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School of Distinction:

The John H. Glenn High School athletic program has been named a New York State School of Distinction! This honor is awarded by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association to schools throughout the state to unite coaches in challenging their student athletes to strive for both athletic and academic excellence. In order to be named a School of Distinction, each varsity team must be named a “Scholar Athlete” team by attaining an overall grade point average of 90 or higher. This year, only 35 New York schools were awarded this honor.

Congratulations, Knights!

An Important Message from the Superintendent of Schools

Click here to read the message.

Death and Grief: Supporting Children and Youth, from the National Association of School Psychologists

Discussing Death with Children, by Gerry Koocher, Ph.D., ABPP

The Child's Loss: Death Grief and Mourning, by Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D., and Jana Rubenstein, M.Ed., LPC

Coping with Grief and Loss: Support for Grieving and Bereavement, by Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. (for adults)

Class of 2019 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Class of 2019 Valedictorian and Salutatorian
Congratulations to Yeji Lee, who was named valedictorian of the Class of 2019. Along with being an active member of the school community as the Vice President of the Student Council and Vice President of the National Honor Society, Yeji excelled both in the classroom and in extracurricular activities. She was a member of the Independent Science Research Club, received a first Place Presentation Award at the Medical Marvels Competition, and was awarded multiple academic distinctions, including the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award.

Yeji attributes her much of her academic success to the example set by her parents, who immigrated to the United States. She comments that she works every day to make them proud because they’ve always supported her and encouraged her to follow her dreams.

Looking towards the future, Yeji said, “I can’t wait to step out of my comfort zone and into other areas of study. There are so many things I have yet to discover, and that excites me.”

Yeji also commented on the bittersweet nature of leaving the community of Elwood. “It will be difficult to leave such a welcoming, friendly, and close-knit group of amazing individuals. Elwood is undoubtedly a unique community, and I am extremely grateful to be able to call it my home.

Yeji will be attending Yale University in the fall to pursue the Pre-Med track of Neuroscience.

Class of 2019 Salutatorian Olivia Kelly knows her accomplishment is no accident; attributing her academic success to self-motivation and drive to succeed. During her high school career, she served as captain of the track team in both winter and spring seasons, ran cross country, and participated in many community service-focused clubs like Habitat for humanity. Olivia also held a part-time job and worked hard to prioritize her academic studies. Regardless of her busy schedule, Oliva accomplished excellence in many areas, such as being named a ten-time Scholar Athlete and the NYS Scholarship for Academic Excellence.

“Since middle school, I’ve always had a high standard for myself, and throughout high school I have taught myself to stick to these standards,” she said. “Knowing the importance of my priorities is how I have been able to achieve my goals.”

Olivia is excited for a new start, but knows she will miss the Elwood community dearly.” So many relationships I made were my constant support system,” she said. “The friendships I have made have left a lasting impact on me, and I will be forever grateful for the close relationships the Elwood school system has allowed me to develop.”

Olivia will be attending Farmingdale State College in the fall as a nursing major.

Congratulations and best wishes for the future!

2019 Commencement Video

Click here to watch

Elwood Knights Take on the Future with the Trademark Blue Ribbon Spirit

Elwood Knights Take on the Future with the Trademark Blue Ribbon Spirit photo

On the sunny evening of June 28, The Elwood-John H. Glenn Class of 2019 emerged proudly onto the field in blue and white caps and gowns for their last act as high school students—graduation. Led by administration, faculty, and Board of Education trustees, the students processed past a cheering audience of family, friends and loved ones to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance,” performed by the high school band.

Class president Russel Rohan led the Pledge of Allegiance and the high school band, under the baton of Vicki Henson, played the national anthem before Principal Carisa Burzynski took the opportunity to welcome all those in attendance, and thanking the families, Board of Education, fellow administrators and community for their support.

She praised the graduating class for all they’ve accomplished in the past four years at John H. Glenn and took a moment to commend them also for helping the high school earn the National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award.

“I can say with confidence after these past four years that we are all in the presence of true leaders,” said Mrs. Burzynski of the Class of 2019, “who are ready to leave John Glenn and make a positive impact on the world.”

Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bossert took a moment to commend the students and thank them for the emphasis they all place on high academic achievement, giving back to their surrounding community, and the desire to leave the district better than they found it.

