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Singing Success

Singing Success Photo
Two Elwood-John H. Glenn High School students participated in the 2017 National Association for Music Education All-Eastern Conference from April 5-8 at the Atlantic City Conference Center.

Senior Cecelia Polvere and junior Alexandra Vallejos, both altos, performed during the conference which is held every two years. Both valuable members of the music department at the high school, Cecelia is a member of the Women's Choir, while Alexandra is a member of the Mixed Chorus.

The students rehearsed for several days before taking part in a culminating concert at the conference on April 8.

“I am excited and proud to see these students succeed in something they love and have worked for,” said music teacher Rachel Nagle. “This is a well-deserved experience for them both.”

Mock Trial Team Conquers Court

Mock Trial Team Conquers Court Photo
Members of the Elwood-John H. Glenn High School Mock Trial team recently finished off their season as one of the top teams in Suffolk County.

Consisting of 16 students from ninth through 12th grade, the team finished sixth out of 26 in the county, making it the highest finish in the school’s history. The team also qualified for the Suffolk County Sweet Sixteen for the second straight year and advanced to Elite Eight and the Final Four for the first time ever.

Advised by English teacher Megan Gieser, lead legal adviser and Elwood community member Anthony Marino and two other community members, Jeffrey Pincus and Cheryl Mintz, the team worked diligently throughout the season to strengthen their skills.

“The amount of work that the students have put in and the hours they have spent reworking openings, closings, cross-examinations and objections is unbelievable,” said Mr. Marino. “As a trial attorney for over 20 years, I can tell you their poise and focus surpasses some of the attorneys I have opposed in the court room.”

Due to their successful season, the students have been invited to the Law Day Competition at Northport High School this upcoming May.  

BOE special meeting 4/25 to vote on the BOCES budget and candidates

The Board of Education will meet on Tuesday, April 25, at 3:50 p.m. in the Administrative Offices Conference Room to vote on the BOCES budget and candidates.


Class Does Their Part to Help the Hungry

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Class Does Their Part to Help the Hungry Photo 3
James H. Boyd Intermediate School students in Room 412 helped pack meals for orphans in Haiti and the hungry on Long Island on April 3 as part of the LuHi Meal Packing Event at the Long Island Lutheran Middle and High School in Upper Brookville.

Every year the students in Room 412, as well as previous students travel to LuHi, accompanied by their parents, to help pack meals. This year, the students helped pack 22,824 meals for kids in Haiti, as well as the hungry on Long Island.  

Long Island Lutheran adopted an orphanage in Haiti, whose residents they help provide with food. Most of the food, however, is distributed to organizations, which feed the hungry on Long Island.

Best-selling Author Motivates Middle School Students

Best-selling Author Motivates Middle School Students Photo 1

Elwood Middle School students heard from former professional football player and best-selling author Tim Green on April 7.

Sponsored by the school’s PTA, Mr. Green spoke about his career, the importance of reading and his newest book, “Baseball Genius.” The students learned about how Mr. Green evolved from a successful athlete to a writer and also heard the inspiration behind some of his stories.

Throughout the presentation, Mr. Green stressed the significance of what education can do for a person. He explained that his own education allowed him to follow new and exciting opportunities that would not have been presented to him otherwise.

He also encouraged the students to find books that speak to them personally and not to judge books by their covers, adding that there is a book for everyone.

“Students who read become more compassionate,” he said. “You are putting yourself in another person’s shoes so find books that you enjoy.”

Extension of Nominating Petition Deadline

In accordance with Education Law Section 2018, as a result of the withdrawal of a petition for the Board of Education seat currently held by Julia Fried, the deadline for a prospective board candidate to file a nominating petition to run for the aforesaid seat is automatically extended to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Any such petition must be submitted to the office of the District Clerk by this deadline.

Second-Graders Celebrate Earth Day

Second-Graders Celebrate Earth Day Photo

Family members were invited to Harley Avenue Primary School on April 6 and 7 for a special Earth Day performance by their second-graders.

