TJMS 2012-13 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

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

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 number of points growth = 24 (average expected growth is 13 points)
  • Average # times expected growth = 1.66
  • Highest score = 349


  • 17/37 met target growth from Fall to Spring
  • 18/37 made improvement
  • Highest score = 251

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

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

Iowa Assessments

  • 9/12 met expected growth
  • Average number of points growth = 20 (average expected growth is 15)
  • Average # of times expected growth = 1.4
  • Highest score: 323


  • 7/12 met targeted growth
  • 11/12 made improvement from Fall to Spring
  • 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

  • 147 students enrolled in honors classes at Jefferson in 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

Bailey Hansen, House 8-2, Visual Arts

Annika Hogstrom, House 8-1, Social Sciences

Paisley Kascel, House 8-2, Performing Arts

Rebecca Schueller, House 8-2, Global and Cultural Studies

Alternates for Belin-Blank Summer Institute

Max Coenen, House 7-2, Invention & Innovation

Logan Ellingboe, House 7-2, Creative Writing

Heather Hostager, House 7-2, Advanced Science

Carrie Klein, House 8-1, Math Problem Solving

Reading & Writing

Writing Contests

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

Elk's Lodge Writing Contest: "What Does the National Anthem Mean to Me". Students needed to write an essay explaining the importance of the National Anthem and how it affects their lives today.

  • 1st place: Brody Leibfried
  • 2nd place: Jessica Stewart
  • 3rd place: Lydia Johnson
    Honorable Mention Winners:
  • Adam Mueller, Kenzie Updike, Lizzie Grace, Paisley Kascel, Bailey Hansen, Logan Moore, Erika Smith, Isaac Martin, Mia Burns, Brianna Gourley, Brianna Freihoefer, & Sam Weiland

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

Ben Briones, Marshon Crowder, Breana Freihoefer, Lizzie Grace, Courtney Green, Kelli Jones, Paisley Kascel, Mallory McDonald, Nick Miller, Hemmy Milton, Adam Mueller, Sierra Sanchez, Rebecca Schueller, Alex Sprecher, Jessica Stewart, Alissa Ties, Michael Weidemann, and Sam Weiland

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

Kenzie Updike, Cordell Brewer, Mia Burns, Ben Duggan, Brianna Gourley, Megan Gronau, Bailey Hansen, Luke Harwood, Edie Hill, Lydia Johnson, Garrett Kane, Isaac Martin, Brandon Mitchell, Logan Moore, Katie Nelson, Amanda Reeves, Sidney Sanders, Tyrell Saunders, Erika Smith, Amber Smothers, Ben Briones, Marshon Crowder, Breana Freihoefer, Hemmy Milton, Adam Mueller, Sierra Sanchez, Sam Weiland, Alex Sprecher, Jessica Stewart, Alissa Ties, Michael Weidemann, & Rebecca Schueller

Martin Luther King Jr Contest

Jefferson had many poster and essay submissions to this contest that was held in late November. Two Jefferson 8th students were selected as the 1st and 2nd place winners in the essay contest. Michaela Uptegraph won 1st place with her essay. Mia Burns won 2nd place with her essay. We have not placed in this competition in recent memory.

Battle of the Books

Fourteen students represented Jefferson at the 2013 Battle of the Books competition between the three middle schools.

Thank you to Samantha Hancock, Tech Coach/LRC for working with these teams.

6th grade: Elizabeth Freiburger, Grace Harwood, Taya Hess, Allison Klein, & Kayla LaPage

7th grade: Bobbi Jo Bellman, Marlonda Bell-Clark, Brianna Fry, and Evan Wieser

8th grade: Taylor Butler, Alyssa Hughes, Carrie Klein, Emily Schleter, & Jessica Stewart,

Spelling Bee

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

  • 6th grade - Carly Dalberg & Zaebian Weis.
  • 7th Grade - Brianna Heffner & Emma Wiebke.
  • 8th grade - Cody Bartels.