Board of Education member Deborah Weiss addressed the graduating class before her son, Nicholas Weiss, the Class of 2019 graduation speaker, would later on take the podium. Mrs. Weiss remarked how proud she was, as a mother, to watch the class grow from inquisitive little minds into confident, driven young adult, how much confidence she has in their ability to succeed, and how much the cumulative Elwood family will miss each and every one of them.

During a musical interlude, the high school band performed James Swearingen’s “The Light Eternal.”

Salutatorian Olivia Kelly recalled important lessons learned in the Elwood School District, including knowing to cherish a tight sense of community. She urged her classmates to express gratitude to all those that helped them along the way, and to not forget the amazing community they came from. “All of the things we’ve experienced were not a path away from John Glenn but a plan towards a successful future; all of which will last a lifetime.”

Delivering the valedictory speech was Yeji Lee, who addressed her classmates with both lightheartedness and seriousness; commenting that as she prepared this address, she realized that the lesson’s they’ve learned over the past four years will echo throughout the rest of their lives—and that she will never forget what it meant to belong, be loved, and be supported by the Elwood community.

“Our links to this special place are unbreakable and will forever be intertwined with our past present and futures,” she said. “Use what you’ve learned at John Glenn to approach every challenge or opportunity with open mindedness, integrity, and that trademark Blue Ribbon spirit.”

Class of 2019 graduation speaker Nicholas Weiss followed at the podium to reflect on the last four years at John H. Glenn. “At the beginning of our high school career, we had one goal—to make our mark on John Glenn. Now, as we leave, we assume a new goal—to make our mark on the world.”

Seniors then joined the chorus one last time for another musical interlude, performing Rob Thomas’ “Little Wonders,” arranged by music director Mrs. Rachel Nagel.

After Mrs. Burzynski, the Board of Education and administration confirmed that the seniors had met the requirements for graduation, each student received their diploma. Led by the members of student council, the seniors signified their commencement by moving their tassels from right to left. Blue and white caps then filled the air as the graduates were introduced as the newest alumni of the Elwood Union Free School District.

Congratulations, Class of 2019!

EMS Eighth Graders are Movin’ On Up

EMS Eighth Graders are Movin’ On Up photo

Elwood Middle School held its second annual moving up ceremony for high school-bound eighth graders on June 24. After principal Dr. Christina Sapienza welcomed all those in attendance, a select chorus performed a beautiful rendition of God Bless America.

“Being able to watch you all take risks, grow, and take on new activities and passions has been such a joy,” Dr. Sapienza remarked in her address to the Class of 2019, “and when I think about all that lies before you, I have so many wishes for you all.” She then read an inspirational excerpt from the children’s book, “I Wish You More” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert and Assistant Principal Dawn Valle addressed the graduating class as well, wishing them the best in all of their future endeavors, and offered many words of wisdom. Additionally, student council president Cateyann Bernhard took a moment to congratulate her classmates.

“Entering into high school will give us so many more avenues to explore our passions and to find new things that make us happy, but will also present new challenges,” Cateyann said, “but never let failures get you down—let them motivate you.”

Departmental and character awards were given to well-deserving students, and when it came time to receive recognition for moving up, students walked proudly across the stage and received a white or blue carnation from Dr. Sapienza or Mrs. Valle.

The ceremony concluded with high school principal Carisa Burzynski offering her congratulations and excitement in gaining the Elwood-John H. Glenn class of 2023 in the fall.

Congratulations, students!

2nd Gear Showcase

2nd Gear Showcase photo
2nd Gear Showcase photo 2
2nd Gear Showcase photo 3
On June 20, second graders from Harley Avenue showcased what they’ve learned over the past six weeks in the 2nd Gear program—in-school enrichment that aids students in learning to express themselves through different areas of interest.

“Research shows that enrichment clubs help develop the whole child, so allowing children to be challenged and think critically outside of the regular school subjects during the school day is very valuable,” said Principal Elissa Milan.

Students had the opportunity to choose one area of interest from variety of options, including the Debate Team, Chromebook Coding Creators, the Debate Team, and Act it Out earlier in the year. Each group was then led by a Harley Avenue educator that volunteered their knowledge of a specific area of expertise.

During the 2nd Gear Fair, each group demonstrated what they learned for their peers. The afternoon was filled with applause and cheers as students proudly showed off their new skills, excited to pursue new hobbies both in and out of school.

