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Important Message from the Superintendent


Mock Trial Members Mentored by Alumni

Mock Trial Members Mentored by Alumni photo
On Feb. 7, the high school mock trial team ranked first among 27 competing Suffolk County schools in the county’s first mock trial competition of 2018 ­– a first ever in John Glenn history!

Before the start of the season, two alumni mock trial members visited the team, and volunteered their time to help students prepare for upcoming trial cases. Jordan Bryan, a freshman at Cornell University, and Casey Oualaalou, a freshman at Loyola University, spent many hours helping the young, inexperienced team research and prepare.

Advisor Megan Gieser believes the extra help from the alumni students, along with the work ethic of the current team members, paid off.

“It really meant a lot to the current students to be mentored by experienced mock trial members,” said Ms. Gieser, “and the team members continue to impress me with their hard work and dedication—learning from their mistakes, and improving with every trial they complete.”

100th Day Celebration

100th Day Celebration photo

Harley Avenue Elementary School celebrated the 100th day of school on Feb. 12. Students were encouraged to dress up like they were 100 years old, and many came to school dressed in character with props as well. Throughout the day, 100-centered lessons were taught—counting up to 100 with different coins, discussing something they’d like to have 100 of and why, and more.

A Culture of Inclusivity

A Culture of Inclusivity photo
A Culture of Inclusivity photo 2
A Culture of Inclusivity photo 3
Along with over 2,000 schools across the country, Elwood Middle School students celebrated No One Eats Alone Day on Feb. 9. During lunch periods throughout the day, members of the National Junior Honor Society and the Knights of Good brought awareness to social isolation.

“Let’s create a culture of belonging for everyone,” student volunteers read aloud to their peers, “to not be the cool kids, but to be the kids who include everyone…let’s be different Elwood, and end social isolation now!”
Students encouraged their peers to take part in the day by making sure no one was sitting alone, or by sitting with someone they’ve never sat with before. There were activities available for students to connect with new friends, including board games, a raffle, and opportunities to affirm others that they’re not alone.

“This day is so important because no school is without isolated kids,” said Dahlia, a sixth grader at EMS. “And just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.”

This day was created by Beyond Differences—a non-profit organization founded by the parents of Lili Smith, who was born with a cranial facial syndrome and was socially isolated during her middle school years. Their mission is to bring awareness to the harshness of social isolation, and are determined to teach students to be inclusive.

Senior Commits to Fairfield University

Senior Commits to Fairfield University photo
Senior Commits to Fairfield University photo 2
Senior Commits to Fairfield University photo 3
A special ceremony was held for Elwood John-H. Glenn senior Stephanie Tsangaris on Feb. 7. In front of family, coaches, and Elwood administration, Stephanie signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) for Fairfield University, where she will be attending and playing soccer in the fall. Stephanie has scored the leading number of points for the Lady Knights for the past four years, is a three-time All- State athlete, and was selected for the 2017 News 12 All-Long Island Girls Soccer Team.

“Your commitment to excellence in this sport will undoubtedly continue to separate you from the pack as you take the next step in your career as a student-athlete,” said Director of Athletics and Physical Education David Shanahan.

Supt's Community Forum - Effects of E-Cigarettes, Vaping and Drug Abuse on Teens


Brookhaven Lab National Science Bowl

Brookhaven Lab National Science Bowl photo
Four science-research students from Elwood-John Glenn High School participated in the Regional Competition of the National Science Bowl at Brookhaven Labs on Jan. 27. Students Jacob Goldstein, Nicole Hugelmeyer, Katherine Browne and Samantha Katz performed extremely well during the whole competition. Topics covered were biology, chemistry, energy, astronomy, earth science and math. Each student was competitive in each round, and scored extremely high. Even though the team did not advance to the Nationals, they did an outstanding job.

Student-Athlete Reaches 1,000-Point Milestone

Student-Athlete Reaches 1,000-Point Milestone photo
Alyssa Adomaites, a junior on the Elwood-John H. Glenn girls basketball team, reached the 1000-point milestone on February 1, 2018. Alyssa reached this goal during a victorious game against Miller place, where final the score was 66-49.

In addition to scoring 26 points, she accomplished five assists, four steals and five rebounds throughout the game. Since the start of her high school basketball career in 7th grade, Alyssa has contributed greatly to John Glenn’s success in winning two league championships, and two county finals.

“Alyssa’s played an integral role on our team as point guard,” said Coach Sean McGinty. “She’s an exemplary model of a student-athlete, and one of the most outstanding players on Long Island.”

Congratulations, Alyssa!

Elwood Middle School Hosts VEX Robotics Competition

Elwood Middle School Hosts VEX Robotics Competition photo
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Elwood Middle School hosted its fourth consecutive, and largest, VEX IQ Robotics Competition on Jan. 27. This competition, which is presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, welcomed 40 participating teams from 14 different schools and organizations from all across the island.

