Award Year: 2018

Thomas Jefferson Elementary School

1700 Roosevelt Road
Valparaiso, IN, 46383-3700

(219) 531-3130

Mr. David Muniz, Principal at time of Nomination

Title I School

Valparaiso Community Schools

School Website


We are dedicated to building a safe and caring environment that promotes and inspires each student's character development, academic growth, and love of learning.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 8%
  • White: 65%
  • Hispanic: 22%
  • Asian: 2%
  • Two or more races: 3%
  • ELL: 11%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 50%
Thomas Jefferson Elementary - Where there's a place for everyone!

Thomas Jefferson Elementary - Where there's a place for everyone!

Thomas Jefferson Elementary School (TJE) serves students in grades k-5 in Valparaiso, IN. When asked what sets TJE apart, staff resoundly describes the building's culture and commitment to forging strong relationships. The culture of TJE encourages students to develop their full potential academically and emotionally by making them feel welcomed and cared for. The students feel they are in a place where people are looking out for their best interests. Simply put, TJE is a family.

Our principal says, "If you can get a kid to believe, you can get a kid to achieve." By addressing the whole child through character development and self-reflection opportunities, such as Team LEAD, K-Kids, Student Council, MindUp, mentor programs, and extracurriculars, the staff works as a team to ensure that all students feel valued and supported. These opportunities allow students to gain the confidence necessary for personal growth, which inevitably translates into their academic success. Through guided reading practices and rigorous response to instruction, teachers are able to individualize each child’s learning path to ensure success.

TJE also values the importance of family and their role in each child’s education. Teachers and staff foster a shared, collaborative learning environment through the use of Class Dojo, a classroom management tool. They encourage positive behavior within the school day, and parents see real-time updates. This creates a true partnership between parent and teacher and increases student motivation and love of learning. Students can also showcase their learning with family, giving them a purposeful audience.