema: 3rd Place: Zach Service & Aidan Maloof

Video Cinema: Alternate: Kyle Moe & Josh Raykin

3D Animation: 1st Place: Conner Side & Jack McCord

3D Animation: 2nd Place: Daniel Medina & Nathan Vaughn

3D Animation: 3rd Place: Jackson Moore & Lucas Carlson

3D Animation: Alternate: Cory Spielman & Harrison Seremet

Computer Programming: 1st Place: Matt Bulger

Computer Programming: 2nd Place: Nate Brill

Computer Programming: 3rd Place: Grant Junkermeier 

Computer Programming: Alternate: Kaleb Pittman

Web Design: 1st Place: Kate Overn & Nick VanWagner


Web Design: 2nd Place: Tie:

Katie Schroeck/Liza Boronikhina

Noah Mitz/ Grace Leonard

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Holiday Pot-lock- 2017

The annual Holiday pot-lock was a big success. Over 60 students attended the event. Julie Wright, State director for SkillsUSA also attended the event as a guest speaker.

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Fall Conference 2017

SkillsUSA Officers

SkillsUSA students learn about future careers during a tour of the Industrial Training Center. photo courtesy of Jerry Esparza

Spartans attend the 2017 SkillsUSA Fall Leadership Conference.

On October 11, CCT teacher Jerry Esparza took six TJ students to The Industrial Company (TIC) Training Center in Aurora, Colorado, for this year’s SkillsUSA Fall Leadership Conference. TJ’s chapter officers were personally invited to the conference, while chapter members had an open invitation. Chapter Presidents and seniors Avery Hericks and Katie Schroeck, Vice President and senior Conner Side, Secretary and senior Grace Leonard, Public Relations Officer and junior Jack McCord, and chapter member and senior Maia Freedberg had the opportunity to gain leadership skills to better themselves for their big year in SkillsUSA. Schools from across Colorado attended the conference, allowing TJ to not only learn from the speakers’ presentations, but also from other SkillsUSA chapters across the state. “It was interesting to hear about how other schools get involved within their communities through fundraisers, community service projects, and social events through SkillsUSA,” Hericks explained.

SkillsUSA is a nonprofit organization that aids high school and college students in preparing for careers in trade, business, and technology. The chapter at TJ has been active for the past ten years, led by Esparza. “[SkillsUSA] provides resources and curriculum to help students develop skills to become leaders and develop soft-skills for the workplace,” Esparza said. Students within TJ’s chapter organize community service projects, public events, and work in public relations. While all of Esparza’s students are registered for SkillsUSA, all CCT students are encouraged to join the program.

The Spartans traveled to Aurora in the CTE Activity Bus, provided by CTE Partnership Coordinator, Danny Showers. Upon arrival at TIC, students were welcomed with a breakfast bar, providing them with energy they would need throughout their day. Following an opening speech given by SkillsUSA State Director Julie Rife, high school and post-secondary students from across Colorado attended breakout sessions specific to their chapters.

TJ began with a session based on the SkillsUSA Chapter of Excellence Program. Last year TJ was the only school honored as a Chapter of Excellence in the gold level at the state conference. This session trained new students on writing SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) Goals, which TJ’s officers will be producing later in the year in attempt to keep their title. Students then moved on to their second session, which included a tour of the TIC Center. During this tour, Spartans got to experience what typically goes on at this year’s location, including the construction that takes place within TIC. After lunch, TJ attended their last session, focused on this year’s SkillsUSA theme, “Job Ready Day One.” Because over twenty percent of new hires get let go from a job within their first ninety days, a presentation was given to all SkillsUSA members about how to keep a job long term, especially by keeping up professionalism and preparation in effort to enforce this year’s theme.

This year’s SkillsUSA Leadership Conference provided Spartans a brand new experience with other members from across the state, unlike previous years, with more involved presentations. Hopes are high that the new leadership skills the officer team gained will benefit the chapter in the months ahead.

Credit: TJ Journal: Katie Schroeck

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TJ SkillsUSA Compete Nationally 2017

TJ’s SkillsUSA team kills it at the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky.

After finding success at the SkillsUSA State Conference last spring, Thomas Jefferson High School had the chance to bring five students to Louisville, Kentucky to compete at the national level. In order to attend the National Conference from June 19th through the 24th, members had to receive first place at the state competition. The SkillsUSA State Conference was held in Colorado Springs in April, where current senior Avery Hericks, junior Matthew Bulger, former Spartan Isabelle Ryan, senior Conner Side, and recent graduate Hunter Holmes received first place medals, qualifying TJ for the national conference.

SkillsUSA is a nonprofit organization at TJ open for students enrolled in the CCT Magnet program, and its goal is to prepare students for careers in trade, business, and technology. CCT teacher Jerry Esparza introduced SkillsUSA to TJ ten years ago and has been the advisor of the chapter ever since. Esparza described, “I love the spirit of SkillsUSA because they put students first and it is all about helping students get to the next level as they prepare for life beyond high school. In a world that is ever changing and advancing in technology, SkillsUSA is training students to be champions at work.”

