JayFest Jams with Good Feelings

Friday, April 26, was reserved for fun.

From pickleball to picnicking and musical chairs to live music on the lawn, JayFest, an all-school celebration created by students, brimmed with belonging.

The annual event was organized by LEAD JJ (Leaders Evolving and Developing John Jay), a club that proactively brings together traditional leaders such as sports captains and student council members as well as underrepresented voices in the student body to help cultivate an environment of inclusivity at John Jay High School.

The club's advisors, School Counselor Kristin Spiros, teachers Tom Rizzotti and Katie McCarthy and Assistant Athletic Director Steve DelMoro are committed to finding engaging ways to empower the mission. 


reprise of 'Legally Blonde'

celebrating the every-evolving JJHS community

The diversity of voices showed at JayFest, both in the array of activities and contagious spirit of welcome among students.

The day began in the gym, at an all-school Pep Rally celebrating spring sports teams, the school’s a Capella groups, the spring musical “Legally Blonde” and the “Class of 2024” faculty retirees. The applause meter reached the rafters for John Jay’s Unified Basketball team and during a special dedication to varsity softball player and warrior Brooke D'Aleo.

The annual game of musical chairs, a JayFest favorite that puts John Jay Wolves’ lightning-quick reflexes to the test, brought students to their feet just in time for lunch.

Fueled by Boosters-grilled burgers and PTO-provided snacks and drinks, students competed on the massive inflatable obstacle course, enjoyed games of spike ball, ladder ball, pickleball and nitroball, and chilled to the music of Route 121, John Jay’s house band led by band teacher Jared Henderson.

Students and teachers played pick up soccer, participated in relay races, and competed by class in the traditional JayFest tug-of-war. The day ended with the annual seniors vs. faculty kickball game. It came down to the wire, but the faculty team won for the third year straight! 

“One of the highlights of this day each year is the opportunity for students and faculty members to connect outside of the classroom,” said School Counselor Spiros. “Each year at senior exit interviews, many students tell us that JayFest is one of their fondest John Jay memories.”