End of Year Message

Boyd Chess-Nuts

Boyd Chess-Nuts
Boyd Chess-Nuts 2
The James H. Boyd Chess Club had a fabulous year with children in grades 3-5 participating, learning and enjoying the game of chess. The group, run by LI Chess Nuts along with the Boyd PTA, helped many children with no prior knowledge of chess to fall in love with the game! Students were inspired to play with their families and friends and by the end of the year, they were able to play tournament-style games with their peers.

“I can’t say enough about these children,” said club advisor Sara Siddiqui. “Some of them came to the club without any experience, and I applaud them for learning and playing chess. It builds self-confidence, patience and skill for all ages. I hope we continue to provide an avenue for chess instruction for all age groups.”

Elwood Educators Celebrated

Elwood Educators Celebrated

The Board of Education dedicated a portion of their last meeting of the 2018-19 school year to honoring the teachers and administration being awarded tenure, as well as this year’s retirees and 25-year employees.

Administrators, faculty members, and loved ones of those being honored filled the middle school auditorium to celebrate these special members of the district’s community. Each honoree was personally recognized and thanked by one of their building’s administrators, as well as Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bossert and a member of the Board of Education.

Retiring staff and faculty members were commended for dedicating their lives to educating students, for being a shining light within their school, and for never losing sight of each child individually. Those recognized included Domenick Abbate, Constance Alibrandi, John Day, Francesca Layne, and Doreen O’Brien.

Trophies for serving the school district for 25 years were presented to Amy Chiarello, Jennifer Decker, Elizabeth Derr, and Rosalia Sangiorgio.

Lastly, 11 educators were honored for being granted tenure, including Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Maureen Hull. Additional educators recognized included Lauren Bove, Nicole Correia, Elenda Ferriolo, Erica Girodano, Richard Greening, Jonathan Guercio, Samantha Heuer, Cheri Murcott, Kristen Romanchuk, and Leslie Seilback.

Board of Education Student Liaison Annie Song was also recognized for her excellent service to the Board during the 2018-19 school year. Both Dr. Bossert and Board of Education President Julia Fried praised her for the thoroughness of her monthly reports, and expressed confidence in the greatness she will accomplish in college and beyond.

Congratulations, all!

STEM-u-lating Evening

STEM-u-lating Evening photo

Kindergarten through eighth grade students “STEM”-u-lated their brains on the evening of June 12 at the district’s annual Maker Faire. The evening, consisting of forty different stations and workshops, was centered around fun ways of interacting with the basics of physics and engineering through hands-on learning. Each area of STEM (Science, Technology, and Engineering, and Mathematics’) was represented with stations run by volunteer district faculty and John H. Glenn students.

Accompanied by their parents, K–8 students indulged their scientific curiosity by visiting the “Squishy Circuit” station, where they learned to make a working electrical circuit with play dough, learned how to manipulate a VEX robot to complete block challenges, played a larger-than-life game of chutes and ladders, tested their math skills in a multiplication war, and much more.

"Our goal is to create experiences that allow parents and family members to be learning partners with our students,” said Eileen Kelly-Gorman, Director of Math, Science and Technology. “We love to see our students just as excited to learn as they are to have fun.”

Parents both looked on proudly and jumped in on activities with their children, marveling at their resourcefulness and determination to successfully complete the tasks set before them.

"The amount of resources we have available through district materials, as well as generous donations from various community organizations, allow students to explore the world of STEM,” said Instructional Technology Specialist Krista Albrecht, “and it is so wonderful to watch students and parents discovering and learning side by side at an event like this.”

A Lesson in Patience and Parenting

A Lesson in Patience and Parenting photo
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A Lesson in Patience and Parenting photo 3
At the culmination of a child development and babysitting unit, eighth-graders in Ms. Ilene Fucci’s class at EMS had the opportunity to meet a sweet one-year-old named Vivienne to gain some hands-on experience. Many students in the class had never spent time with a child that young before, and were delighted by her cherub-like presence. Students had the opportunity to ask her mother, John H. Glenn High School teacher Mrs. Megan Gieser, questions about topics such as parenting, babysitting, and how to handle a baby’s emotional and physical needs.

