Elwood community celebrates homecoming

Elwood community celebrates homecoming photo thumbnail136573

The Elwood school community kicked off its homecoming festivities with a parade down Elwood Road on Oct. 19. Marching bands, cheerleaders and Girl Scout Troops showcased their Elwood pride as spectators snapped pictures, cheered and hugged their children along the parade route. 

Homecoming king Felipe Gonzales and queen Sierra Schindlar waved from the backseat of a convertible, proudly showcasing the crowns that were placed upon their heads at the high school’s pep rally on Oct. 18.

The community’s enthusiasm continued through to the high school cafeteria, where more than 200 people crowded the cafeteria to attend the district’s second annual Elwood Wall of Fame. A luncheon, sponsored by the Booster Club, was held in honor of former Middle School Principal Patrick Scarola and the late Mary Kate Szokoli – two exceptional individuals who have left their mark on the community. 

Board of education member James Tomeo spoke of Mr. Scarola as a former student at Elwood Middle School. Over the years, he said that Mr. Scarola embodied the middle school mentality and welcomed new students from Boyd Intermediate School and Harley Avenue Primary School, as well as helped prepare middle schoolers for their futures at John H. Glenn High School.

“The students became a part of his family,” he said. “All who know him know that he is a friend and he’s a friend for life.”

Ms. Szokoli, who passed away at the age of 30, was remembered as an exemplary Harley Avenue Elementary School teacher with a passion for helping others. 

“She became a friend to everyone that met her, and she treated all of her friends as family,” first grade teacher Keri McKenna said. “Sadly, she was taken too soon, and only those who were fortunate enough to know Mary Kate understood just how special and unique she was.”

Plaques featuring each of the inductee’s names will be hung on the Wall of Fame in the middle school under a handmade sign designed and decorated by Elwood students.

“They will stay there forever because the marks that these individuals have made will stay here forever,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert said. 

The celebration then moved to the high school football field as the Elwood Knights took on Babylon Panthers, beating them 14-7. The seniors on the team were introduced to the crowd prior to the start of the game and each were met with cheers from the bleachers.