Thomas Jefferson High School (New Jersey)

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Thomas Jefferson High School was an all-boys public high school in Elizabeth, in Union County, New Jersey, United States, which operated as part of the Elizabeth Public Schools. The school opened in 1929 at which time Battin High School became an all-girls school. The school operated on a single-sex basis for 48 years until the end of the 1976–77 school year, ending its status as one half of the state's only pair of public high schools operated separately for male and female students.[1]

In 1957, district officials stated that the inability to determine attendance zones for the two comprehensive high schools after Thomas Jefferson High School opened in 1929 combined with the expansive shop facilities in the new building, led the district to decide to split students by sex, with girls at Battin and boys at Thomas Jefferson.[2]

The school closed at the end of the 1976–77 school year, after the Elizabeth High School complex was completed and all of the district's students, male and female, were accommodated at the new four-building facility, ending the city's status as "the only community in the state with separate public high schools for boys and girls". The $29.3 million project included renovations to Thomas Jefferson High School, which was integrated into the new complex. The Battin High School building, together with the four existing junior high schools, was repurposed as a middle school for grades six through eight.[2]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Hatala, Greg. "Glimpse of History: When Battin was co-ed", The Star-Ledger, June 11, 2012. Accessed October 24, 2015. "Both male and female students in grades 9 to 12 attended Battin until 1928, when Thomas Jefferson High School was built for high school-age males in the city at what is now Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza. According to research by Kristin Kulick, director of special projects for the Elizabeth Board of Education, the academic year 1976–77 was the last year male and female students attended classes separately."
  2. ^ a b Horowitz, Ben. "Elizabeth Awaits Coed High School", The New York Times, July 10, 1977. Accessed October 29, 2015. "ELIZABETH'S 48-year role as the only community in the state with separate public high schools for boys and girls will end in September with the opening of a new four-building complex at the corner of South Pearl and South Streets."
  3. ^ Ed Beach, Accessed October 24, 2015.
  4. ^ Staff. "Chapman Scores 5 Touchdowns As Jefferson Subdues Cranford", The New York Times, November 29, 1968. Accessed October 24, 2015. "Gil Chapman, Thomas Jefferson sophomore halfback, scored five touchdowns as Jefferson erased a 14–0 deficit to defeat Cranford, 32–21, today."
  5. ^ Kratch, James. "A well-timed homecoming for N.J. native, Sunday Night Football director Drew Esocoff", NJ Advance Media for, October 9, 2015. Accessed October 24, 2015. "'We've never had a high school reunion,' said Esocoff, who grew up in Elizabeth and graduated from Jefferson High in 1975."
  6. ^ "Nov. 14, 1929, in Elizabeth." Fitzgerald's Legislative Manual, Volume 78, p. 251. Accessed October 24, 2015. "Assemblyman Remington was born Nov. 14, 1929, in Elizabeth. After graduation from Thomas Jefferson High School, Elizabeth, he attended Temple University."
  7. ^ Viggiano, Bob. "Wilson hoops great Sullinger, 58, dies", Courier-Post, December 10, 2010. Accessed October 24, 2015. "The team's toughest test came in the state semifinals, when it went up against Thomas Jefferson of Elizabeth with John Shumate, who later starred at Notre Dame."
  8. ^ DeMarco, Gerard. "Elizabeth baseball star Jake Wood to speak at Union County Hall of Fame induction dinner", Elizabeth Inside Out. Accessed October 24, 2015. "Wood, a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School in Elizabeth who played PAL and American Legion baseball in the city, signed with the Detroit Tigers organization in 1957 when he was a 20-year-old at Delaware State University."
  9. ^ Staff. "Richard Wood Elected Into College Football Hall of Fame; The 3-time All-American linebacker on Troy's 1972 and 1974 national champs is part of 14-member 2007 class.", USC Trojans, May 9, 2007. Accessed October 24, 2015. "The 3-year letterman from Jefferson High in Elizabeth, N.J., played in 3 Rose Bowls (1973-74-75)."

Coordinates: 40°39′26″N 74°12′54″W / 40.6572°N 74.2149°W / 40.6572; -74.2149