tj-dome-opening-celebration_25058562484_oThomas Jefferson Partnership Fund

Join us as we build a better school and a stronger community.

Board of Directors
Board Committees
About Our Staff


The Thomas Jefferson Partnership Fund exists for one reason:

Private financial support is essential for TJ to continue to offer meaningful college-level educational opportunities to its students and to maintain its reputation for educational excellence. 


The mission of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Partnership Fund, Inc. is to support the unique learning opportunities, specialized curriculum and innovative research experiences available for TJ students. As a non-profit foundation, we pursue our mission by engaging in partnerships with, and soliciting private donations from, corporations, parents, alumni, and friends of TJ in the STEM community.

The TJ Partnership Fund (PF) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization that raises funds to meet TJ’s unique needs as a premier public science and technology high school. Since 1999, the PF has raised funds to support the ongoing needs of the School, including acquiring equipment and technology for TJ’s research labs and other classrooms, and making possible special programs and events such as the tjSTAR research symposium.

The PF is a volunteer-led group of current and past parents, alumni, and corporate representatives, and we are in constant need of volunteers to fill positions and offer all kinds of assistance.

12747534_960390180706838_7990286088066282306_oCampaign for TJ

In conjunction with the dramatic renovation of the School that began in June 2013, the PF launched the Campaign for TJ to raise funds for the infrastructure, state-of-the-art research equipment, and sophisticated technology that would not be covered by public funds but that was critical to meet TJ’s unique needs and goals.

Campaign gifts of $5,000 and up are recognized on our Campaign Wall of Honor in the new building’s main lobby. Gifts of $1,000 and up will be recognized with plaques on the back of new chairs being installed in the renovated auditorium. Leadership gifts of $10,000 and up are eligible for a variety of significant Recognition Opportunities, and many plaques are already on display throughout the school. Gifts and pledges in any amount are appreciated, and all are recognized in our Back to School newsletter and in our online Donor List.  All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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The Partnership Fund is governed by an all-volunteer board of directors and has three constituent boards:

  • The Parent Board reaches out to current and past parents, grandparents, and friends;
  • The Alumni Board focuses on alumni engagement and involvement with the school;
  • The Corporate Board seeks to cultivate relationships with corporations and foundations.


The PF works in close collaboration with the School Administration, lab directors, faculty, and staff to maximize our support for TJ. Development Director Aristia (“Tia”) Kinis, an experienced professional fundraiser, began assisting us with our ambitious Campaign for TJ in August of 2013. Tia has oversight over all PF fundraising efforts and devotes a significant portion of her time to securing major gifts. Sally Zabel, Outreach and Partnerships Manager, was hired in the fall of 2015 to coordinate our active international partnerships and to assist with alumni and corporate outreach. Samantha Courtney, Development Manager, serves as our primary liaison to School personnel, and supports the efforts of the Development Director and our all-volunteer Board, particularly in the area of parent fundraising and outreach.

IMG_2729Since the merger of the TJ Alumni Association and the PF several years ago, the two organizations have combined forces. The PF’s staff and resources help Alumni Association volunteers reach alumni with the message of giving back to TJ, assist with reunion planning, and facilitate alumni participation in school and outreach activities.

The PF welcomes all donations, both restricted and unrestricted, that will benefit TJ. The PF also encourages and accepts in-kind donations. Gift acceptance policies have been established to manage donations of equipment, technology and other non-cash donations.

The PF manages its assets in a conservative and accountable manner. It abides by clear, documented procedures governing its operation. The Board of Directors conducts an annual detailed review of financial records, and an external audit is prepared for compliance with general accounting procedures.

The Board is committed to effective stewardship of donors’ gifts to the PF. A formally adopted Financial Management Plan provides for the security and viability of the funds donated, and is available to all donors and prospective donors. Organizational assets are held in a combination of short-term money market accounts and long-term marketable securities, at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Income earned from these investments is allocated to the appropriate funds to best fulfill donor intentions.