Cody Bartels was one of the top 10 finishers in our sectional bee and he participated in Regional Spelling Bee on March 9 at Clarke University.

TJMS Book Club

Reading teacher Shayna Boxleiter sponsored a book club for students who love to read independently. Students met with Mrs. Boxleiter on Wednesdays for 30 minutes to discuss selected books.


  • 6th Grade: Grace Hoyne, Laine Sanderson, Mercedes Schwartz, Madison Wemmer, Morgan Ostrander
  • 7th Grade: Marlonda Bell-Clark, Katie Block, Alexis Ernzen, Alexis Kemp, Dakota Thompson, Ashley Schmitt, Tasheka Sample
  • 8th Grade: Katie Nelson

This is a new program for the 2012-13 school year.


Math Olympiads

Math Olympiads materials were used by 38 6th grade enrichment (honors) math students to encourage math skills and competitive math in the future. Teachers leading the Math Olympiads were Leah Decker and Jill Duggan.

Jefferson mathletes won national awards for excellence within Division E for grades 4-6. Jefferson had 14 students earn this award.

The following students earned the felt patch (top 50% of all participants): Sami Clark, Brandon Doser, Julie Hammerand, Cole Heim, Benjamin Hermiston, Grace Harwood, Kaitlyn Howard, Megan Kaufmann, Hannah Kramer, Kayla LaPage, Wesley Meyer, Ted Spring, Bailey Smith & Stephanie Stewart.

2011-12: 14 students won national awards for excellence within Division E for grades 4-6.

Math Counts

Thirteen students participated in MathCounts during the 2012-13 school year. Ben Meier served as the team's coach.

  • 6th grade: Laine Sanderson & Moriah Zimmerman
  • 7th grade: Max Coenen, Brianna Fry, Evan Wieser, & Brandon Xicon
  • 8th grade: Megan Gronau, Paisley Kascel, Carrie Klein, Noah Sabers, Emily Schleter, Cheyanne Schmitt, Jessica Stewart, & Josh Zimmerman

Seven students participated at the competition on Saturday, February 16th at Washington Middle School.

  • 6th grade: Moriah Zimmerman
  • 7th grade: Brandon Xicon and Max Coenen
  • 8th grade: Jessica Stewart, Josh Zimmerman, Emily Schleter, and Paisley Kascel

Wahlert Math Contest

Jefferson was the first place winner in the AA Division at the Wahlert Math Contest on Saturday, March 23. Ryan Kelly and Patt Henry served as team coaches.

Participants included:

7th grade: Max Coenen, Ethan Healey, Koehler Miller, Emma Wiebke, & Brandon Xicon

8th grade: Carrie Klein, Noah Sabers, Emily Schleter, Jessica Stewart, and Josh Zimmerman

Individual Awards (19 participants)

2nd Place - Noah Sabers

Honorable Mentions

Carrie Klein, Josh Zimmerman, Jessica Stewart


Science Bowl

Jefferson had 10 participants in the science bowl held at Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School on November 3, 2012. Our science bowl team was coached by Amy Haverland.

Science Bowl team members included:

  • 6th grade = Ted Spring.
  • 7th grade = Brianna Fry & Emma Wiebke.
  • 8th grade = Lizzie Grace, Megan Gronau, Adam Kuennen, Adam Mueller, Noah Sabers, Jessica Stewart, & Josh Zimmerman.

Jefferson Team B - Lizzie Grace, Noah Sabers, Ted Spring, Adam Kuennen, and Jessica Stewart won 2nd place overall in the team quiz bowl competition.

Noah Sabers was selected as a member of the all-star team. Ten students were chosen for the all-star team who answered the most correct answers during competition.

Students also created wind turbines, but did not place in this competition.