Dressed in black and white attire, he students showcased their singing skills and facts about the Earth in the school’s cafetorium for their loved ones. Music teacher Christina Long directed the show with accompanist Marge Margolf.

Songs included “It’s a Small World,” “What a Wonderful World” and “We’ve Got the Whole World.” Between each song, the students would recite poetry about keeping the world a safe and healthy place. Untraditional music props were used for a variety of songs, including old detergent bottles and cans to use as drums for a song titled, “R-E-C-Y-C-L-E.”

The students prepared for the two-day performance by creating their own covers for the show’s booklet which they handed to family members before the show took place. In addition, the students worked together to create posters inspired by the illustrations in the book “What a Wonderful World,” and raised their designs up when singing the song to conclude the show.

Board Honors High School Club and Program Leaders

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During the district’s Board of Education meeting on April 6, eight Elwood-John H. Glenn High School students were recognized for creating new clubs at the schooll, while guidance counselor Adrienne Nasser was honored for her commitment and dedication to the Freshmen Buddies program.

Principal Carisa Burzynski spoke about the importance of students taking the initiative to create new clubs that fit their interests if they already do not exist. The high school recently added a Fashion Club founded Ashley Engers and Brandon Schindlar, a Poetry Club founded by Emily Marchetti and Justin Starr, a Table Tennis Club founded by David Hermanns and Derek Lee, and a Unity with Diversity Club founded by Cacharel Coach and Meagan St. Aubain.

Each student was called up and received a certificate for their contribution and leadership skills in organizing one of these new and exciting clubs for students.  

In addition, Ms. Nasser was praised for her outstanding work in making the new Freshmen Buddies program a success.

“Like the true dedicated and reliable professional that she is, Ms. Nasser helped me from start to finish to bring the Freshmen Buddies program to fruition,” said Principal Burzynski. “Among other things, she organized meetings, revised documents, set up interviews, and kept track of all the applications and essays. She did this all on a purely voluntary basis.”

Congratulations to all and thank you for your dedication to Elwood-John H. Glenn High School!

Author Inspires Elwood Students

Author Inspires Elwood Students Photo

Harley Avenue Primary School and James H. Boyd Intermediate School students had the unique opportunity to hear from author, poet and photographer Charles Smith Jr. on March 30 and 31.

Mr. Smith visited kindergarten through second-grade students on March 30 to present on his life and career. He spoke about his writing process, his photography experience and read excerpts from some of his books. Thanks to a school grant, students were each given one of his books to take home with kindergartners and first-graders receiving “I Am America” and second-graders receiving “I Am the World.” Mr. Smith visited classrooms in the afternoon to sign copies.

Students at James H. Boyd Intermediate School also learned about the author and received deeper explanations of his books when he visited the school on March 31. He spoke about the importance of the mind, body and spirit and how the three correlate with success. The Boyd PTA bought each student one of Mr. Smith’s books and the district bought his book collection for the classroom libraries.

“He was dynamic, related well to the students and covered real character traits,” said Principal Dr. Denise Toscano. “He blew us away.”

Community Donations

At its business meeting on April 6, the Board of Education accepted a generous donation of $702 from the Elwood Booster Club to fund the Math Club at James H. Boyd Intermediate School.

“A big thank you to all the organizations that contribute to our children,” said Board Trustee Heather Mammolito.

At its business meeting on March 23, the Board of Education accepted a number of donations to the district’s schools.

The Elwood Education Endowment generously awarded grants totaling $30,000 to staff. The following faculty members were awarded:

Pamela Fine and Eileen Kelly-Gorman to provide all Elwood students to travel near and far with Google Expeditions. Renee Spanos to expand the Boyd STEM program through the use of iPads. Krista Albrecht and Liz Held at Boyd to incorporate Makey Makey Kits and Dash and Dot robots into the school. Donna Fife to redesign the EMS common area to reflect new ways of learning. Ricky Greening to teach diseases and the immune system to JGHS Living Environment students through the use of interactive games and books, and Vickie Henson for a JGHS Band Composer Workshop to create a musical composition to honor Senator John H. Glenn.

