Jefferson senior memory: David Swerzenski
June is finally here and graduation is right around the corner meaning that this is my final piece as an MSG Varsity reporter. Rather than focus on one event in the school or what is going on at the present moment, I thought that I would focus on the school in general and more specifically my experiences at JTHS.
Four years ago, I embarked on a journey to discover myself at Jefferson Township High School. Being only 15 years old I had no idea who I wanted to be, and as soon as I walked through those blue double doors, I became instantly terrified. I still remember all of the gigantic seniors and the interesting teachers parading through the hallway that first morning. Little did I know I would undergo a transformation from the small awkward freshman to the person who I am now.
Jefferson has given me many memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. The school takes on a character of its own that cannot be duplicated anywhere else. At Jefferson I was involved in many activities and clubs that really made my time at the school memorable. I was a three-sport athlete playing soccer, basketball, and volleyball. I still remember my senior year when our soccer team became the first boys soccer team to advance to the state tournament in 25 years.
Another memory I will hold close to me was when I was selected as the 2012 United Way Scholar Athlete for Sussex County as well as the Morris County Scholar Athlete. It meant a lot to be recognized with such a great group of individuals. Basketball and volleyball also served as great opportunities to bond with many fine students. Athletics taught me the true meaning of team and family. Band was another great memory I will hold on to forever.
Between the more than 25 performances I gave to the weekly evening practices, Mr. Barrieres truly made band a class I will remember forever. Being part of the band and wind ensemble was an honor, and I am so glad I stuck with music in high school.
Academics at JTHS were both a blessing and a curse during my high school career. I will finish my senior year ranked eighth in a class of 265. I always prided myself on taking a challenging schedule every year with all honors and advanced placement classes. All of the late nights and pulling my hair out during projects was not a wasted effort. My course load and academic career has definitely taught me to persevere and has prepared me for the future.
Being involved in a lot of clubs at Jefferson has also had a lasting impact in my memories. National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, REBEL, PDP, and the Men’s Leadership Group at the high school have opened my eyes to the importance of the community and volunteerism. I can remember countless instances where I either volunteered at Habitat for Humanity, the soup kitchen, or animal shelter. Each experience was rewarding in and of itself and really showed me that no matter how bad a person thinks their own life is, someone has it worse.
Other groups I was involved in allowed me to convey my leadership qualities. Whether it was leading a group of freshmen in the Peer Development Program or teaching fifth graders the dangers of tobacco in REBEL, JTHS provided me with ample opportunities to turn into a leader and positive role model. Getting involved was the best decision I ever made in high school. I met some amazing people and made memories I would not trade for the world.
The accomplishment I hold the most pride in though has to be my Eagle Scout project which stands in the front of the school for all to see. I transformed the front of the athletic complex at JTHS into a beautiful garden. This garden will stand the test of time and will be the mark I leave on the high school. Students for years to come can now feel proud when other teams come to visit our athletic complex.
My time at Jefferson Township High School will be one I will always remember. I made friends I will never forget, had some phenomenal teachers, and made memories that will last for a lifetime. It is so hard to move on from a place that has provided me with so much, but next year I will attend Rochester Institute of Technology in New York to work towards a masters degree in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering. On one hand I am excited to start the next chapter of my life, but on the other I am deeply saddened to leave the place I call home.
Jefferson will always be a part of me that will never go away. I would like to thank MSG Varsity for allowing me to report for you. I have really enjoyed this time as a student reporter and videographer. It is my hope that I will leave a lasting legacy on Jefferson Township High School. I am a Jefferson falcon and always will be for the rest of my life.