Our current Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation are publicly available. Policies, procedures and  financial statements are available upon request.

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tourniquetThe TJ Partnership Fund is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization registered with the IRS and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The PF participates in the United Way and is subject to that organization’s rules and regulations.

The PF is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors, supported by the services of an independent accounting firm and a separate, also independent, auditing agency. The Board of Directors exercises its fiduciary responsibilities to the PF in the following ways:

  1. Occasional in-person or conference call meetings of the Executive Committee, which is comprised of the Board’s officers;
  2. Monthly in-person or conference call meetings of the Board of Directors;
  3. Frequent financial reports prepared and presented to the Board by the Treasurer;
  4. The maintenance of a Finance & Audit Committee to oversee the PF’s financial operations;
  5. Participation on the Board of Directors by a diverse group of alumni, including two Alumni Association representatives, and parents of TJ students, including liaisons to the PTSA and Colonial Athletic Boosters;
  6. Participation on the Board by at least two School representatives, one of whom is the principal;
  7. Open meetings which all interested parties may attend;
  8. Ready public access to our basic financial statements and to our annual tax return (“IRS Form 990”).

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Board of Directors

Chair: Natalie Givans, Parent ’19
Vice Chair: Miguel Browne, Parent ’18
Secretary: Charlie Givans, Parent ’19
Treasurer: Nicole Morson, TJ ’07

At Large Directors:
Anne Appler, TJ ’92, Parent ‘20
Marilena Barletta, Parent ’16 and ’18
Grace Becker, Parent ’15 and ’18
Shikha Dixit, Parent ’20
Shaista Keating, Parent ’20
Martine Kusiak, TJ ’91
Paul Misener, Parent ’20
Erik Petersen, TJ ’89
Silvija Strikis, Parent ’18
Marius Vismantas, Parent ’20
Gang Yang, Parent ’18
Andrew Zukosky, TJ ’05

Principal: Ann Bonitatibus
Assistant Principal Liaison: Gary Grosicki
PTSA President: Hardish Nandra, Parent ’13 and ’19
Immediate Past Chair: Srikant Sastry, Parent ’17

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Board Committees

Excellence Committee — The mission of the Excellence Committee is to support innovative student experiences and help TJ students achieve academic excellence. The Excellence Committee provides funding that enables research labs and classrooms to acquire the materials and advanced instrumentation that keeps TJ at the forefront of STEM education. It is also responsible for developing and funding those programs prioritized by the TJ administration, such as tjSTAR, that enrich the student intellectual and academic experience and advance TJ’s unique research-driven curriculum.

Alumni Engagement Committee — The Alumni Engagement Committee develops and helps fund programs and events to serve the TJ alumni community. It invests in data collection and communication strategies to help build an active alumni network that ensures former students stay connected to TJ. The mission of the Alumni Engagement Committee is to cultivate meaningful and sustained alumni participation and, ultimately, to increase alumni support for TJ and the PF.

STEM Outreach Committee — The STEM Outreach Committee develops and helps fund programs designed to excite interest in STEM learning among students and educators throughout the region. It works with students and teachers to bring TJ’s state-of-the-art technologies and specialized equipment to the broader community. The STEM Outreach Committee also supports programs and initiatives that encourage youth from all walks of life- low-income students, girls, and other under-represented groups- to pursue STEM education and academic opportunities at TJ. Its mission is to help ensure that TJ remains a leader not only in STEM education but in community service.

Audit Committee — The Audit Committee oversees TJPF’s annual financial and audit reporting process. Through continuous monitoring and review, it ensures that the organization maintains a system of effective internal controls and remains compliant with laws and regulations governing nonprofit entities. The mission of the Audit Committee is to make sure that the TJPF always remains independent, accountable, and transparent.

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Aristia Kinis, Executive Director
Samantha Courtney, Assistant Director of Development
Sally Zabel, Manager of Partnerships and Outreach
Jane Ritt, STEM Outreach and Administrative Coordinator

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