JEFFERSON HILLS, Pa.; June 5, 2024 – Thomas Jefferson High School's Class of 2024 received their diplomas Tuesday night as the West Jefferson Hills School District held its 65th Commencement ceremony.

A total of 242 seniors graduated at TJ Stadium before a large, enthusiastic crowd under warm, sunny skies.

The latest TJ graduates are the second class to have attended the new Thomas Jefferson HS for all four years, but they also experienced remote learning and attending school while masked due to the COVID-19 pandemic before a return to normal learning the past two years.

Senior class president Jaylen Hocker addressed the audience by taking everyone back to when the seniors were in Kindergarten (2011-12) and two seniors were selected to speak on behalf of their classmates. Isabelle Snyder spoke about "A Journey Worth Remembering," while Caraline Sommer spoke on the "Mentor of our Youth." All TJ seniors had the opportunity to submit remarks for consideration.

Thomas Jefferson Principal Pete Murphy and WJHSD Superintendent Dr. Janet Sardon also addressed the graduates.

The TJ A Cappella Choir sang the "Star Spangled Banner" and the TJ Marching Band played "Mooreside March" during the ceremony. Senior members of the band and choir joined their peers for the performances.

One TJ graduate, William White Jr., will be joining the U.S. Air Force and was recognized during graduation.

The TJ Class of 2024 officers were: Jaylen Hocker (president), Julie Evanchak (vice president), Kaitlyn Sukal (secretary), Grace Fluhme (treasurer) and Lillyan Safran (public relations).

A total of 161 TJ graduates were recognized at the Senior Honors Ceremony for posting a 3.2 grade point average or higher, representing 66.5 percent of the 242 seniors who graduated on Tuesday. A total of 69 seniors earned Highest Honors (4.0 GPA or higher), an increase of 11 over the past two years.

The West Jefferson Hills School district is Allegheny County's fastest-growing district, according to recent data. The district's enrollment increased by 134 students since the end of the 2022-23 school year to 3,426 students this year.

WJHSD/TJ Academic Achievement Highlights:

-In the recent Pittsburgh Business Times annual rankings of school districts, West Jefferson Hills moved up from No. 22 to No. 18 among more than 100 regional districts included.

-Thomas Jefferson was ranked the No. 13 high school in metro Pittsburgh by U.S. News & World Report (out of 140 schools), moving up from No. 15. Across all Pennsylvania High Schools, TJHS rose to No. 40 statewide, a significant jump from No. 69 last year and No. 96 as of 2020.

-A school record 290 TJ students were enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) courses this spring, an increase of 34% from the 191 students in 2018.

-A school record 257 TJ students took AP exams this spring, well above the 239 students who did so in 2023.

-The 257 Jaguar students took a total of 514 AP exams this spring, just under the record total of 519 in 2023, and a 42% increase since 2018.

-A school record 189 TJ AP students earned 3 scores on 2023 AP exams, up from 162 in 2022, with this year's results to be received during the summer.

(Photo by Prints Charming)

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