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Exceptional Bridge Engineering

Exceptional Bridge Engineering photo
JGHS student Ben Farina recently competed in the Brookhaven National Labs Annual Bridge Competition and received the Aesthetic Award for his design!

Ben, along with 26 other classmates, qualified for the competition earlier in 2019. Upon qualification, each student immediately went to work researching bridge designs. After settling on a design, students turned their ideas into sketches, sketches into digital copies, and then the digital copies into physical bridges. Ben’s bridge design in particular was deemed the most aesthetically pleasing at the competition, and was awarded a plaque from Brookhaven National Lab.

While over 50 students from nine schools qualified to participate in this competition, 27 students of those students were from John H. Glenn.

Collaborating to Create a Home for Those in Need

Collaborating to Create a Home for Those in Need
JGHS students involved in the Habitat for Humanity club recently volunteered to help build the frame of a new home for a family in need on March 13. Alongside other volunteers from Brookhaven National Lab, the family receiving the house, and Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk staff, students worked with determination and speed from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. to complete the frame.

In addition to this act of service positively changing a family’s way of life, the structure itself will be one of the organization’s most environmentally projects yet. This “GeoThermal” house will have the ability to be heated and cooled by the earth’s underground temperature, rather than gas or oil. This project was organized by Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk.

LISEF Honorable Mention

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Congratulations to Rithika Narayan who recently competed in the second round of the LI Science and Engineering Fair (LISEF) and was awarded honorable mention. Additionally, Rithika also received an award for the best use of international metric units. While she is not advancing to the final round of the competition, as a sophomore, she has the next two academic years to compete again and advance further.

Exploring ASL at John H. Glenn

Exploring ASL at John H. Glenn photo
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John H. Glenn’s American Sign Language (ASL) program has been steadily growing over the years—starting with one small class and now boasting over 90 students across three high school levels and one college level. Students enjoy having this language to explore, and are vocal about the importance and necessity of having people who can interpret for hearing impaired individuals.

“People are often inclined to gravitate towards taking Spanish because that seems like a more practical route to take,” said Megan Hovanec, a level-two ASL student, “but that’s not necessarily the case. With the number of deaf Americans in our country, ASL is something that everyone should have a basic knowledge of.” Meagan plans to double major in interpreting and nursing in college so she can use ASL in the medical field.

The community of ASL students at John H. Glenn enjoy giving back to deaf the community each year by Fall Festival at Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf, participate in district-wide events like International Night, and put on some of their own events, such as ASL Idol.

“Sometimes all it takes is someone setting an example of something they’re passionate about,” said level-four ASL student Victoria Didiego. “I used to practice signing with my cousin because she studied it in college, and now I want to pursue full time interpreting.”

Recycling Responsibility at James H. Boyd

Recycling Responsibility at James H. Boyd photo
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In response to being chosen to pilot a county-deployed recycling program, students at James H. Boyd have been stepping up to the plate to help save the planet.

Members of the student council have been especially important in keeping the program running like a well-oiled machine. Each week, council representatives collect the recycling bins from each classroom—one paper, one plastic—to weigh and record. Students take care of the paper, while the school janitors record how many bags of plastic have been removed. At the end of the month, the information is sent to the county.

“The students involved take this responsibility very seriously,” said student council advisor Mrs. Deborah Hemphill. “They’re the ones in the classrooms watching what their classmates recycle and what they throw away. They’ve been instrumental in encouraging their classmates to be more conscious of what they just toss into the trash.”

So far this school year, Boyd has recycled over 2,000 pounds of paper, which has saved approximately 17 trees.

“It’s important to help the earth in whatever ways we can,” said student council co-president Lily. “So we’re trying to set a good example and teach our classmates about taking care of our world.”

2019-2020 District Budget


JGHS Team of Researchers Named Best Presenters

JGHS Team of Researchers Named Best Presenters photo
A team of JGHS student-researchers recently won the best presentation award at the Northwell Hospital-Feinstein Institute’s annual Medical Marvels Competition. This collaborative research competition is for ninth and tenth grade students across the island who are seeking to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The team was comprised of sophomores Sasha Jamal, Julia Mady-Aguiar, Devin Lee, Rithika Narayan, Brennan Finnegan, and Jake Haddad. Collaboratively, the students wrote a fourteen-page paper on the harmful effects of vaping and proposed a resolution to the high school vaping crisis across New York. After presenting in competition with 37 other teams, they were awarded the best presentation award.

