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Elwood Board of Ed Honors State Wrestling Champ and JMVPs

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Elwood-John H. Glenn High School sophomore and New York State wrestling champion Thomas Aiello was honored by the Elwood School District Board of Education at its April 13 meeting.

Aiello defeated Tioga’s Logan Bellis in the finals to win the Division II state title at 102 pounds at the 2023 NYSPHSAA wrestling championships on Feb. 25 at MVP Arena in Albany. His 2022-2023 perfect 36-0 season also included victories at the Doc Fallot Memorial Duals at Hampton Bays on Dec. 10, Rick Herrmann Memorial Tournament at Bellport on Dec. 17, Michael O’Connell Tournament at Pearl River on Dec. 27, Raider Invitational at Patchogue-Medford on Dec. 30, Smithtown Tournament at Smithtown West on Jan. 7, Kris McDonald Islip Cup Duals on Jan. 14 and the Suffolk County Division II Dual Meet Individual Championship, and helped Glenn’s varsity wrestling team to win the Suffolk County Division II Dual Meet Championship on Jan. 21.

“Winning championships just doesn’t happen,” Athletic Director Dave Shanahan said. “They are earned. Tommy is an exceptional young man who is only a sophomore. We congratulate him, his family and his coaches on this amazing accomplishment.”

Additionally, the Board presented a new recognition, honoring James H. Boyd Intermediate School 2022-2023 JMVPs. The 18 outstanding students – third graders Elizabeth Arana, Jameson Koch, Elizabeth Lyons, Frank Ofrias Andrew Senatus and Sakina Shazad; fourth graders Casey Curran, Molly DeMarco, Colton Gillis, April Knox, Mosa Mosa and Gabrielle Smith; and fifth graders Emma Barzilai, Stelios Giamos, Kalina Jasinska, Arden Moshos, Braelyn Pribyl and Abby Zbytniewski – had been recognized during monthly JMVP celebrations at Boyd. This award was created in honor of longtime Boyd teacher and John Glenn varsity boys golf coach Joe Pace, who died last July after a courageous battle with cancer.

“For those of you who did not know Mr. Pace, he was a very special person to his family, colleagues, friends and students,” Principal Elissa Millan said. “Some of the special characteristics that Mr. Pace showed were compassion, thoughtfulness, helpfulness, sincerity, loyalty and kindness. He was considerate, respectful, caring, positive and humble.

Each of these students that we recognized tonight exemplified these special qualities that Mr. Pace exhibited regularly and they always follow the three Rs: respect, responsibility, and forming and keeping great relationships. I congratulate all of them and their families.”

“Congratulations to all the JVMPs,” Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bossert said. “They represent themselves and their families very well and exhibit the qualities that Mr. Pace would be been very proud of.”

“Mr. Pace was a wonderful man who touched many lives, and by embodying the qualities in which the JMVP award stands for, you too will continue to touch lives around you,” Board of Education President James Tomeo said. “Keep up the great work.”

Date Added: 4/24/2023

Board of Ed Honors County Champion Wrestling Team

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At the Elwood School District Board of Education’s Feb. 9 meeting, Elwood-John H. Glenn High School’s county champion wrestling team were honored for winning the Suffolk County Division II Dual Meet Championship.

“It is a rare occasion when we invite an entire team to a Board of Education meeting to be recognized, but the Board and I felt we’d be remiss if we did not bring forward the John Glenn High School wrestling team,” Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bossert said.

“The team showed heart, character and perseverance throughout the Dual Meet Championship,” Athletic Director Dave Shanahan said. “Championships are not just won, they are earned with outstanding coaching. Another piece of the championship puzzle is to have exceptional parents who value athletics, an important foundation in the lives of our student athletes. The wrestling parents cheered loud and proud throughout the day, providing energy and strong resolve, and for that, we thank you. Congratulations to the 2022-2023 wrestling team. You have made the school proud, your parents proud and the community proud. We certainly showed Suffolk County that Elwood what Elwood pride is all about.”

Dr. Bossert noted that a county championship banner had been ordered, and he and the Board presented the team with a certificate to hang in the wrestling room until the banner arrives.

Date Added: 2/22/2023

Board of Ed Honors Assemblyman Stern, PTA Reflections Winners and Parent Groups

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 At the Elwood School District Board of Education’s Jan. 12 meeting, Assemblyman Steve Stern was recognized for his continued attention to the needs of the district.

“Assemblyman Stern has been a wonderful supporter of the Elwood School District and our students,” Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bossert said. “For many years now, he has used his discretion that enables him to provide special funding to sponsor different projects and initiatives within the district. In the last two years, Assemblyman Stern is singularly responsible for an additional $90,000 coming to the district to support several initiatives that are helping us to enhance our security and surveillance systems to make sure all of our students and staff are safe every day.”

