At the Elwood School District Board of Education’s Feb. 8 meeting, participants in the Polar Plunge were recognized for taking home the trophy and raising over $5,700 to benefit the Special Olympics. In the school’s first ever time attending the Polar Plunge, held on Dec. 10 at Crab Meadow Beach in Northport, John Glenn was named the official 2023 Cool School Champion, an honor given to the top fundraising school.
In addition to National Honor Society adviser Diane Locascio, who organized Elwood’s participation in the Polar Plunge, participants honored for their community service were Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services Eileen Kelly-Gorman; Elwood-John H. Glenn High School Assistant Principal Trish Sihksnel; teachers Jessica Kennedy and Deidra O’Brien; and Elwood-John H. Glenn High School students Anthony Bell, Peter Bell, Colin Bible, Aidan Hanratty, Mary Fratarcangeli, Logan Demianczyk, Madelyn Katzman, Haley Katzman, Ava Hopkins, Madeline Hechler, Nidhi Kamatkar, Erin Kenny, Lauren LaMena, Megan LaMena, Morgan Levy, Aidan Lohan, Brianna Lauro, Brianna Navon, Meghan McGowan, Caroline Mullman, Ella Mule, Grace Oliveri, Jack Smith, Audrey Paterniani, Grace Paterniani, Kennedy Piacentini, Isobel Rees, Sierra Roizman, Benjamin Ross, Angie Ruiz, Maria Ruiz, Charlotte Spoto, Andrew Tartaglia, Caroline Weiss, Vanessa Weissberg and Rosalee Zino.
“Over the summer, I was diagnosed with cancer, and now I can say that I’m in remission,” LoCascio said. “And one of the major components that helped me was coming back to Elwood. I knew I needed Elwood to get back to the person I wanted to be, and I wanted to give back to the community and engage in something outside of my comfort zone. I wanted to include the kids in that, and to be able to have fun and do something that is so meaningful for the Special Olympics. I think that it was a great thing for us to do together, and I’m hoping that this becomes an annual tradition.”