Congratulations students!

District-Wide International Night

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On Wednesday, March 6 the Elwood community came together to celebrate heritage and culture at a district-wide International Night.

Groups of students set up booths to represent different countries. Students served authentic cuisine to those in attendance throughout the night, thanks to the generous donations of students from James H. Boyd, Elwood Middle, and John H. Glenn. While there were over 22 stations incredible stations, South Asia—presented by Sasha Jamal, Rithika Narayan, Tanay Rametra, Arianna Surujbali, Riya Kumar—was named the winner. Italy, presented by Abby Rothleder, Ally Haddad, Joey LaCorte, Jake Ribowski, came in second.

Different student groups showcased well-practiced performances, including the Boyd fourth and fifth grade chorus, the EMS sixth grade World Culture classes, Melissa Mandel solo of "Black Orpheus,”, Ms. Gendjoian's Spanish Conversation class, the JGHS Step team, and Mrs. Correia's ASL class. As a finale to the night, the American Sign Language students (levels 1-4) performed a moving rendition of “This is Us”, accompanied by the vocal talent of sophomore Princess Onyianta.

A great night celebrating heritage and different cultures was had by all.

To watch Melissa Mandel’s performance, click here.
To watch the ASL performance, click here.

James H. Boyd Student Heads to American Ninja Warrior Junior Semifinals

James H. Boyd Student Heads to American Ninja Warrior Junior Semifinals photo
David Futeran, a fifth-grader at James H. Boyd, recently competed on one of the most popular family television shows currently on air—American Ninja Warrior Junior. His impressive strength and skill helped him remain undefeated on the show, and he is now on his way to the semifinals. His success was also recently spotlighted in a News12 Long Island segment, which you can watch here:

When Ninja Warrior Junior first aired, David was automatically hooked. He knew he wanted to become a warrior, and began practicing by “literally climbing the walls” of his house. After taking his skills to the next level at a ninja gym, David felt confident to submit six videos showcasing his athleticism to an open casting call of the show—and was selected.

Each week he puts in over ten hours of gymnastic and climbing practice. David believes he’s prepared to take on the semifinals, which will air April 6.

He mentioned that, while one of his favorite things about competing is the weightless feeling of falling through the air, he has thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie with the other members of the show.

“It’s been really awesome to meet and get to know other people with the same specific interest that I have,” said David.

Congratulations and good luck, David!

JGHS Spring Musical

Tickets are now on sale for the high school musical Hairspray!
Performances will be held on March 15 and 16 at 7 p.m. in the Elwood John Glenn auditorium.
Tickets are $12.00 online, $14.00 (cash and check only) at the door. To purchase tickets, go to

2019 New York State Assessment Participation Refusal Form Letter


Art at Harley

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Kindergarteners at Harley Avenue enjoyed exploring different art styles and cultures during the month of February in Mrs. Chris Warren’s art classes. One of the styles students learned about was Mondrian, a modern art style that uses shapes to represent the streets of New York City. Kindergarteners were challenged to use 100 squares in their work to represent the 100th day of school. Students also learned about and celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year by learning to paint “Good Fortune” in Chinese characters.

Practicing pre-vocational skills at EMS

Practicing pre-vocational skills at EMS photo
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Members of Elwood Middle School’s student council recently worked with Life Skills students on the grand re-opening of the school store on Feb. 8. The store, previously run by the PTA, hasn’t been open in a number of years, and will now be run by the students, for the students.

Special Education teachers Martine Pirolo and Megan Riley worked with the student council and Life Skills students to teach and practice important basic skills that they will need in the future, such as handling money, greeting customers, counting inventory and more. Once up and running, the store will be run by rotating groups of volunteer students each week.

“These are important pre-vocational skills to learn as they get older and enter the workforce, whether in high school or beyond,” said special education teacher Mrs. Martine Pirolo. “And we believe giving students the opportunity to learn these skills alongside their peers can bolster their confidence within themselves.”

NYPD Jazz Band Visits Harley


Detective Pape and the NYPD jazz band visited Harley Avenue and performed for students on Feb. 7. Members of the band introduced the students to different styles of jazz music, and showed them how each of the instruments worked. The students listened to the music, sang along and danced. The entire school participated and had a blast. The event was set up and organized by one of Harley parents, Lisa Tuozzolo. Harley Avenue is thankful to have had such a wonderful afternoon with the band!

