TJMS 2014-15 GT Report

Submitted by Michelle Weber, GT Facilitator


At Thomas Jefferson Middle School, we have many active GT programs that were available to students. The following is a summary of the programs we offered this year, as well as comparison data from previous years. Read below to find our more information!

Overall Participation

330 students have participated in GT events

  • 6th grade= 80 students
  • 7th grade= 88 students
  • 8th grade= 130 students
  • Male = 150
  • Female = 180

In 2012-13: 296 students participated in GT events

  • 6th grade=106 students
  • 7th grade=82 students
  • 8th grade=105 students
  • Male = 137
  • Female = 156

  • In 2011-12: 177 students participated in GT sponsored events.

    • 6th grade=58 students
    • 7th grade=60 students
    • 8th grade=59 students
    • Male= 84
    • Female:= 93

    Advanced Readers

    2013-14 = 67 students (6th = 23 7th = 17 8th = 27)

    Iowa Assessments:

    • 62/67 were at the 90th percentile or higher
    • 60/65 met expected growth
    • Average number of points growth = 40 (average expected growth is 13 points)
    • Average # times expected growth = 3.12
    • Highest score = 336


    • 24/67 were at the 90th percentile or higher
    • 31/67 met target growth
    • Average number of points growth = 2 (average target growth is 3 points)
    • Average # times expected growth = .97
    • Highest score = 251

    2012-13 = 37 students (6th = 13 7th = 8 8th = 16)

    Iowa Assessments:

    • 21/37 were at the 90th percentile or higher.
    • 24/36 met expected growth
    • Average # times expected growth = 1.66


    • 17/37 met target growth from Fall to Spring

    2011-12=26 students

    11/26 met targeted growth from Fall to Spring.

    13/26 improved.

    17/26 were 90% or above on 2011 ITP Reading test.

    2010-11=23 students

    6/23 met targeted growth from Fall to Spring. All students grew however.

    MAM - Most Advanced Mathematician

    2014-15: 12 students (6th = 4; 7th = 3; 8th = 5)

    Iowa Assessments

    • /12 met expected growth
    • Average number of points growth = (average expected growth is 15)
    • Average # of times expected growth =
    • Highest score:


    • /11 met expected growth
    • Average number of points growth = (average expected growth is 5)
    • Average # of times expected growth =
    • Highest score:

    2013-14 11 students (6th = 3; 7th = 5; 8th = 3

    Iowa Assessments

    • 8/11 met expected growth


    • 7/11 met expected growth

    2012-13 12 students (6th = 5; 7th = 3; 8th = 4)

    Iowa Assessments

    • 9/12 met expected growth


    • 7/12 met targeted growth
    • Highest score: 292

    2011-12 9 students

    5/9 students met targeted growth from Fall to Spring MAP RIT

    Highest score 287

    2010-11 7 students

    8/9 students met targeted growth from Fall to Spring MAP RIT

    Highest score 288

    Honors Classes

    • 131 students enrolled in honors classes at Jefferson in 2013-14.
    • 147 students enrolled in honors classes at 2012-13.
    • 146 students enrolled in honors classes in 2011-12.
    • 117 students enrolled in honors classes in 2010-2011

    Belin-Blank Summer Institute

    A record number of students were nominated for this prestigious summer experience. Eight students were chosen as our school's applicants. From that group, four students were selected to attend and four students were selected as alternates.

    Selected to attend the Belin-Blank Summer Institute

    Alternates for Belin-Blank Summer Institute

    Nominated, but not selected:

    Reading & Writing

    Creative Communication Writing Contests

    Jefferson students had many opportunities to participate in writing contests, thanks to our awesome language arts teachers.

    Creative Communication Fall Essay Contest: The following students had their essays published in this anthology.

    Creative Communication Fall Poetry Contest: The following students had their poems published in this anthology.

    Creative Communication Fall Essay Contest: The following students had their essays published in this anthology:

    Creative Communication Writing Contest: The following students had an essay or poem published.

    Elks Lodge Essay Contest

    Dubuque Elks Lodge #297 sponsored an essay contest with the theme, “WHAT DOES VETERANS DAY MEAN TO ME." Jefferson students won two out of the three awards.

    Martin Luther King Jr Contest

    Jefferson had many poster and essay submissions to this contest that was held in late November.

    Other Writing Contests

    Spelling Bee

    ?? students participated in our TJMS school-wide spelling bee. Five students were selected as sectional participants:

    • 6th grade -
    • 7th Grade -
    • 8th grade -

    Battle of the Books

    15 students represented Jefferson at the 2015 Battle of the Books competition between the three middle schools.

    Thank you to Lorie Duclos for working with these teams.

    6th grade:

    7th grade:

    8th grade:


    Math Olympiads

    Math Olympiads materials were used by 6th grade enrichment (honors) math students to encourage math skills and competitive math in the future. Teachers leading the Math Olympiads were Jill Duggan and Ryan Putman.