In addition, Elwood SEPTA donated $255.37 to fund the Harley/Boyd Life Skills trip, $116.08 to fund the Elwood Middle School Life Skills recycling trip, $528.00 to fund the SEPTA Boyd Sports Club, $728.00 to fund the SEPTA Boyd Friendship Club, and $406.00 to fund the 8th grade field trip to see the movie “Hidden Figures.”

The James H. Boyd PTA donated $8,000 to fund the Hall of Science program and $10,000 to fund the purchase of Google Expeditions glasses.

The Elwood Booster Club donated $169.93 to fund five ball launchers for the James H. Boyd Robotics Club, and $351.00 to fund the Math Club at James H. Boyd Intermediate School.

Donations of $367.50 and $114.53 were donated to fund the Barbara Quigley Memorial Fund, and $500 from Virginia Maina to fund the Maina Scholarship Fund.

Lastly, Girl Scout Troop 2598 proposed a service project to enhance the property at James H. Boyd Intermediate School and the Elwood Middle School PTA for donated $1,000 to fund the 7th grade DNA Center program at Elwood Middle School.

The district thanks these organizations and individuals for their contributions and extreme generosity. With your support, students are now given opportunities that otherwise would not be possible.

Students Earn High Marks for Presentation

Students Earn High Marks for Presentation photo

Six Elwood-John H. Glenn High School science students were recently crowned first place presentation winners in Northwell Health’s annual Medical Marvels Program.

The Medical Marvels program was established by The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and the Center for Workforce Readiness to encourage Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) career pathways for Long Island High School Students in ninth and 10th grades.

Tenth-graders Ivan Andrade, Akhila Kanneganti, Yeji Lee, Meghan Rivardo, Annie Song and Laura Taylor presented on “Fountain of Health: Replacing Water Systems Within School Districts.” The goal of their project was to create an efficient and inexpensive water filter system to eliminate the risk of disease and create safe drinking water. The students discussed what their plan would be, what policies they would put in place throughout the district and their budget.

The students worked on the project in their Independent Science Research class and also wrote a 15-page paper. They devoted more than 30 hours of their own time twice a week after school to make their project idea come to fruition.

Teachers Receive Grants to Expand Educational Opportunities

During the district’s Board of Education meeting on March 23, the Elwood Education Endowment organization awarded six teacher grants totaling $30,000 to benefit all four schools in the district. Educators applied for a grant in the fall and had the opportunity to collaborate if they desired.

Since the EEE’s inception in 2004, the organization has awarded $465,000 in grants as a means to expand the educational programs offered by the district. Through fundraising efforts, the organization awards these grants to create additional opportunities beyond the core curriculum, not covered by the district’s budget.

This year, grants were provided to benefit students by bringing Google Expeditions into the classrooms and expand the James H. Boyd Intermediate School STEM program through the use of iPads, Makey Makey Kits and Dash and Dot robots. In addition, grants were awarded for a redesign of the Elwood Middle School common area, a band composer workshop and new interactive games and books to teach Elwood-John H. Glenn High School Living Environment students about diseases and the immune system.

Recipients included Director of Humanities Pamela Fine, Director of Math, Science and Technology Eileen Kelly-Gorman, James H. Boyd Intermediate School teachers Renee Spanos, Liz Held and Krista Albrecht, Elwood Middle School media specialist Donna Fife, Elwood-John H. Glenn High School science teacher Ricky Greening and music teacher Vickie Henson.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert extended his sincere gratitude towards the organization, while Board Vice President Julia Fried praised the teachers for striving to make a difference in the lives of students.

"I'd like to recognize the teachers who have gone above and beyond by applying for these grants that will bring exciting new things to the classroom and to all those that work so hard to fundraise,” she said.