JGHS Wrestlers Named County Champs

The John Glenn High School wrestling team competed in the Section XI - Division 2 Wrestling Championships during the weekend of Feb. 9. Student-athletes Thomas Giaramita at 145 lbs., Justin Vega at 182 lbs., and Patrick Ancewicz at 285 lbs. each earned the Suffolk County Championship title for their respective weight classes. Additionally, John Glenn had a total of nine wrestlers to earn All-County awards.

The three county champions will travel to Albany to compete in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s (NYSPHSAA) State Wrestling Championship on Feb. 22 and 23. Congratulations and good luck, students!

Congratulations, Mr. McGuire!

Elwood Middle and John Glenn High School tech teacher Mr. Matt McGuire was recently awarded $200 for the program from Harbor Freight Tools.

Through a Teacher Donation program, Mr. McGuire reached out to Harbor Freight Tools earlier in the school year and explained how much of the high school technology laboratory needed updating. With three design and drawing for production courses, a production systems course, an architecture course, robotics course, and a world of technology course in mind, Mr. McGuire expressed his deepest thanks in any help to build a better learning environment for Elwood students.

The organization was impressed with the work he does for the program, and applauded his commitment to the classroom and school, and granted him the donation to be used towards equipment updates. Congratulations, Mr. McGuire!

P.S. I Love You Day at EMS

P.S. I Love You Day at EMS photo
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Thanks to the initiative of Elwood Middle School’s Knights of Good club, the school celebrated P.S. I Love you Day for the first time on Feb. 8. The goal of this day is to bring awareness to students of the importance of spreading love and kindness in order to the prevent unnecessary loss of lives from suicide. This year, nearly 200 schools pledged to participate.

Knights of Good club member Anthony Bell came across this awareness day earlier in the school year and brought it before the club advisor as well as his peers.

“When I first read about P.S. I love you Day, it really spoke to me about the importance of kindness,” said Anthony. “And I really felt the need to pass this message along to my classmates—because you never know who may really need to hear it.”

The Knights of Good agreed to come alongside the day’s mission, and requested for the entire school to wear purple on Feb. 8 to stand up against bullying, help promote mental health awareness, and prevent the tragedy of suicide.

“Our hope is that on this day, students will walk around their school community and see a sea of purple,” said club advisor Todd Schwartz, “and that they’ll remember that there are people who truly care, and that they’re never alone.”

Science Research Student Moves on in Prestigious Competition

Science Research Student Moves on in Prestigious Competition photo
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On Feb. 6, John Glenn science research student Rithika Narayan was selected to continue on to the second round of the Long Island Science & Engineering Fair (LISEF). This is the first time Elwood has had a student advance to the next round of this prestigious competition.

Rithika’s project, entitled “Orphaned by Laplace: A Tale of Two Cysts”, presented findings gathered in an independent science research class offered at the high school. Based on scientific observation and an existing law put into place by the mathematician Laplace, Rithika was able to explain why kidney cysts tend to rupture but liver ducts do not. Her in-depth research and well-presented project set her apart from the other participants and was selected as one of five students from the math category to advance to the second round.

The next stage of the competition takes place on March 14; winners of which move on to the International Science and Engineering Fair.

Outstanding Athletes Honored

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At its Feb. 7 meeting, the district’s Board of Education and administration honored six of the district’s top athletes for their outstanding individual achievements this year. Athletic Director David Shanahan introduced each of the student-athletes from Elwood-John H. Glenn High School and praised each of their accomplishments.

“These athletes represent sportsmanship, the highest character, teamwork and discipline, and are the best of the best at Glenn,” Coach Shanahan said.

Congratulations to the following students:

* Alyssa Adomaites – broke the school’s all-time record for scoring with 1,614 points to date
* Mia Cergol – named an All-State volleyball player
* Caroline Garretson – named All-State volleyball player
* Adam Astarita – named All-State soccer player
* Josh Fenner – scored 1,000 points as a junior on the varsity basketball team
* Kyle Szokoli – named All-State football player

Elwood Students Prepare to be World Changers of the Future

Elwood Students Prepare to be World Changers of the Future photo
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Four students from Elwood Middle School were awarded the "Most Creative Community Space” for their team’s Future City design, which was presented at the Future City regional competition on Jan. 19. Out of nearly 50 teams, only twelve specialty awards were distributed.