    Jefferson mathletes won national awards for excellence within Division E for grades 4-6. Jefferson had students earn this award.

    The following students earned the felt patch (top 50% of all participants):

    2013-14: 13 students won national awards for excellence.

    2012-13: 14 students won national awards for excellence.

    2011-12: 14 students won national awards for excellence.

    Math Counts

    ?? students participated in MathCounts during the 2014-15 school year. Patt Henry served as the team's coach.

    • 6th grade:
    • 7th grade:
    • 8th grade:

    Seven students participated at the competition on Saturday, February 14th at Washington Middle School.

    • 6th grade:
    • 8th grade:

    2013-14: 9 students participated.

    2012-13: 13 students participated.

    Science & Technology

    First Lego League

    2014-15 theme for First Lego League was "World Class," focusing on improving teaching and learning. Jefferson was able to field two FLL teams through the generous support from John Deere and Rockwell Collins. Both teams competed in a regional FLL competition at Roosevelt Middle School on December 6, 2014. Mark Zimmerman and Jonathan Pfeiffer from John Deere Dubuque Works served as engineering mentors for our team.

    Participants included:

    • Hillhawk Heroes - 8th grade: Sean Bradley, Samantha Clark, Owen Dunne, Elizabeth Frieburger, Grace Harwood, Ben Hermiston, Taya Hess, Garrett Long, Tyler Lyons, Madi Peter, Joe Vize, and Moriah Zimmerman. Coach: Stacy Duran
    • Blockheads - 6th grade: Alex Berry, Justin Christensen, Bryan Gonzalez, Hunter Fehsal, Tim Leslein, Emily Mueller, Adam Mustafa, Isaac Nissen, McKennan Saunders, Quiana Sabers. Coach: Jill Duggan

    Intro to First Lego League

    Sixth grade students were able to participate in Lego League using the Senior Solutions Challenge. While their group was non-competitive, it provides a base for future team participants. Thank you to Amy Haverland and Becky Milum for leading these groups.

    Girls in Engineering

    Eight 7th grade girls were selected for STEM event at John Deere called "Girls in Engineering." This opportunity allowed girls to participate in a mentorship experience exploring different facets of engineering as a future career.


    Social Studies

    Mock Trial

    25 students participated in the regional mock trial competition held at Loras College on November 5, 2014. Two teams worked on trying the case. Each student had a role within the trial and spent hours preparing questions or answers.

    8th grade: Delano Cain, Regan Connolly, Carly Dalberg, Julie Hammerand, Grace Harwood, Caleb Heim, Emilee Heims, Drew Kirton, Allison Klein, Hannah Kramer, Brandon Little, Olivia Meyer, Sebastian Rodriguez, Ted Spring, Zach Smith, Vera Weis, Zaebian Weis, Moriah Zimmerman

    7th grade: Adeline Coenen, David Heinold, Jacqueline Mootz, Caleb Perreard, Kylie Schmidt, Catherine Schueller

    Visual and Performing Arts

    Loras Honor Band

    2014 = 14 participants

    7th grade: Blake Schleter - Clarinet; Keshauna Bodley - Clarinet; Andrea Longstreet - Bass Clarinet; Caleb Perreard - Trombone; Frank Fincel - Trombone; Dougie Saunders - Percussion
    8th grade: Hannah Kramer - Flute; Samantha Fiegen - Clarinet; Morgan Hinman - Clarinet; Ben Hermiston - Alto Sax; Stephanie Stewart - Trumpet; Gabby Fondell - Trumpet; Sean Bradley - Trumpet; Moriah Zimmerman - French Horn;

    2013 = 11 participants

    2012 = 10 participants.

    Young Citizen's Forum

    The Young Citizen’s Forum Summit was held on Thursday, February 19th at the NICC Town Clock Center. Jefferson had participants in YCF.

    This year’s topics included:

    • Local Topic:
    • National Topic:
    • International Topic:

    Thank you to coaches Katherine Thimmesch and Betsy Pelkey for working with our YCF group.

    6th grade:

    7th grade:

    8th grade:

    2013-14 = 50 students participated.

    2012-13 = 47 students participated.

    2011-12 = 35 students participated.

    Honor Choirs

    Opus Honor Choir Festival

    8th Grade: Evan Wieser

    River City HarMENy

    7th Grade: Tristan Miller, Ted Spring, Zaebian Weis

    8th Grade: Maxfield Coenen

    Honor Choir

    7th Grade: Zaebian Weis

    8th Grade: Maxfield Coenen, Evan Wieser

    Honor Orchestras

    Iowa Junior Honors Orchestra Festival

    NIESTA Honors Orchestra

    8th Grade: Grace Harwood, Wesley Miller

    Kennedy Honors Orchestra

    8th: Maxfield Coenen, Heather Hostager

    Jazz Band

    TJMS Jazz is an audition-only ensemble composed of 7th, and 8th grade students. This ensemble often performs at various events throughout the community.