AP Biology Students Experiment with DNA Barcoding

AP Biology Students Experiment with DNA Barcoding Photo

Elwood-John H. Glenn High School students in Mrs. Regan's and Dr. Kamhi's AP Biology classes recently conducted a DNA Barcoding Lab at the Cold Spring Harbor DNA Learning Center.

The students extracted the DNA of different plants and amplified a gene to determine its unique DNA sequence. The sequence was then used as a "DNA barcode" to be loaded into a computer database in order to identify the species. 

DNA barcodes are important as they can be used to catalog unidentified organisms before they disappear due to habitat destruction. Students also learned that DNA barcodes have many applications beyond species identification. For example, DNA barcodes can be used to detect food fraud (seafood mislabeled as a more expensive species) or product fraud (identifying designer handbags vs. knockoffs). 


Students Honored for Displaying Friendship

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The district’s Board of Education recognized three middle school students, Ava LaBelle, Devin McNamara and David Veliz at its regular meeting on March 23.   

The students received certificates that recognized their efforts to help acclimate new students to the school and continuing a culture of warmth within their school.

“These students went above and beyond to help our new students feel welcome by showing them friendship,” said Principal Hugh Gigante. “It is the little things that make our building tick.”

James H. Boyd Intermediate School Selected to Host nErD Camp Long Island

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The district is thrilled to announce that the third annual nErD Camp Long Island will be held at James H. Boyd Intermediate School on Nov. 4, 2017! The innovative event is held at a new school district each year with East Williston Union Free School District and Jericho School District hosting in previous years.  

The event came to fruition with the idea of combining the Nerdy Book Club, a blog site with literacy lovers and the Ed Camp model, an “unconference” educational camp that focuses on participant driven learning.

“We are very excited to host this wonderful, creative learning opportunity for educators throughout the region,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert. “We look forward to a meaningful exchange of ideas and best practices from all involved.”

The camp is a networking experience that is designed by attendees on topics that they would like to discuss. Sessions take place throughout the day, giving educators the freedom to choose what they want to learn and allows participants to present on topics that they are passionate about.

“We are extremely honored to host nErD Camp Long Island this November,” said Principal Dr. Denise Toscano. “This event is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate literacy and expand professional development by learning from others.”

Various authors and illustrators will be present at the event to speak with educators and also conduct a meet and greet for children around the community later in the day.

“We started this to really get kids excited about reading, writing and learning,” said nErD Camp Long Island organizer JoEllen McCarthy. “It’s amazing to see authors and illustrators participate and volunteer their time and talents to be connecting with educators and children.”

New York State Council of School Superintendents Overview of Budget Process

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Students Perform with Music Honor Ensembles

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Seven Elwood-John H. Glenn High School students participated in the Suffolk County Musical Educators’ Association’s All-County music festival on March 11 at Longwood High School. 

Ninth and tenth-graders Ivan Andrade, Ryan Boody, Makenzy Chaikin, Hannah Kleinman, Casey Scully, Ian Schombs and Terrence Sheldon rehearsed for several weeks leading up to the festival. 

In addition, tenth-grader Makenzy performed a solo with the SCMEA All-County Jazz Choir on March 23. She was included in a group of select jazz vocalists from tenth to twelfth grade. 

“These students are an excellent representation of the strong musicians we have at Elwood-John H. Glenn High School,” said music teacher Rachel Nagle. “I am so proud of the hard work that has earned them acceptance into these ensembles.” 

Volleying for Others

Volleying for Others Photo

Elwood-John H. Glenn High School students banded together for an evening of healthy competition during the school’s annual Volleyball-a-thon on March 16. The event raised $3,380 which will be donated to the Sergeant Paul Tuozzolo Sergeants Benevolent Association for Widows & Children's Fund for NYC, the Sean Urda Memorial Soccer Scholarship Fund and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

This year, 48 teams of students participated in the tournament in the school gymnasium. Each team had t-shirts made and came up with a creative name for their group. Throughout the event, those in attendance were encouraged to sign three posters made for a senior at the high school who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. Students shared their best wishes and words of encouragement. 

