While the end of the school year for the Class of 2020 was not what many students anticipated, Elwood-John H. Glenn High School students have shown tremendous strength, resiliency and unity. That sentiment couldn’t have been more true on June 15 as students, teachers, faculty and staff gathered virtually to celebrate the John Glenn High School Music Department Awards.
“It truly is so nice to see all of you,” John Glenn High School Principal Carisa Burzynski said, addressing the students in attendance. “While tonight’s ceremony may look different than you had anticipated, we did not want your accomplishments to go unnoticed.”
The event, hosted by the Elwood Music Sponsors Association, was a wonderful night of celebration as students received scholarships and awards from their teachers, who shared kind words about each recipient.
Music Sponsors scholarships, presented by Mrs. Hoolahan, included band, chorus, kickline, NYSCAME and SCMEA scholarships, as well as the Susan Curcio Service, Rita Harrison and Alan Walker Theater scholarships.
Awards, including the National Chorus Award, Distinguished Service Award, Louis Armstrong National Award for Jazz and John Philip Sousa National Band Award, were also presented to deserving seniors.
Additionally, music teachers, Rachel Nagle, Karen Gellert and Vickie Henson bid farewell to seniors involved in the school’s chorus, orchestra, band and Tri-M Music Honor Society.
The evening also featured a moment of silence in remembrance of former Board of Education President Julia Fried, who recently passed away after a courageous battle against pancreatic cancer.
“Hey mantra was always, ‘It’s for the kids,’” Elwood Music Sponsors Vice President Christine Kawecki said. “She will truly be missed.”
To conclude the evening, those in attendance congratulated Mrs. Gellert on her retirement and thanked her for her contributions to the music department.
Principal Burzynski thanked students and teachers for their years of commitment and dedication to the music department.
“It has been said that music is the great uniter — an incredible force. That music expresses that which cannot be said, and which is impossible to be silent on,” she said. “These words could not be more true.”