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Congratulations to Senior Hallah Butcher for earning distinction as a National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist.   The National Merit Scholarship Corporation made the announcement today, and named the semifinalists who scored in the Top 1% in the nation on the PSAT.  More than 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) last school year. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for scholarships, and high school students enter by taking the PSAT -- a test which serves as an initial screen of entrants each year -- and by meeting published program entry/participation academic requirements. Hallah joins an elite group of people recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program including Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Ben Bernanke, and Joseph Stiglitz.  For more information about the National Merit Scholarship Program, visit

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Congratulations to the 21 TJ 7th graders who qualified for the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) 7th Grade Talent Search based on their standardized test scores as 6th graders. The 7th Grade Talent Search identifies academically talented 7th graders based on standardized test scores achieved while attending elementary or middle school (TJ students who scored at or above the 95th percentile on the CTP tests in 6th grade). Candidates have the opportunity to take the ACT or the SAT college entrance exam as 7th graders, which allows them greater insight into their academic abilities. These students also are invites to participate in unique enrichment programs, and they gain access to valuable resources for gifted students. On average, more than 50 percent of each 6th grade class has qualified for the highly-selective 7th grade Duke TIP Talent Search.

These TJ students qualified for Duke TIP’s 36th Annual 7th Grade Talent Search: Shayaan Anis, Kip Atteberry, Jay Ball, Nico Carlson, Benjamin Carroll, Nat Curtis, Jaiden Dorris, Ryken Garren, Tannah Grigg, Alizeh Hammad, Sania Hammad, Jessica Joseph, Eva Locher, Yasmina Mokhtar, Mary Parker, Andrew Renner, Jaxon Robinson, Alisabeth Rogers, Samantha Seto, Sophia Sweeny, and Richard Zhang.

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Dear TJ Parents, Students, Faculty, Staff, and Friends,

I would like to share with you some updates and new developments at TJ in connection with our search for a new Head of School. On behalf of the Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School Board of Trustees, it is a great pleasure to announce the appointment of Patrick (Pat) McInerney as TJ Interim Head of School for the upcoming 2017-2018 academic year beginning August 1.  We are grateful to have found someone of Pat’s caliber to serve as Interim Head as we formally begin to conduct our search for a permanent Head of School over the coming months.  (More about the Head of School Search will be communicated later this summer.1 )

Pat will bring significant experience including more than 30 years in independent schools, most recently from Kents Hill School in Maine, where he served as Head.  His philosophical alignment with TJ's Mission and Western Civilization-focused curriculum makes him a wonderful choice as TJ's Interim Head of School.  I believe that his straightforward, thoughtful, and engaging leadership style combined with academic strength, values, and genuine passion for students and independent school education will help him continue TJ’s growth and success over the next year.

Pat brings with him well over 30 years of experience as a teacher, advisor, coach, Assistant/Associate Head and Head of School in independent schools.  He retired last month after 25 years of service from the Kents Hill School in Kents Hill, Maine, where he served most recently as Head of School, with many years of prior experience as Interim Head, Assistant/Associate Head, Dean of Faculty, Dean of Students, and Director of Financial Aid.  Prior to Kents Hill School, Pat served as Head of School for Burke Mountain Academy (a premier ski academy) in Vermont and as Director of Admission and Financial Aid at Miss Hall’s School in Massachusetts.

Pat earned his B.A. at Bates College, where he majored in Biology and captained the soccer and tennis teams.  He earned his M.Ed. from Harvard University with a focus on Administration, Planning and Social Policy.  Pat also brings his experience as a Board Member of NASCUMC (National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church) as well as interests in continuing sciences education evidenced by Cambridge University (England) in nanotechnology, philosophy of science, evolution of the flu virus, and other subjects.

Pat and his wife Cindy have two grown sons: Christopher is a professional illustrator and a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, and Brendan, a graduate of Champlain College, is a professional photographer in Burlington, Vermont.  We look forward to welcoming Pat and Cindy to TJ and our community soon. 


Debra Humphreys
Board Chair
Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School

1Ned Becker and Doug Cummings of Educators Collaborative, the national consulting firm specializing in working with independent schools who helped in our prior Head of School search, connected us with Pat. They have also been engaged by the TJ Board to help us with our national search for TJs next permanent Head of School. Both consultants have themselves headed independent schools and have years of experience working in independent education. Both have been and remain active in regional and national independent school boards and organizations. More information on Educators Collaborative can be found at

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Congratulations to the 20 Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School students who were
recognized for exceptional performance on Advanced Placement exams this year.

The AP Program recognizes high school students who have demonstrated outstanding college-level achievement through AP courses and exams
with the AP Scholar Awards. The awards are acknowledged on all AP score reports that are sent to colleges after the award has been conferred.
Upper School students at Thomas Jefferson take Advanced Placement courses during their junior and senior years, and they take end-of-course
exams in May. All TJ students take several AP courses as part of the regular program.

National AP Scholars
Granted to students in the United States who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams:

AP Scholars with Distinction
These students earned an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams
taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of those exams:

AP Scholars with Honor
These students earned an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams
taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams:

AP Scholars

These students earned scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams:

"One of the best standard predictors of academic success at Harvard is
performance on Advanced Placement Examinations."