In this competition, teams of students use robots that they’ve designed and built to compete with other teams in an engineering challenge. Tournaments are held throughout the year at regional, state, and national levels—and ultimately culminate at the VEX Robotics World Championship.

Each year, the VEX IQ challenge changes. This year’s challenge required students to design robots that are able to pick up, move, sort and stack rings on poles of different heights. Students were required to put the STEM concepts they’ve learned to the test as they sharpened their skills in teamwork, leadership, communications, and more.

“The competition encompasses many twenty-first century skills that our students will need in the future,” said Director of Math, Science and Technology Eileen Kelly-Gorman.

In addition, students participated in teamwork activities that selected tasks at random, competed in individual skills challenges, and more. Teams also were judged based on their designs, STEM research projects presented in front of judges, and overall excellence. Teams that win at one of the qualifying competitions qualify for the state finals in Rockville Centre. The winners of this competition will qualify for VEX Worlds in Kentucky.

Nominating Petitions Now Available


Update from Dr. Bossert regarding Emergency Closings/Calendar


Students Selected for LISFA

Students Selected for LISFA photo
Students Selected for LISFA photo 2
Congratulations to the following students who were selected for the prestigious Long Island String Festival Association Festivals: Jenna Ban, Mina Ban, Blake Goehring, Joanna Kim, Aaram Lee, Rithika Narayan, Angelina Song, and Maya Tallo. The Intermediate Festival Concert, which included students grades fifth to eighth, took place on January 27 and 28. The Secondary Festival, which included high school musicians, took place January 14. All participating students preformed tremendously and made the district proud!

Musical Accolades Recognized at Board of Education Meeting

Musical Accolades Recognized at Board of Education Meeting photo
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During the first Board of Education meeting of the new year, two high school students were recognized for excelling in music.

Elizabeth Choi, a junior at Elwood-John H. Glenn High School and a dedicated violinist, was recognized for being selected for the All-State Symphony Orchestra. Elizabeth is the concert master of the John Glenn Orchestra and Chamber Strings, attends Manhattan School of Music’s pre-college program, and is an active member of her school community.

“Elizabeth is a fine representative of the Elwood Union Free School District and an impressive student who serves as a role model for all of our students,” said high school Principal Carisa Burzynski.

John Glenn senior Alexandra Vallejos was recognized for being selected for the National Association for Music Education All-National Choir. Alexandra was selected for this honor based on her previous participation in last school year’s All-State Women’s choir, and her outstanding audition for the program. Alexandra is a section leader in the school’s concert choir, the president of the Tri-M music society, and has been a participant in the NYSSMA solo festival, using her voice and the piano, all of her years at Elwood-John H. Glenn High School.

“We are extremely proud of all Alexandra has achieved, and will continue to achieve,” said Principal Burzynski.

Elwood-John H. Glenn Coach Named Coach of the Year

Coach of the Year photo
Congratulations to Elwood-John H. Glenn boys soccer coach Lou Hanner for recently being awarded the Section/Region 1 Coach of the Year award by The National Federation of High Schools! Mr. Hanner is one of eleven coaches throughout New York State that received sectional awards for the 2016-2017 school year. Coaches nominated and awarded this honor have outstanding coaching records, display dedication to their sport and their community, and have been serving as a coach for the district for many years.

“We are extremely proud of Lou for all his hard work and dedication to our students,” said Athletic Director David Shanahan.

Elwood-John H. Glenn High School Nominated for National Blue Ribbon Schools Award

Elwood-John H. Glenn High School Nominated for National Blue Ribbon Schools Award photo
The district is pleased to announce that Elwood-John H. Glenn High School has been nominated to join the community of National Blue Ribbon Schools. The high school, selected by the New York State Department of Education as an Exemplary High Performing School, is currently one of 19 finalists in New York State.

“Every staff and faculty member has, in some way, contributed to this prestigious nomination,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert, “and it would be an incredible source pride for the district to achieve such a distinction.”

The district will continue in the application process for the 2018 National Blue Ribbon award, and the recipients will be announced in September 2018.

Moving Full STEAM Ahead

Moving Full STEAM Ahead photo

It was an evening of exploration and investigation as students in grades K-8 attended the annual STEAM Night, held at Elwood Middle School on Jan. 18. This year’s theme, Around the World and Through Time, encouraged participants to use their science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics skills to engage in activities that tied in with international culture and diversity.

STEAM is an instructional approach that employs science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics to guide students in dialogue, critical-thinking, problem solving, collaboration and inquiry.

Technology Instructional Specialist Krista Albrecht explained that the goal of the evening was to expose students to various types of science and technology activities, while emphasizing the importance of being kind to the Earth through recycling. “We also wanted to host activities with origins that expand the globe, emphasizing diversity and culture,” Albrecht said.

