Thomas Jefferson High School (Rockford, Illinois)

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Thomas Jefferson High School
Jhawklogo.png
Strive to be Respectful, Responsible, and Safe.
Address
4145 Samuelson Road
Rockford, Illinois, 61109
USA
Coordinates 42°12′26″N 89°02′16″W / 42.2071°N 89.0378°W / 42.2071; -89.0378Coordinates: 42°12′26″N 89°02′16″W / 42.2071°N 89.0378°W / 42.2071; -89.0378
Information
School type Public Secondary
Established 1969
School district Rockford Public School District 205[1]
Superintendent Ehren Robert Jarrett[2]
CEEB Code 143712[3]
Principal Donald Lee Rundall[4]
Teaching staff 101[1]
Grades 912[1]
Gender Coed[5]
Enrollment 1779[1]
Average class size 18[1]
Campus type Mid-size City[1]
School color(s)      Red
     White
     Gold[6]
Athletics conference Northern Illinois Conference (NIC-10)[7]
Mascot J-Hawk
Nickname J-Hawks
Average ACT scores 17.5[8]
Newspaper The Times
Yearbook Flight
Website

Thomas Jefferson High School (commonly referred to as Jefferson High School, Rockford Jefferson, or JHS) is a public coed four-year high school, in Rockford, Illinois, USA. The school serves the city of Rockford and the neighboring villages of Cherry Valley, Illinois and New Milford, Illinois. The school is named after the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson.

History[edit]

Jefferson High School was originally located at Ohio Parkway, which was initially Thomas Jefferson Junior High School from 1956-1969. That school began transitioning into a senior high school to include ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades during the 1969-70 school year. The inclusion of each ascending high school grade was gradual with each school year. Students of the Class of 1972 spent six years in the building, instead of transferring to a high school building after junior high school as was typically done. The school started with a population of 2400 students in a building built for 1800 junior high school students.

During the inaugural high school year, school traditions for the new high school were created with elections for school rings, motto, mascot (keeping the J-Hawk mascot from the junior high school), and school colors (originally only red and white with gold added in 1988-89). The formation of a Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) battalion was added and the new high school joined the Big 9 Conference (now called the Northern Illinois Conference (NIC-10) for competitive athletics. The first class to graduate from Jefferson High School was the Class of 1972.

In 1973, Rockford Public School District 205 Superintendent Robert Gardner Salisbury[9] announced the need for a new high school in light of the overcrowding that Jefferson High School and other district schools were facing. A tax referendum was accepted in 1976 to allow funds for the construction of a new high school building in southeast Rockford. However, a second referendum on the ballot for the general fund was rejected. The Rockford Public School District 205 Board of Education was unsuccessful in previous referendums for the general fund, thus was faced with an accumulated shortfall.

On July 1, 1974, Rockford Public School District 205 became the beneficiary of a $1,794,099.50 bequest from Bernard W. Flinn. Construction of the new high school building began in fall 1976 and was functionally completed in August 1978. The school gym was not completed until spring 1979. The gymnasium would later be named the Chalmer Hart Memorial Gymnasium in honor of Jefferson Junior High School's last principal and Jefferson High School's first principal. Hart served as principal from 1969 until his death in 1985.[10] Additionally, the basketball court was later named the Kenneth "Buster" Lindsay Memorial Court. Lindsay (1935-2002) served as athletic director at Jefferson High School from 1974–88, then continued with teaching and coaching until his death in 2002.

New School Building[edit]

Construction of the new Jefferson High School building started in fall 1976, adjacent to the Rockford Area Vocational Center (now known as Rock Valley College Stenstrom Center for Career Education), which was on the corner of Samuelson Road and 35th Street in Rockford.[11]

Residents urged the Rockford Public School District 205 Board of Education to transfer the name of the old Jefferson High School building at 2525 Ohio Parkway to the new Jefferson High School building at 4145 Samuelson Road. In spring 1977, the Rockford Public School District 205 Board of Education approved the name transfer and renamed the old building Bernard W. Flinn Middle School. The staff at old Jefferson High School was transferred to the new campus in August 1978. The staff at Morris Kennedy Middle School was transferred to the renamed Flinn Middle School, and the Morris Kennedy Middle School building was closed. The Class of 1982 was the first Jefferson High School class to complete all four years at the new high school campus.

Athletics[edit]

Jefferson High School sign.jpg

Jefferson High School's mascot is the J-Hawk. The official school colors are red, white, and gold.[12]

Jefferson High School is a member of the Northern Illinois Conference (NIC-10) and participates in state championship tournaments sanctioned by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA).[13]

The following competitive teams won their respective IHSA sanctioned state championship tournament:

Activities[edit]

The following competitive teams won their respective IHSA sanctioned state championship tournament:

Notable Alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Jefferson High School Overview". U.S. News & World Report LP. 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Rockford Public Schools District 205 Administration". RPS205. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "SAT Code Search". The College Board. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Jefferson High School Principal Wins Outstanding Principal Award". WorldNow and WKOW. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Jefferson High School Student Body". U.S. News & World Report LP. 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "Jefferson High School Basketball". CBS Interactive. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "IHSA School Directory". Illinois High School Association. 2 August 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "2012 Illinois School Report Cards". Illinois State Board of Education. 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  9. ^ Dr. Robert Gardner Salisbury Obituary
  10. ^ Robert Borden Papers (Rockford)[dead link]
  11. ^ Rock Valley College Stenstrom Center for Career Education
  12. ^ "IHSA School Directory". Illinois High School Association. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "IHSA School Directory Rockford (Jefferson)". Illinois High School Association. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Top 10 State Championship Efforts". Northern Illinois Sports Beat. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Girls Bowling Champions & Runners-Up". Illinois High School Association. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  16. ^ "Chess in Rockford". Rockford Chess. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  17. ^ "Tools for Grammarphobes and Grammarphiles". The Spectrum Theme. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  18. ^ "NFL Player Profile". National Football League. 2001. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  19. ^ "2011 USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame Inductees". USA Gymnastics. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "Knaus in a Happy Place These Days". ESPN. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  21. ^ "Kathryn Layng". IMDb. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 

External links[edit]