Each team competed on one of the four volleyball courts until one team was crowned the winner. The winning team proved to be “Jokes of 2016.”

Band Members Selected for Festival

Band Members Selected for Festival Photo
Four Elwood-John H. Glenn High School band members have recently been accepted into the 13th annual LIU Post Band Festival at the Tilles Center for Performing Arts from March 31 – April 2. 

Students Ivan Andrade, Hannah Kleinman, Dean McCoy and Ilissa Pipia will perform in the Tilles Festival Band, a combined ensemble composed of the LIU Post Wind Symphony and selected high school musicians from across the New York metropolitan area. 

The Festival Band will rehearse and perform under the batons of LIU Post Director of Wind Studies Dr. James McRoy and 2017 Composer-in-Residence Andrew Boysen, Jr. as part of the event. 

Politically Minded Students Learn First-Hand Legislation

Politically Minded Students Learn First-Hand Legislation Photo

Eight Elwood-John H. Glenn High School seniors in Laureen Kennedy’s AP Government and Politics class recently participated in the “Student Day at the Suffolk County Legislature" program.

Sponsored by the League of Women Voters, the eight lucky Elwood students included Nicholas Chieppa, David Hermanns, Emma Hines, Derek Lee, Katherine McPherson, Kyle Morlock, Sylvanna Politio and Eva Sheldon. The group took part in a mock legislative session where they assumed the roles of legislator, lobbyist, concerned constituent, or representative of a bureaucratic agency. They actively debated and voted on a bill that proposed Suffolk County become a sanctuary county for undocumented workers.

In addition, the students met with several of Suffolk County’s legislators who explained the leadership of the legislature, the roles of its members and the activities of committees. They learned the responsibilities that county government has to its constituents to provide daily services.

“It was both an educational and rewarding experience,” said Ms. Kennedy.

Scientists in the Making

Scientists in the Making Photo

James H. Boyd Intermediate School students received an exciting visit from the New York Hall of Science on March 16. Sponsored by the Boyd PTA, students had the opportunity to explore and experiment through hand-on stations in the school gymnasium.

Ten stations facilitated by science educators from the New York Hall of Science were set up throughout the gymnasium, which students had 45 minutes to rotate through. This included an electricity station where students used Play-Doh to construct electricity and observed what friction does to hair. A rocket station, where students experimented with straws, paper and tape to project how far their rockets would soar and an animation station where classes could observe what movement does to their drawings.

“Over the past two years, Principal Dr. Denise Toscano and I have been working to create unique learning experiences for students. When we heard about the New York Hall of Science visitation program, we thought it would be a fantastic idea,” said Director of Math, Science and Technology Eileen-Kelly Gorman. “We are so thankful to the Boyd PTA for allowing us to bring this opportunity to the school.”

Motivated Math Students Win Big

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Two Elwood Middle School teams participated in the 2017 Suffolk County MoMathlon Tournament at Brookhaven National Labs on March 24. The eighth-grade team, featuring five students, placed fourth in the competition, while three of the students also scored top spots in the individual round and mixed schools round.

MoMath with supporters Con Edison and Brookhaven National Laboratory, sponsors several math tournaments in March and April for New York middle schoolers each year to encourage students to experience challenges, teamwork, refreshments, souvenirs, trophies and memories that will inspire them in the future.

Elwood’s eighth-grade team included students Jake Haddad, Andrew Mullan, Daniel Mullan, Stephanie Mullan and Rithika Narayan. Daniel placed fifth and Andrew placed sixth in the individual round, while Rithika was named the first place winner with her team in the mixed schools round.

“We are very proud of our Elwood Mathematicians,” said Director of Math, Science and Technology Eileen Kelly-Gorman.

In the News

Great things are happening in Elwood and we have been included in several news articles. Please click on the links below! 

