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JHS cafeteria gets face lift

Students on the 212 Team at Jefferson High School painted the cafeteria.

A group of students from Jefferson High School (JHS) in Alexandria recently took on a big project - painting the school cafeteria.

The 212 Team, a leadership team comprised of juniors and seniors, decided that the cafeteria was in desperate need of a face lift. In the process, the spirit of the students was also lifted.

"It was an easy way to make a big difference in the school's attitude," said Marit Aaseng, a member of 212.

"The murals were outdated and were only about athletics," teammate Kelli Winter agreed. "We wanted to make it more inclusive to all of the students."

The paint job is a good example of the goal of 212, which is to give students a voice at JHS, to create an environment where all students feel connected, and to energize the culture at JHS.

The premise behind the group is that at 211 degrees, water is hot, but at 212 degrees, it boils. Just one degree can make a difference.

At a summer retreat, the team members had the opportunity to identify improvement areas and create an action plan for those areas, such as the outdated cafeteria walls.

The group, which includes about 45 members, painted the main walls beige, adding red and black stripes near the ceiling and on the pillars. Future plans include possibly adding Cardinal-themed murals on the walls.

Other projects that the 212 Team has completed include assisting with 10th grade orientation, painting the commons area, the cyber café, renovating the courtyard, and implementing the organization of a variety of clubs for students who may not be involved in extra-curricular activities to join. They also created a JHS news show that is broadcast online several times a quarter.