Teacher Pam Fine, who collaborated with Albrecht and Director of Math, Science and Technology Eileen Kelly-Gorman in hosting the program, noted that high school student council helpers volunteered their time to run games in the game room section that connected to their own cultures. Students received a passport to write down facts about each of the countries’ games played. Other activities included African basket weaving, the crafting of instruments, various architectural activities, the study of well water and more.

“STEAM night was a great success, thanks to our teachers and high school students who volunteered their time to run sessions, the community organizations who helped sponsor the event, and the families who participated,” Kelly-Gorman said. “We love to see parents and students learning together and trying new things.”

James H. Boyd Intermediate School Remembers the Dream

James H. Boyd Intermediate School Remembers the Dream photo

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, students at James H. Boyd attended an assembly in his honor on Jan 12. Student council co-presidents Brayden Klement and Ellie Mitola acted as masters of ceremony, introducing each tribute to King to the audience made up of peers, parents and administrators.

After a brief video presentation on the impact of Dr. King’s life and mission, students from Ms. Chiarello’s class each shared a piece of King’s biography, with bits of information such as his birthday, his involvement in the Civil Rights movement, his pledge to nonviolence, and more. The fifth-graders from Ms. McLeod’s and Ms. Reilly’s classes presented an anonymously penned poem about Dr. King, each reading a sentence. Students in Ms. Micchiche and Ms. Musto’s class read excerpts from King’s “I Have A Dream Speech” with passion.

In addition, select students from the third through fifth grade chorus sang two songs, “Martin Luther King” and “We Shall Overcome,” led by music teacher Linda Romano and math teacher Linda Scotto.

Principal Dr. Denise Toscano introduced Elwood Middle School student Matthew Charlotin, who was invited to the assembly to read an essay on Dr. King that he wrote.

“When I think of think of Martin Luther King Jr., I think of strength, passion, perseverance and an intellectual man who didn’t believe in violence—who used his inspired words to change the lives of everyone…and he was no ordinary man,” Charlotin said.

To conclude the ceremony, Dr. Toscano read a poem she wrote about her own dream – the dream of all humans being kind to one another.

Harley Avenue Students Play Brain Games

Harley Avenue Students Play Brain Games photo

Students at Harley Avenue had a chance to show off their brain power at a “Brain Challenge” assembly, put on by Hollyrock Entertainment, on Jan. 9.

Much like a live game show, students were divided into two teams, and chosen contestants from each team went head to head on stage. Each group of students had to collectively answer trivia questions. Whichever team buzzed in first answered first, and had the ability to rack up points. The questions surrounded the curriculum students learn in the classroom. Students were asked questions about math, biology, geography, and more.

Every few rounds, students were selected for physical challenges, like hula-hooping or spelling words with giant letters. Team members cheered and encouraged their classmates as they completed challenges.

Students had an incredible time, getting to use their knowledge in an unconventional, and very fun, way!

Elwood-John H. Glenn Students Perform Original Piece Written for Late Senator Glenn

orchestra photo

The Elwood-John H. Glenn band performed a composition called “In Eternity” written by Randall Standridge at their winter concert on Dec. 19. This composition was commissioned to honor the late Senator and NASA astronaut John H. Glenn. A grant from the Elwood Education Endowment, which music teacher Ms. Vickie Henson applied for, made this commission possible.

This song was dedicated to Mr. Robert Lawton, the first music teacher hired by the Elwood School district, and was the creator of the music program at the school.

"We are very proud of our namesake, Senator John H. Glenn,” said Ms. Henson, “and we equally grateful to Mr. Robert Lawton whose vision and dedication brought music education to Elwood."

Click here to view a video

Elwood-John H. Glenn Senior Commits to West Point

Elwood-John H. Glenn Senior Commits to West Point photo
High school senior Nathaniel Larkins was recruited by the United States Military Academy at West Point and a signing ceremony was held to finalize his commitment on Dec. 20. Larkins will be playing football for West Point’s Division I football team during his time there.

Athletic Director David Shanahan welcomed all in attendance, and thanked them for being there for this special day, and congratulated Larkins for all of his hard work before, during and after school that brought him to this moment.

“The duty, honor and dedication you’re going to learn at West Point is going to last you a lifetime,” said Mr. Shanahan, “and we wish you the best of luck in the future.”

VIDEO: Building Holiday Spirit at Harley Avenue Primary


Gifts On and Under the Tree at Elwood Middle School

Gifts On and Under the Tree at Elwood Middle School photo
Gifts On and Under the Tree at Elwood Middle School photo 2
This holiday season, the Elwood Middle School student council and community service club teamed up to put together a donation tree, where students, faculty, and staff could donate new and gently used coats, gloves, hats, and scarves for members of the community in need.

In addition, the community service club also ran a “gifts for kids” drive, collecting new and unused toys for children in the community that are less fortunate.

"When I can give to someone, I feel happy,” said sixth-grader Krish Khanna, “because if I was in their position, I would feel like I was given a miracle."