While TJ did not bring back any medals from Nationals, competitors were still successful and had a great time. Holmes and Side placed sixth in 3D Animation, Bulger took ninth in Computer Programming, Ryan earned eighteenth in Customer Service, and Hericks received twenty-seventh in photography. “It was amazing to be able to compete against such impressive people, and it was eye-opening to see their passion erupt while taking photos,” Hericks explained.

Over 16,000 people attended the National Conference, including students, teachers, and business partners. The opening ceremony took place on Tuesday, June 20th, commencing the competitions. Over one hundred hands-on competitions took place between middle school, high school, and college/post secondary students. The conference came to an end following the closing ceremony and awards ceremony on Friday, June 23rd.

Hericks and senior Katie Schroeck are returning to TJ’s chapter as this year’s co-presidents with aid from new chapter officers including Side and Bulger along with senior Grace Leonard and junior Jack McCord. Hopes are high that with this student leadership, TJ can accomplish the same success at the State Conference this April and return to Louisville next summer.

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Programming Competition 2017

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock-

While it is really meant to be played “live,” the company your’ve been hired by wants to create a digital version where the player doesn’t go against the computer. Pictured below is the interface of the game.(Game is not function)

First Place: Matt Bulger

Second Place: Grant Junkermeier

Third Place: Julio Munoz

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Web Design Competition

The web design competition requires a team of 2 students to create a Balloonery Event website. Based off a real world website, students were asked to update the site from the assets provided to them. They were able to create their own assets as needed. Displayed is the home page of each contestant. ( Site is not functional)

Frist Place: Rachel Sandler & Asianae Jackson

Second Place: Noah Mintz & Barry Green

Third Place: Grace Leonard & Lisa Boronikhina

Fourth Place: Nikki Nikolov & German Gomez

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Video Competition 2017

  • All videos must have as their theme “Your Future”
  • All videos must include this line of dialogue ““Seeing Your Future at Thomas Jefferson High School”
  • All videos must include this prop: Pair of glasses

First Place: Eric Stolz & Oscar Nurmat

Second Place: Alec DeStefano & Spencer Tennant

Third Place: Helena Lawrence & Jovana Bjelanovic

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3d Animation Competition 2017

In this 3d prompt, your team needs to create a 3d food or drink commercial pitting 2 or more rival brands against each other. Ultimately, one brand will rise to the top as the best choice.

First Place: Hunter Holmes & Conner Side

Second Place: Xavier Texidor & Rogelio Flores

Third Place: Daniel Orzescu & Colin Sonnerberger

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Photography Competition 2017

Contestants for photography were required to submit 5 photos that represented each of the following genres: Action, Landscape, Portrait, Reflection,Still Life, and a set of 50 photo shots. Each photo and set was worth 20pts each. Posted are sample photos of the winners and runner up.





RUNNER-UP: TIM BULGER- REFLECTION (runner-up is an alternate if any of the top 4 winners are not able to attend State.)

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SkillsUSA Fall Conference

Students at Johnson and Wales University

(CTSO) Career Tech Student Organization Fall Leadership Conference was held at Johnson and Wales University in Denver on September 30th. The purpose of the conference was to inspire students to become leaders in their school and communities. SkillsUSA TJ officers attended the conference. Here are some takeaways from the students:

“A key takeaway was to make your biggest weakness your biggest strength. By working on your weakness to change it for the better it allows for personal growth and shows the path taken towards success. Also, “It doesn’t matter your wealth, intelligence, or looks. Your DNA came together for a reason: to fulfill a purpose.” This resonated with me because it is such an elevated perspective on life. We are defined by and have control over our personalities and actions, not physical characteristics. We all are on this Earth for a reason and it is our job to find our purpose and do it everyday. Through the eye-opening experience at the conference we learned how to grow personally in order to be able to bring these improvements to TJ and the community.” – Rachel Sadler

“We are in control of our own stories. We control the outcomes and how we get there. we must complete the journey that we set out to do and make it the best that we can.”- Tyler Weiskopf

“This taught me that I didn’t just join SkillsUSA for the fun of it. I was taught that I joined it for a purpose. I set goals for myself and I am achieving them as I go along.” – Stephanie Chavez

“We were taught that character skills are the core to being a great leader. The first big thing we learned is that it’s alright to fail, and that fear of failure isn’t a reason to not try. Failing is how you learn and how you look for different or better solutions.”-  Asianae Jackson

“I felt that the lessons about self-confidence and overcoming yourself was very powerful. It made me realize how I should continue on in my life, and how I act and treat myself reflects on the outside and spreads to other people. Most of all, I learned the steps to success and I can’t wait to implement it in my everyday life.”- Alex Sor

“Take baby steps, it’s okay to want to achieve something large, or seemingly impossible, but you won’t be able to achieve it if you don’t start your journey towards it.” – Hunter Holmes

“A big part of the assembly I attended was meeting new people and getting to know others within a short period of time which can be helpful as an officer because throughout the year I will meet with many new people and learning these good communication skills will be helpful.” – Katie Schroeck

By Rachel Sadler