Mrs. Gieser shared her personal experience with experiencing a new kind of love the day Vivienne was born, deciding between daycare and a nanny, parenting expectations versus reality, and more. Students also took turns learning how to hold a one-year-old.

“Teaching them the basics of taking care of a child is very useful information for middle schoolers,” said Ms. Fucci. “Not only will it help students learn the importance of patience and staying alert when taking care of children, but also is a great way for students to earn money before having to commit to job that may not be as flexible.”

A few students with babysitting experience commented on the value of their experience with children.

“Working with children definitely teaches you patience,” said eighth-grader Angelina. “And it taught me that the calmer you are, the quicker you can solve whatever the problem is happening.”

Junior Academic Awards

Junior Academic Awards

Congratulations to all students recognized at the junior academic awards! This district commends all of you for your hard work and dedication to not only academic excellence, but extraordinary character.


2019 Hunting-Tony Awards

2019 Hunting-Tony Awards
2019 Hunting-Tony Awards 2
2019 Hunting-Tony Awards 3
Congratulations to John H. Glenn’s talented cast, pit and crew members for winning “Best Musical” at the 2019 Hunting-Tony Awards on June 3!

Not only did the high school’s production of Hairspray win “Best Musical”, but JGHS students Felipe Gonzalez and Princess Onyianta won Best Male Vocalist and Best Female Vocalist, respectively.

Congratulations to all involved!

LIFA Scholarship

LIFA Scholarship photo
EMS 8th grader Benjamin Fuchs was recently awarded the LISFA Private Studio Scholarship. Ben, who participated in the LISFA orchestra earlier this year, was chosen as one of a handful of 7th - 8th graders throughout Suffolk County to receive money to continue his study of the violin and fostering his love of music. Congratulations to Ben for winning this prestigious scholarship!

President's Academic Excellence Award

President's Academic Excellence Award
Congratulations to the 98 John H. Glenn High School seniors who received the President's Academic Excellence Award on the morning of May 29. This award is given to students who maintained a weighted GPA of 90 or higher throughout their high school career. Building administration, guidance counselors, and Superintendent Dr. Bossert were all present to celebrate these outstanding students and to award them with certificates of recognition. Congratulations students, the district is so proud of all that you've accomplished!

LI Music Festival

LI Music Festival photo
The Elwood Middle school orchestra participated in the Long Island Music Festival on May 17.  Student-musicians traveled to L.I.U. Post where they performed two spring concert pieces in front a panel of judges. The orchestra was awarded a rating of Superior, the highest rating possible.  Additionally, one of the judges worked with the orchestra afterward.

After months of preparation and hard work, the EMS orchestra then enjoyed a day at Adventureland for some well-deserved fun!

Elwood Knights Commit to Collegiate Sports

Elwood Knights Commit to Collegiate Sports photo

A special signing ceremony was held for 13 JGHS senior athletes committing to play at the collegiate level on May 20. Family members, coaches, and district administrators attended the ceremony to honor of the students’ hard work and dedication throughout their athletic careers.

“Committing to play at the college level is a major accomplishment, and is a testament to the incredible work-ethic each of you have shown towards both academics and your chosen sport," said District Athletic Director David Shanahan. “Wherever you go from here, remember that you are now Elwood ambassadors.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert and Principal Carisa Burzynski also congratulated both students for their achievements, and expressed pride in their accomplishments.

“These student-athletes have exemplified the qualities of our mascot, the Knight, with courage, compassion, and dedication throughout their high school careers,” said Dr. Bossert, “and we’re confident they’ll continue to carry themselves in these ways through their college career and beyond.”

Recognized students are as follows:
Patrick Ancewicz, Rhode Island College, wrestling; Adam Astarita, SUNY Geneseo, soccer; Lucas DiGiovanni, SUNY Plattsburgh, baseball; Gianna Dilillo, SUNY Farmingdale, softball; Sabrina Emmerich, SUNY Cortland, softball; Nicolas Faretta, College of Saint Rose, soccer; Nick Ford, SUNY Maritime, football; Caroline Garretson, DeSales University, volleyball; Krista Gross, Mount Saint Mary College, soccer; Ryan Mantione, Allegheny College, lacrosse; Caroline Miller, University of Scranton, lacrosse; Russell Rohan, Allegheny College, track and football; Kyle Szokoli, University of Rochester, football.

Congratulations, students!