“Assemblyman Stern is a staunch advocate for our students and our community,” Board President James Tomeo said. “Every penny counts in education, so every piece that we get to put our puzzle together goes a long way.”

A dozen talented PTA Reflections contest winners were then honored, presented by Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Maureen Hull. Students recognized were Harley Avenue Primary School’s Kyle Clancy and Mia Mueller (both visual arts); James H. Boyd Intermediate School’s Ella Colongeli (literature), Mia Giacalone (visual arts), Aria Pineda (photography) and Jolie Roman (visual arts); Elwood Middle School’s Sophia Brown (visual arts), Julia Giardina (visual arts), Melina Leonidou (literature) and Jewel Li (photography); and Elwood-John H. Glenn High School’s Brayden Klement (photography) and Emily Yang (visual arts).

“One of the most important things we can do is provide our students with a voice, and the Reflections competition is such an important avenue for students to express their creativity,” Dr. Hull said.

The Board also honored four dedicated parent leaders and their volunteer parent groups: PTA Council President Agapi Bell, SEPTA President Marlene Costanza, Music Sponsors President Kim Rourke and Booster Club President Lisa Polese.

“The truth of the matter is, these groups could be thanked each meeting, each month, because their contributions to the school district are without limit,” Dr. Bossert said.    

The meeting also marked the introduction of Dr. Sonia Hood as Elwood’s incoming assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, replacing the retiring Dr. Hull.

Date Added: 1/23/2023

Girl Scouts Silver Award Winners Honored by Elwood Board of Ed

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At the Elwood School District Board of Education’s Dec. 8 meeting, Elwood-John H. Glenn High School Principal Corey McNamara recognized four groups of Girl Scout Silver Award recipients: Maeve O’Connor, Jacqueline O’Grady, Megan Scully and Rebecca Stawecki of Girl Scout Troop 1619, for their project on reducing sea pollution and helping sea life; Elizabeth Benavides and Elliott Baravarian of Girl Scout Troop 1619, for a project focused on raising awareness about the importance of bat conservation; Ava Haddad, Louise Hartough, Megan LaMena and Nora Truncale of Girl Scout Troop 1619, for their Greetings for Grandparents project, in which they designed and built a greeting card station to donate to an assisted living facility in Huntington; and Magdalena Brchnel, Olivia LoBue and Sophia Vitevitch of Girl Scout Troop 2597, for their work on creating a website featuring the history of Elwood’s Little Red Schoolhouse. Scouts must volunteer over 50 hours of community service and strive to make a difference or raise awareness in their community in the field that interests them in order to earn the Silver Award.

“The Girl Scouts recognized tonight are serving as outstanding role models, not only for younger Daisies, Brownies, Juniors and Cadets, but for all students within the Elwood community,” McNamara said. “Thank you for sharing your passion with us, and please know that the real celebration comes from the positive influence and impact you have made and continue to make.
“Community service is something that is clearly evidenced by these students, who went above and beyond to accomplish extraordinary things and obtain extraordinary designation,” Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bossert said.

The student recognitions were preceded by a moment of silence in memory of retired Elwood teacher and environmentalist Joy Squires, and a marvelous performance of holiday songs by Italian language students from Elwood Middle School.

Date Added: 12/16/2022

Board of Ed Honors High-Achieving Hispanic Students

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The Elwood School District Board of Education honored high-achieving Hispanic students from Elwood-John H. Glenn High School at the board’s Nov. 10 meeting, led by Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bossert. The recognitions were presented by John Glenn Principal Corey McNamara and Assistant Principal Trish Sihksnel.

Seniors Juliet Beuka, Giuliana Brown, Angelina DeMarco, Will Drucker and Jake Lauto were recognized for winning the College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Award. To earn this award, students must take the PSAT/NMSQT in October of their junior year, achieve a minimum qualifying score, possess a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher by the middle of their junior year, and identify as Hispanic.

“Clearly these students tonight represent the very best that Elwood as a community has to offer,” McNamara said.

Next, Juliet Beuka, Katherine Madrid and Grace Motta were recognized for earning the Hispanic Heritage Student Achievement Award scholarship, worth $500. They had earlier been presented with proclamations from the Huntington Town Board on Oct. 28 at the 28th annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration.

“I was fortunate enough to attend their celebration at Town Hall last month, and was so proud to see this group of students representing John Glenn High School,” Sihksnel said.

Date Added: 11/22/2022