This competition, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers, challenges sixth through eighth graders to imagine ways to make the world a better place by solving city sustainability issues. The 2018-19 theme was “Powering Our Future,” and called for students to design a city power grid that could potentially withstand and recover from a natural disaster.

Elwood’s Future City Team, composed of students Nate Tyll, Chloe Keil, Catherine Ruyle and Colby Knorr, designed a city that was earthquake proof. This was accomplished by having the city magnetically levitated while being powered by black hole energy.

“Students did an amazing job at designing, constructing and then defending their city against a large panel of judges,” said technology club advisor Mr. Alex Wrightman. “These students are preparing themselves to be the world changers of the future.”

LISFA Selectees

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Eight orchestra students from Elwood Middle and John Glenn High School were selected to perform in the Long Island String Festival Association (LISFA) Secondary and Intermediate festivals. Participants included Sasha Jamal, violin; Rithika Narayan, viola; Benjamin Fuchs, violin; Giuliana Brown, violin; Angelina Song, cell; Joanna Kim, violin; Benny Lee, violin; and Emma Rothleder, violin.

Only select talented musicians students throughout Suffolk county were chosen to participate in the three-day festivals. Congratulations, students!

Point Guard Breaks School Record

Point Guard Breaks School Record photo
John H. Glenn High School senior Alyssa Adomaites, a point guard for the varsity basketball team, recently broke the school’s record of 1479 points, which was set in 2009, with a whopping 1587 points. She is additionally the second leading scorer on Long Island. Alyssa is passionate about basketball and has been playing since early elementary school, and will be attending Adelphi University in the fall.

“Alyssa is an outstanding student athlete that works hard both on the court and in the classroom, and is a shining example of school pride and athleticism,” said Director of Athletics and Physical Education David Shanahan. “The district is extremely proud of her for all her hard work and dedication to the game.”

Congratulations, Alyssa!

Nominating Petitions Now Available

Packets of information for your use in seeking election to a seat on the Board of Education in the Elwood Union Free School District may be picked up at the District Office or at a Board of Education Meeting from the District Clerk.

There is one seat available for a three-year term commencing on July 1, 2019 and expiring on June 30, 2022. The Board member election will be held on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, the same time as the District’s Budget Vote on the 2019-2020 school budget.

Please call Mary Lou Janelli, District Clerk, for more information: 631-266-5400, extension 1402.

JGHS Science Success

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Congrats to John H. Glenn’s outstanding science students for their recent hard work and impressive successes!

On January 26, the Science Olympiad Team competed at Eastern Long Island Division C Regionals
At Ward Melville High School. The New York State Science Olympiad, Inc. organization’s mission is to challenge and engage students in all areas of STEM through competitive team tournaments throughout New York.

Members Hannah Kleinman and Caleb Shim placed 9th out of 52 teams in the Chemistry Lab event.

Additionally, science research students, Jaida Morgan, Annie Song, Brianna Duswalt and Matthew Tallo competed in the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl Regional Qualifier at Brookhaven Labs on Jan. 26th as well, demonstrating their vast knowledge of the area of science.

Great job, students!

Peticiones de nominación ya disponibles

Paquetes con información para su uso en búsqueda de un puesto en la elección en la Junta de Educación en el Distrito Escolar Libre de Elwood puede ser recogida en la Oficina del Distrito o en la reunión de la Junta de Educación del Secretario/a del Distrito.

Hay un puesto disponible por un término de tres años comenzando el día 1 de julio del 2019 y terminando el día 30 de junio del 2022. La elección del miembro para Junta se llevara a cabo el martes, 21 de mayo del 2019, al mismo tiempo que el Voto del Presupuesto del Distrito Escolar para los años 2019 – 2020.

Llame a Mary Lou Janelli, Secretaria de Distrito, para obtener más información: 631-266-5400, extensión 1402.

JGHS Music Department Learns and Performs at Disney World

JGHS Music Department Learns and Performs at Disney World photo
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During the weekend of Jan. 18-21, 120 the John Glenn High School music department traveled to Orlando, Florida, where each of the three ensembles participated in unique Disney music experiences.

Mrs. Rachel Nagle and the JGHS choir were taught and worked hard on a medley from the movie Fozen, Additionally, they learned how to insert their own sound effects and choral recording onto the movie screen from well-known voiceover artists through the "Disney Sings" Program.