William R. Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Harvard University

"The confirmation that college-level learning took place is in the published
results. The AP Exam grade is a national standard I understand and rely upon."
Joellen L. Silberman, Dean of Enrollment, Kalamazoo College

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 Printable version
Congratulations to the 25 members of the TJ Class of 2017 who celebrated their graduation on Sunday, May 28, 2017, in the TJ Concert Hall. 
The Class of 2017 is TJs largest graduating class so far, and the students have an average ACT Composite Score of 29
They earned more than $5.1 million in merit-based scholarship offers. 
Click the "Printable Version" button above to see the ad that ran in the May 28, 2017, Joplin Globe.
Click here to see video from the Baccalaureate Service and Commencement Ceremony.
Scroll down to see where they were admitted, and which schools they will attend.

The Thomas Jefferson Class of 2017

Class of 2017 acceptances and matriculation:
(school names in bold indicate matriculations):
American University
Amherst College
Augustana College
Babson College
Baldwin Wallace University - Conservatory of Music
Baylor University

Baylor University - College of Music
Bellarmine University
Belmont University
Berry College
Boston College
Bowdoin College
Bradley University
Brown University
Calvin College- Honors
Carleton College
Case Western Reserve University
Centre College
Chapman University
Chapman University - Dodge College of Film Clark University
Colgate University
College of Charleston
College of the Holy Cross
College of Wooster
Columbia University
Connecticut College
Cornell College
Cottey College
DePaul University
Drake University
Drury University- Honors College

Elon University
Emerson College
Emory University
Emporia State University
Fordham University
Furman University
Grinnell College
Hamilton College
Harvey Mudd College
Haverford College
Hendrix College
Indiana State University
Iowa State
Ithaca University
John Brown University
Kansas State University
Kenyon College
Knox College
Lafayette College
Loyola Chicago
Macalester College
Memphis College of Art
Mercer University
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Missouri Western State University
Montana State University
New York University
Northeastern University - Honors Program
Occidental College
Ohio State University
Oklahoma State University
Otis College of Art and Design
Parsons School of Design
Pittsburg State University
Pratt Institute
Purdue University
Reed College
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rhode Island School of Design
Rhodes College
Ringling College of Art and Design
Rochester Institute of Technology
Saint Louis University
Savannah College of Art and Design
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Skidmore College
Southern Methodist University
Southern Methodist University - Meadows School of the Arts
Southwestern University
St. Olaf College
Syracuse University
Texas Christian University
Truman State University
University of Alaska
University of Arkansas
University of Arkansas- Honors College
University of California-Irvine
University of California-Riverside
University of Central Missouri
University of Colorado- Boulder
University of Denver
University of Kansas - Honors College
University of Massachusetts
University of Mississippi - Honors College
University of Missouri
University of Missouri- Honors College
University of Missouri–Kansas City
University of Missouri–Kansas City - Honors College
University of Montana- Missoula
University of North Carolina
University of North Texas
University of Oklahoma
University of the South- Sewanee
University of Tulsa
University of Tulsa- Honors Program

University of Virginia
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wyoming
Villanova University - Honors College
Wake Forest University
Washington University St. Louis
Westminster College
William Jewell College
William Woods University
Williams College

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 Printable version


Congratulations to the TJ Upper School scholar bowl team on winning the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Class 1 state championship in Columbia, Mo. Friday.   This is the 10th state championship for TJ.  Since 2000, TJ has won the state championship 10 times, and has placed 2nd four times.  The 2017 championship team is pictured above, and the team members are Joey Cascone, Lane Wilson, Savannah Dillard, Preston Johnson, Tiernon Riesenmy, Garrison Henkle, Lex Baird, Jonathan Barnes, Hannah Mueller, and Danielle ArevalosGabe Hershewe was the team spotter for the tournament.  Tiernon Riesenmy and Savannah Dillard were named to the All-State Team, and Savannah was also named to the All-Star Team for finishing in the top four.
All 10 team members scored points across the five rounds, and the average score for this championship team is the highest TJ team since at least 2010.
Scoring by round:
Round 1: TJ 600, Norborne High School 100
Round 2: TJ 550, King City High School 160
Round 3: TJ 380, Mound City High School 210
Semifinal: TJ 410, Mound City High School 310
Championship: TJ  430, Lakeland High School 240
Scholar Bowl is a Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) activity in which high school students from across the state compete each year. It is a knowledge competition where teams earn points answering questions and solving problems in several categories including science, mathematics, social studies, communication arts, fine arts/performing arts, and "miscellaneous."

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Congratulations to Mrs. Fang Martin and her Chinese language students who participated in the 2017 Chinese Speech Contest in Overland Park, Kan., on Jan. 28. Of the 15 TJ students who qualified and participated in the final round, 10 placed in the top-3 for their divisions. Students in Mrs. Fang Martin’s Chinese classes wrote, memorized, practiced, and delivered speeches in Chinese that range in time from two to four minutes, depending on grade level and experience. The initial entries were judged at the Confucius Institute at the University of Kansas, and the students who advanced to the finals competed against other Chinese language students from Kansas and Missouri when they delivered their speeches in front of a large audience and judges Jan. 28.  The students competed by grade level, and in divisions and groups within their grade and experience levels.

These students placed in the Top-3 in their categories:
Lower school: Catherine Martin-2nd place
6th grade: Levi Triplett-1st place; Evan DAmour-2nd place; Cain Butcher-3rd place
9th grade: Preston Johnson-1st place; Jade Eschenbrenner-2nd place;
10th grade: Alan Jones-1st place
11th and 12th grade: Jasmine Butcher-1st place; Hannah Triplett-2nd place; Hallah Butcher-3rd place

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