    7th grade:

    8th grade:

    Wind Ensemble

    Wind Ensemble is group of 7th and 8th grade students who are selected as talented musicians. They have performed at various community events during the school year including the Roshek Building during the holiday season and for the Foundation for Dubuque Public Schools.

    6th Grade:

    7th Grade:

    8th Grade:

    Band and Orchestra Mentors

    Seventh grade students who have shown exceptional ability in band and orchestra were given the opportunity to be 7th grade tutors and assist with the 6th grade. The 7th grade tutors will work with the 6th graders to improve their musicianship (including playing the right notes at the right time with good technique) but will also demonstrate proper rehearsal etiquette, and keep the 6th grade students on task as well. The 7th grade students will benefit from the tutoring as they lead by example.

    Band Mentors:

    Orchestra Mentors:

    Celebration Choir

    In addition to weekly practices, students in the Celebration Choir had the opportunity to work with Hempstead High School choir director Terri Slade to improve their vocal performance & technique.

    6th grade:

    7th grade:

    8th grade:

    2012-13 23 students

    2011-12 18 students

    2010-11 17 students

    Talent Show

    Jefferson's 4th annual talent show was a showcase for talented students in the area of performing arts. Students auditioned and were selected in different areas including: singing, dancing, playing piano or guitar, performing as an ensemble, or even stand-up comedy.

    6th grade:

    7th grade:

    8th grade:


    To see some of our talented performers, check out the videos on our Facebook page.

    The Sound of Music

    Jefferson Middle School will present The Sound of Music on April 16-19. This musical features a cast of ??, a chorus of ??, and crew of ??. This year's musical has ?? leads that have been double-cast to involve ?? students.

    The Sound of Music Leads:

    • Maria:
    • Captain von Trapp:
    • Leisl:
    • Friedrich:
    • Louisa:
    • Kurt:
    • Bridgitta:
    • Marta:
    • Gretl:
    • Rolf:

    Our leads worked with directors Emily Zebarth, as well as with Mary Ogelsby, and multiple high school student mentors in order to develop their skills in the performing arts.


    Green Dot Student Leadership

    with guidance counselors Paula Baumann and Lisa Schroederto improve Jefferson's climate and culture, striving to end bullying at TJMS.

    7th Grade:

    8th Grade:

    Hillhawk Helpers

    Our Hillhawk Helpers are a LEAP group that work to provide service for Jefferson and the larger Dubuque Community. Led by Rich Hatcher, they participated in many service projects throughout the 2014-15 school year.


    Projects included:

    • Preparing and serving a Thanksgiving meal for our custodians
    • Volunteering at Audubon Elementary
    • Holiday Grams
    • Preparing and serving snacks and drinks for teachers during conferences.

    TJMS Live

    TJMS Live is a student-produced news program. This group was mentored by our Technology Coach, Samantha Hancock. A 2012 DRA grant provided an equipment upgrade.

    7th grade:

    8th grade:

    2013-14: 8 students participated

    2012-13: 12 students participated

    2011-12: 28 students participated

    2010-11: 20 students participated

    Check out one of our TJMS Live Shows below:

    TJMS Live: Stories from the Hill

    Special Olympics Peer Helpers

    Our TJMS Special Olympics team is supported by several 8th grade peer helpers who assist team members during practices and at events. Peer helpers apply for this responsibility, are selected by teachers, and assist the special olympics coach by providing leadership to their peers.

    Peer Helpers: Taya Hess, Olivia Meyer, Randa Oltmanns, Madi Peter, Grace Specht

    Other GT Programming

    Jeff Talks

    Genius hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school. The search-engine giant, Google, allows it’s engineers to spend 20% of their time to work on any pet project that they want. The idea is very simple. Allow people to work on something that interests them, and productivity will go up. Google’s policy has worked so well that it has been said that 50% of Google’s projects have been created during this creative time period. Ever heard of Gmail or Google News? These projects are creations by passionate developers that blossomed from their their 20-time projects. Students in Mrs. Haverland's and Mrs. Willey's classes participated in Genius Hour one day per week from January through May. Eleven students shared their Genius Hour projects during our 1st annual JeffTalks held on May 15.

    6th Grade:

    7th Grade:

    LEAP GT Opportunities

    Several GT opportunities were offered through the LEAP program. These programs included:
    • Drama Club - participants
    • Chess Club = participants
    • Creative Arts Challenge = participants
    • Lego Building Lab = participants

    Meet the TJMS GT Facilitator

    Michelle Weber is in her second year at the Thomas Jefferson Middle School Instructional Coach / GT Facilitator. She is a former 7th grade science teacher and has a special place in her heart for all things STEM!