Jefferson Middle School was built in 1956 and named after the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson held numerous titles during his lifetime: public official, lawyer, architect, farmer, author, and one of the Founding Fathers of our country. No matter the title, Jefferson consistently valued learning and education, and demonstrated an eagerness for knowledge, which led to his accumulation of thousands of books in his Virginia home. Jefferson understood that the United States and its fledgling democracy’s success was dependent upon a government ruled by ordinary, educated and freethinking citizens. The Jefferson Middle School community continues to embrace Thomas Jefferson’s love of education and its ability to empower students to become great citizens.
The Jefferson Middle School mascot is the J-Hawk, which was chosen for the school due to its close proximity to West Aurora High School. West High is the home of the Blackhawks, so the J in J-Hawks stands for Junior, thus the Jefferson Middle School students are known as the Junior (Black)Hawks, or J-Hawks for short.
Jefferson is the only middle school in the district that is two stories tall, and it has seen a number of renovations since opening its doors in 1956. On the site, mobile classrooms were parked at the front of the school when the district was continually expanding its population, but with the newest addition, all Jefferson classrooms could be contained within the building, and the mobile classrooms were removed. This addition also allowed for the creation of a prairie at the front of the building that Jefferson and West High science students designed and constructed in 2017. Each year, the students and science staff add more native prairie plants both as part of their curriculum and as a continuation of the renewal process for the prairie.