Newsday, “2017 Bright Lights Educator and Elwood-John H. Glenn High School AP Environmental Science Students”

Newsday, "Adding More Holidays"

Newsday Winners - Lou Hanner

Holiday Adoptions and Suffolk Zone Winners

Newsday, “Holiday drives help those in need”

Long Island Students Share in the Thanksgiving Spirit

Newsday, "Up and at 'em; Kids in 72 LI districts go back to school"

Newsday, "Regent: NY making progress on fixing Common Core problems"

Newsday, "LI schools upgrade tech capacities to meet students' needs"

Newsday, "Winners Column"


Robotics Team Goes for Gold

Congratulations to Elwood Middle School robotics team 10058A, for being presented with the Design Award at the second NYS VEX IQ Championship on March 4th at Berner Middle School! This award is one of five from the region that qualifies the team for the Worlds Competition in Kentucky in April.

In addition, the school had another team place second in the teamwork competition and two others that placed in the top 10.

The event was only open to teams that qualified at another competition by winning an award or placing first or second in the teamwork challenge. All six of Elwood Middle School’s teams qualified for the championship based on previous competition performance.

The Art of Australia

The Art of Australia

Elwood Middle School sixth-graders had the exciting opportunity to learn from Australian artist Chris Pitkin in their art classes during the first two weeks of March. Mr. Pitkin visits a number of schools with his program “A Taste of Australia” to speak with classes about Australia, including the native Australian art and music.

Mr. Pitkin educated students about native Australian culture, showcased some of his own artwork, played the didgeridoo and taught classes how to create Aboriginal Dot Paintings. Students worked together on one large canvas and used Australian symbols to create a unified story. Once completed, they all shared their story with their classmates.

“We try to have Chris Pitkin visit every year,” said art teacher Eleanor Grady. “The students love it and it incites their curiosity.”

“It’s a nice experience,” added sixth-grader Grace Motta. “I like that we are bringing Australia into class.”

Celebrating a Beloved Author

Celebrating a Beloved Author

James H. Boyd Intermediate School students celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday with the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day on March 1st.

Students and faculty members participated in a school-wide read-in to honor Dr. Seuss. Classes lined the hallways with their books for a quiet reading hour. In addition, librarian Mrs. Kossowsky dressed as The Cat in the Hat to celebrate the author while food service staff members decorated the lunch line with Dr. Seuss books.

Wrestling Their Way to Nationals

Congratulations to three Elwood-John H. Glenn High School wrestlers who recently earned top spots in the New York State Wrestling Tournament! Senior Damien Caffrey placed fourth at 220lbs in the competition, while junior Joe Franzese placed fourth at 182lbs. Senior Zach Ancewicz placed second at 170lbs.

Only the top 16 high school wrestlers in the state were invited to participate in the tournament. Elwood-John Glenn High School finished ninth in the state and was one of only three schools to have three athletes place in the next tournament. The student-athletes will compete next at the National Tournament in Virginia Beach this April.

We Are All Connected

We Are All Connected
James H. Boyd Intermediate School has an exciting new project coming up titled, “Where are James Boyd Students From?” Check out the video to learn more!

Brilliant Brothers Advance to Finals

Congratulations to Elwood-John H. Glenn High School seniors David and Michael Hermanns, who have recently been named Finalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program! The brothers are among a select 15,000 students who have advanced in the academic competition, with the hopes of obtaining one of the 7,500 National Merit Scholarships being offered this spring.

To qualify for the competition, both students had to score highly on the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and be among the highest scoring entrants in the state. The siblings were notified in the fall that they were among only 16,000 Semifinalists out of the 1.6 million students who took the test.

David and Michael earned their Finalist recognition by submitting a scholarship application consisting of their academic record, extracurricular activities, leadership abilities, employment and awards. Both students had to obtain an excellent academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT scores that confirmed their earlier performance on the qualifying test.

“It is a tremendous accolade to be ranked among the highest performing students in the state,” said Principal Carisa Burzynski. “As students who received this distinction at John H. Glenn High School, you make us incredibly proud. Congratulations on this well-deserved accomplishment.”