Students recognized at Elwood for outstanding achievements

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Members of the Elwood Board of Education were honored to recognize several students from John H. Glenn High School at their meeting on Dec. 12. 

To start the evening off, Principal Carisa Burzynski awarded Hannah Kleinman and Melissa Mandel with certificates in recognition of their exceptional performances at the NYSSMA All- State Conference. Hannah, an oboist in the school’s symphonic band, and Melissa, a treble chorus soprano, are both active members of the school community and music program. 

“Thank you for always being such a tremendous source of pride for the Elwood School District,” Mrs. Burzynski said. 

The board then welcomed Director of Athletics David Shanahan to the podium to congratulate some exemplary students. Kaitlyn Sorok and Aiden Desmond were recognized by the Suffolk Zone New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance for their outstanding leadership and excellence in Physical Education. Mr. Shanahan said that each are not only scholastically sound but that they are also school-wide leaders and role models that often inspire their classmates. 

“These students are outstanding,” he said. “Keep up the great work.”

The next students to be recognized were those that comprise the John H. Glenn High School Shared Decision Making Committee. Alexandra Haddad, Cateyann Bernhard, Matthew McNierney, Zain Siddiqui and Robert Spelman recently implemented a Student of the Month initiative at the high school, where students from each grade level are nominated by their classmates for their outstanding commitment to the school community.  “It’s wonderful to be able to recognize the students behind the initiative,” Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bossert said.  

To conclude the recognitions portion of the meeting, Harley Avenue Primary School Principal Elissa Millan shared a heartfelt video in recognition of former Board of Education President Julia Fried. 

Following, Ms. Milan’s video, Dr. Bossert presented Mrs. Fried with a clay mosaic plaque from the Elwood Middle School National Junior Art Honor Society and a picture book created by students from James H. Boyd Intermediate School. 

In further recognition, the John H. Glen High School A Cappella group performed “Carol of the Bells” at the start of the board meeting in her honor.

Additionally, the Board of Education presented her with a plaque in honor of her service to the board. Mrs. Fried joined the board in 2014 and served as its president from 2017 to 2019. She was an active member of the Parent Teachers Association, curriculum committee and was a highly dedicated and active member of the school community. 

“She has supported us, challenged us, and most of all, done what’s right for our students,” Ms. Millan said. ‘Thank you for all that you’ve done.”