First Lego League

2012-13 was the inaugural year for Jefferson's First Lego League Team. Our focus this year was on Senior Solutions, robot games, teamwork, and fun. The team competed in a regional FLL competition at Washington Middle School on December 8, 2012. Amy Haverland and Michelle Weber served as coaches. Mark Zimmerman and Katie ?? from John Deere Dubuque Works served as engineering mentors for our team.

The members of the Galactic Unicorns included:

  • 6th grade: Elizabeth Frieburger, Kayla LaPage, Tyler Lyons, Stephanie Stewart, and Moriah Zimmerman.
  • 7th grade: William Allman & Mason Kobliska
  • 8th grade: Adam Kuennen, Noah Sabers, & Josh Zimmerman

We are ready to participate in FLL for the 2013-14 school year!


We had a record of 32 participants who started and completed the eCYBERMISSION process (55 students who indicated interest). This activity is an optional activity that took place during our Activity Block. Emily McCullough and Michelle Weber served as mentors for the teams. The Foodies and Pie Lovers participated in the eCYBERMISSION summit at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium on March 20. At the summit they participated in water testing, an animal encounter, poster presentation, met with experts in their field, and learned more about the Coastal America Summit.

Teams and their projects.

The Foodies, 8th grade, researched the difference between artificial and natural foods and their connection with obesity. Team members: Breana Freihoefer, Emily Schleter, & Jessica Stewart

The Pie Lovers, 7th grade, researched the connection between different types of breakfast foodies and the energy they provided. Team members: Jeni McGlynn & Sara Swank

The Nerd Herd, 7th grade, researched different materials that could be used to build a safer football helmet to prevent concussions. Team members: Max Coenen, Ethan Healey, Koehler Miller, & Brandon Xicon

The All Stars, 7th grade, researched the effects of exercise on test-taking ability. Team members: Noah Doughtery, Logan Ellingboe, & Addison Kalb

The Pink Ninjas, 6th grade, researched the effects of artificial sweeteners on the human body and informed their classmates about them. Team members: Samantha Fiegen, Julie Hammerand, & Hannah Kramer

The Colors, 6th & 7th grade, grew tomato seeds that were flown in space. Team members: Patricia Droessler, Alexis Kemp, and Morgan Ostrander

Quad Thunder, 7th grade, researched the effects of different types of music on a person’s attitude and attention span. Team members: Bobbi Jo Bellman, Brianna Fry, Heather Hostager, & Emma Wiebke

eCyber Rocks, 6th grade, designed a car that could use alternative sources of energy. Team members: Drew Kirton, Raine Schmitt, Alexis Wand, & Vera Weis

Other students participated in eCYBERMISSION but did not complete a mission folder this year: 7th graders - Tristan Esser, Chris Hansen, Jackson Huston, Andre Lessears, and Nick Wobbema.

2011-12: 6 students participated

2010-11: 14 students participated

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. This was a new program in which all middle schools participated.

Participants: Bobbi Jo Bellman, Charisma Cruz, Ashton Esser, Brianna Fry, Heather Hostager, Jeni McGlynn, Valerie Steffens, & Ashley Thill.

Check out the Dubuque Telegraph Herald article for more information.

Social Studies

Young Citizen's Forum

The Young Citizen’s Forum Summit was held on Thursday, February 28th at the NICC Town Clock Center. Jefferson had 47 participants in YCF.

This year’s topics included:

  • Local Topic: How can DCSD maintain nutritional value and student-friendly appeal while meeting national health standards for school lunches?
  • National Topic: Should year-round schooling be mandated nation-wide?
  • International Topic: How and why can the world community create a coordinated effort to conserve and preserve endangered and wild animals?

Thank you to coaches Katherine Thimmesch, Amy Haverland, and Betsy Pelkey

for working with our YCF group.

Jefferson had 3 outstanding delegates at this year's summit: 6th grade - Isaac Cretsinger & Vera Weis and 8th grade - Emily Schleter.

2011-12 = 35 students participated.