In the "You're Instrumental" clinic, Ms. Karen Gellert and the orchestra worked on various songs from different Disney movie soundtracks and ultimately filmed and recorded "Remember Me" from the movie Coco, in accompaniment with the actual film.

The marching band and members of the John Glenn Knightline, led by Ms. Vickie Henson, had an exciting and impressive performance as they marched down Main Street in Magic Kingdom surrounded by cheering crowds. Between activities, students enjoyed all four Disney World Parks.

“It was both impressive and heartwarming to see the students’ maturity, camaraderie, and support for one another throughout the extended weekend,” said Ms. Nagle. “It was a meaningful and memorable experience for all."

Suffolk County Winners of the PTA Reflections

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Congratulations to Harley Avenue student Brayden Clancy and John H. Glenn student Kerri Giambruno for their winning photography entries in the PTA Reflections Contest "Heroes Around Me" at the Suffolk County level.

The Reflections Program is a National PTA and New York State PTA sponsored competition that helps students gain confidence in exploring ideas and learning through cultural arts, and both students were selected to now advance to the New York State level of competition. Great job, students!

National Interscholastic Administrators Association Scholarship Winner

National Interscholastic Administrators Association Scholarship Winner photo
High school senior Mia Sansanelli was recently awarded the National Interscholastic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Scholar Athlete Award, making her the singular female winner selected from Suffolk County. While Mia excels phenomenally at each sport she participates in, she will be attending Sacred Heart University to play soccer in the fall.

The NIAA scholarship program seeks to recognize students who show strong academic and athletic leadership, outstanding sportsmanship, and active citizenship in the community around them. This recognition in turn promotes and reinforces the importance of athletics in the educational system, showing students the significance of learning to balance both extracurriculars and academics.

“I feel like the two seem to go hand in hand,” said Mia. “When you have less free time, you learn to balance each area you’re putting your efforts towards—and you can then do them to the best of your ability.”

Elwood Faculty and Staff Go Above and Beyond

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On Jan. 24, some of our district’s outstanding members who go above and beyond on a regular basis were recognized by the Board of Education.

Harley Avenue Primary School principal Mrs. Elissa Milan presented Ms. Michelle Kretz, Mr. Jose Alicea, Mr. Christian Haack, and Ms. Alexandra Harris to the Board to commend them for the incredible work they put into creating “Sensory City” at Harley. This superhero-themed sensory path, which helps students use gross motor skills help them refocus in the classroom, was incepted by social worker Ms. Kretz. Once the idea was ready to be executed, Mr. Alicea, Mr. Haack, and Ms. Harris all put forth incredible dedication to the project.

On top of the hard work, personal and after school hours the team logged to have “Sensory City” completed by Thanksgiving, they also leant themselves to beautifying the inside of Harley with bright colors, encouraging quotes, and more. The project’s timeline that originally extended to the end of the school year only took a few short months

“I’m so proud of this team,” said Mrs. Milan. “Their dedication and focus in bringing our dreams of an extreme makeover, school edition, to a reality has been an incredible journey, and I know the Harley community is so grateful for all they’ve done.”

Mrs. Milan also presented Ms. Amy Schombs to the Board and expressed gratitude for her never-ending willingness to add to the positive culture of Harley Avenue; whether it be helping a colleague, joining committee, or learn new teaching techniques to improve her professional practices.

“All of Amy’s students and colleagues have gained so much from the positive energy, ideas, and enthusiasm she brings to the table,” said Mrs. Milan.

Additionally, Executive Director of Special Education Ms. Dianne Wilkinson addressed the board to commend Ms. Patricia Buckley. Ms. Buckley, who oversees preschool special education throughout the district, makes such a difference in the lives of both special education students first beginning school, as well as their families. She works diligently behind the scenes to make the transition to school as smooth as possible and is an integral member of the department.

“Patti helps quell the fear of both parents and students alike coming into school for the first time with her warm, caring, and compassionate heart—and Elwood’s Special Education Program wouldn’t be what it is without her.”

2019-2020 Adopted School Calendar

At its meeting of January 24, 2019, the Board of Education adopted the School Calendar for the 2019-2020 school year. For your convenience and planning purposes, this calendar is available on the link below, on the website and will be sent home using our School Messenger system.


2019-2020 Kindergarten Registration Information