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Fifth Graders Decompress With Art At Boyd Intermediate School

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Fifth graders in Renee Spanos’ class at James H. Boyd Intermediate School, within the Elwood School District, were proud to show off their artwork, ranging from “zombie pizzas” to “exploding volcanos.” Every day, these students take time to connect with “Art for Kids Hub” on YouTube to decompress. As they follow along with Rob Hub and his children to draw silly sketches from scratch, Ms. Spanos’ students learn important social emotional lessons about mindfulness and mental health. 

Elwood Board of Education Recognizes Exceptional Staff

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Following an uplifting performance by the Elwood-John H. Glenn High School chamber strings ensemble, the district’s board of education was thrilled to honor several high school staff members for their unwavering commitment to success.  

The orchestra students and director Emily Dana were credited with bringing a sense of “normalcy” to the meeting. “For the first time in ten months I felt like I was transitioning into a new norm,” Board President James Tomeo said. 

To commemorate the performance, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert presented the group with a certificate on behalf of himself and the board of education. “It’s often said that you don’t know what you have until you lose it,” he said. “I’m not sure it occurred to me just how much I enjoy listening to our students perform until we don’t have the ability to do that.”

At the meeting, the board was also pleased to recognize the newest John H. Glenn High School Nobel Nights, Krista Albrecht, Kimberly Barnes, Solomon Buchman, Jennifer Champouillon, Nicole Gendjoian, Patricia Farrell, Suzanne Hulme, Patricia Iadarola, Arnold Kamhi, Christopher Lafferty and Sara Santos-Camacho. 

Recognizing each of them, though unfortunately not all were in attendance, Principal Carisa Burzynski extended her gratitude for their “profound” dedication to their students and school community. “It is truly my humble honor to serve this faculty and these are among some of the best that we have at John Glenn,” she said.  

Initiated in 2018, the Noble Night award aims to recognize the great work that faculty and staff are doing in the classroom, on the field and in cocurricular settings.

To close out the commendations, the board also sought to recognize the tireless efforts of Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Maureen Hull, Assistant Superintendent for Business Lorraine Dunkel and Dr. Bossert.

“They do a lot of work that starts at the top and transcends all the way down to the bottom,” Mr. Tomeo said. “We are fortunate to have some of the best leaders and our district is reflective of that.”


Student Rithika Narayan Named 2021 Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar

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Congratulations to Elwood-John H. Glenn High School senior Rithika Narayan who has been selected as a 2021 Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar, with her project titled “Machine Learning on Crowd-Sourced Data to Highlight Coral Disease.” Rithika is among 300 high school seniors who were selected as scholars from 1,760 applications.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search provides students with an opportunity to present their research on a national stage while celebrating the hard work of young scientists.

Rithika researched how machine learning, which focuses on the development of computer programs and artificial intelligence, can be used to address environmental concerns. In this case she modified the Facebook algorithm, Mask R-CNN, to detect the presence of different coral diseases.

Her dedication to the project, which she began researching in summer 2019, has since earned her several noteworthy accolades. She recently won first place in Environmental Science in the 2020 Long Island Science and Engineering Fair, was named a 2020 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair finalist as well as a national delegate to the Junior Science Humanities Symposia Program. Her project has also been recognized by the Journal of Emerging Investigators.  

Rithika hopes that her research, which she is currently expanding upon to recognize other infectious diseases, can lead to industry advancements with the help of institutions like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

According to Regeneron Science Talent Search, “Scholars were chosen based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists, and hail from 198 American and international high schools in 37 states, Puerto Rico, Chinese Taipei, and Singapore.”

Forty of the 300 scholars will be chosen as finalists later this month. Finalists will then compete for more than $1.8 million in awards from Regeneron.

In addition, Rithika was also recently announced as the John H. Glenn High School Class of 2021 valedictorian. For the past three summers, she has also interned at several biochemical companies, including Angion Biomedica Corp in Uniondale, as part of the Independent Science Research program. 

After graduation, Rithika will continue her passion for research and pursue a degree in artificial intelligence at Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science in Pennsylvania.

The Elwood School District congratulates Rithika on this outstanding achievement!


Dr. Bossert's Letter to the Community - Jan. 3, 2021


Dr. Bossert's Letter to the Community - Dec. 31, 2020