Visual and Performing Arts

Loras Honor Band

2012 participants:

  • 7th grade: Brianna Fry, Bobbi Jo Bellmann, & Jonah Oberfoell
  • 8th grade: Tayler Reynolds, Lizzie Grace, Samantha Wieland, Adam Mueller, Taylor Butler, Heather Dean, & Cody Bartels

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: Bobbi Jo Bellman, Brianna Fry, Ethan Healey, Michaela Henry, Jonah Oberfoell, Kim Reuter, Robin Smith, & Evan Wieser
  • 8th grade: Cody Bartels, Taylor Butler, Heather Dean, Lizzie Grace, Adam Mueller, Tabitha Smith, Jacob Tuecke, Michaela Uptegraph, & Samantha Wieland

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.

  • 7th Grade: Bobbi Jo Bellman, Samantha Duve, Brianna Fry, Michaela Henry, & Jonah Oberfoell
  • 8th Grade: Cody Bartels, Taylor Butler, Heather Dean, Lizzie Grace, Alyssa Hughes, Adam Mueller, Tayler Reynolds, Erika Smith, Michaela Uptegraph, & Samantha Wieland

A sample performance from our wind ensemble is below for you to enjoy!

TJMS Band Roshek 3.MOV

Iowa Choir Director's Association Honor Choir

Two Jefferson students were chosen to participate in ICDA Honor Choir on February 19th.

  • 7th grade: Maxfield Coenen and Evan Wieser

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.

23 students were selected for Celebration Choir in 2012-13.

6th grade: Noah Capaul, Cassidy Emerson, Grace Hoyne, Natalie Leach, Ali Naab, Morgan Ostrander, Ted Spring, Abby Thill, Vera Weis, Zaebian Weis

7th grade: Max Coenen, Patricia Droessler, Justice Heinhold, Grace Jackson, Hannah Jackson, Koehler Miller, Sara Swank, Evan Wieser

8th grade: Alexis Decker, Abby Gilles, Lizzie Grace, Megan Gronau, McKenna Johnson,

2011-12 18 students

2010-11 17 students

Dubuque Architecture Show

Six TJMS students were selected to have artwork displayed in the Dubuque Architecture Show from April 22 - May 2 in the Roshek Building.

8th grade: Murphy Bleymeyer, Casey Brayton, Cody Delaney, Bailey Hansen, Noah Kuhn, and Alex Sprecher.

Talent Show

Jefferson's 3rd 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: Gavin Reynolds
  • 7th Grade: Marlonda Bell-Clark, Bobbi Jo Bellman, Charisma Cruz, Jeremiah Franklin, Brianna Fry, Justice Heinhold, Michaela Henry, Grace Jackson, Hannah Jackson, Mason Kobliska, Jonah Oberfoell, Kim Reuter, Robin Smith, & Evan Wieser
  • 8th grade: Carmen Ames, Cody Bartels, Ben Briones, Taylor Butler, Marshon Crowder, Heather Dean, Alexis Decker, Lizzie Grace, Megan Gronau, Annika Hogstrom, Paisley Kascel, Adam Mueller, Tayler Reynolds, Kyle Ridgeway, Tabitha Smith, Amber Smothers, Jacob Tuecke, Michaela Uptegraph, & Samantha Wieland

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

Annie, Jr

Jefferson Middle School will present Annie, Jr on May 17-18. This musical features a cast of 34, a chorus of 21, and crew of 26. This year's musical has 16 leads.

Annie Jr Leads:

  • Annie: Madeline Perreard & Samantha Fiegen
  • Warbucks: Noah Sabers & Koehler Miller
  • Miss Hannigan: Abby Gilles & Marlonda Bell-Clark
  • Grace Ferrell: McKenna Johnson & Jeni McGlynn
  • Rooster: Max Coenen & Zaebien Wies
  • Lily St. Regis: Sara Schroeder & Samantha Wieland
  • Molly: Heather Hostager & Grace Jackson
  • Pepper: Tabitha Smith & Tayler Reynolds

Our leads worked with co-directors Emily Zebarth and Jill Duggan, as well as with Mary Ogelsby, Elizabeth Griesinger, Aaliyah Fondell, and Sam Zebarth in order to develop their skills in the performing arts.


Anti-Bullying Alliance

Sixteen 8th grade students worked with guidance counselor Paula Baumann to improve Jefferson's climate and culture, striving to end bullying at TJMS. These student leaders spoke out and led activities including: Mix-It-Up at Lunch, Conflict managers, and Pen Pals. They also sponsored "No Unkind Words" week with activities for students to participate in and are creating a video about respect for the student body.

Two members of our ABA group, Chelsea Molzoff and Tayler Reynolds were selected to attend Iowa Governor Terry Branstad's Bullying Prevention Summit in November 2012.

ABA Members: Rashawn Carter, Chelsea Molzoff, Tayler Reynolds, Katie Nelson, Josie Schoenberger, Summer McCallum, Logan Ludovossy, Dylan Hinman, Annika Hogstrom, Riley Merfeld, Makayla Lurry, Nicole Kinzle, Edie Hill, Andrew Molzof, Eryn Davis, & Mia Burns.

Check out the finale for "No Unkind Words Week" by clicking here. Plus our newly created video promoting respect which is below.

ABA The One Thing

Student Government

Student government representatives were selected by homebases as student leaders. They planned three Jefferson dances, improve school climate and culture through Spirit Week, and sponsored a Mini Dance Marathon in conjunction with Loras College. Student government's mentors were Emily McCullough and Elizabeth Bushman.

  • 6th Grade: Zach Edgington, Garrett Trimborn, Taya Hess, Garrett Long, & Caryn Chapman
  • 7th Grade: Ashley Schmitt, Julia Meehan, Latrell Vance, Addison Kalb, Alex Ward, Denny Doerr, Ben McClanahan, Taylor Greenwald, & Noah Dougherty
  • 8th Grade: Cody Grass, Kasey Mills, Emily Schleter, Danny Hoover, Logan Moore, & Robert Kircher


TJMS Live (formerly Jefferson Java) is a student-produced news program. This group was mentored by our Technology Coach, Samantha Hancock. A DRA grant provided an equipment upgrade. Equipment and software issues unfortunately caused the show to not be televised for the majority of the spring, which severely limited the amount of participation.

12 cast and crew members: Alex Sprecher, Mia Burns, Megan Gronau, Nathan Feldman, Lydia Johnson, Jack Roussel, Taylor Rehfeldt, Kara Greve, Kristan Brown,

Logan Reavis, McKenna Johnson, & Marshon Crowder

2011-12: 28 students participated

2010-11: 20 students participated

5th Grade Orientation Leaders

Twenty-two 6th grade students participated in a leadership program that culminated with students leading of our 5th grade orientation on April 11th. Katherine Thimmesch mentored these students. Students participated as program emcees, vignette actors, and room hosts.

Orientation Leaders: Kyla Boyce, Sami Clark, Zach Edgington, Cassidy Emerson, Gabby Fondell, Emma Frieburger, Jasmine Greve, Taya Hess, Drew Kirton, Allison Klein, Garrett Long, Olivia Meyer, Madi Peter, Eulalia Redcloud, Terrell Ried, Amber Schatzabel, Aaron Schmitt, Joe Vize, Dylan Weaver, Madison Wemmer, Zaebian Weis, & Lucas Zmudka

Other GT Programming

LEAP GT Opportunities

Several GT opportunities were offered through the LEAP program. These programs included:

  • NASA Design Challenge (AAA - Dolan) = 8 participants
  • Chess Club = 5-8 participants
  • Creative Arts Challenge = 20 participants
  • Lego Building Lab = 20 participants

Jefferson did not participate in the following activities in 2012-13:

  • GeoBee
  • Quiz Bowl

Meet the TJMS GT Facilitator

Michelle Weber is in her first 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!