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Incoming Junior Earns Trip of a Lifetime

Incoming Junior Earns Trip of a Lifetime Pic
Incoming Elwood-John H. Glenn High School junior, Iván Andrade recently had the unique opportunity to travel to Italy as a result of his first place win on the level three 2017 American Association of Teachers of Italian’s National Italian Exam. Iván and former high school senior Michael Hermanns, who placed first on the level five exam, were placed in a drawing with the students who earned first place on the exams.

Both Iván and Michael were selected as winners and as a result, were awarded with a 500-dollar monetary prize and a two-week all expenses paid trip to Italy during the summer.

As part of his paid trip, Iván participated in a program titled “A Door to Italy,” from July 22 to August 5, where he learned from Italian language experts and strengthened his skills.
“Iván is an amazing student with such a big passion for foreign languages,” said Italian teacher Alessia Franco. “He had the gift since he was in the middle school.”

Noting that the experience was an amazing one, Iván was able to see his education come to life during his time abroad. He visited Genoa, Rome, Venice and Milan and his parents came along to see Italy for the first time with him.

“I thank God for giving me such a unique opportunity to use what I had learned,” said Iván. “Even outside of A Door to Italy, in the city streets, I could see that the vocabulary that I had memorized, including the grammar and verb structure that I had fought with throughout my Italian year, had finally begun to make sense as it became a part of my daily life.”

Tragic Loss...


Touchdown into Summer

Touchdown into Summer Photo
Elwood students ages 6-16 recently learned some new moves from professional football coaches, trainers and players on the Elwood-John H. Glenn High School football field during the Playmaker Factory Sports & Skills Camp. 

The one-day camp was free for all students in the Elwood Union Free School District and welcomed students from surrounding districts to participate as well. The camp was hosted by current and former National Football League and National Collegiate Athletic Association players. These included Chicago Bears player Trevor Coston, retired Cincinnati Bengals player Onyi Momah and Elwood-H. Glenn High School graduate and Arizona Cardinals player Ifeanyi Momah. Other former Elwood football players who play for Division I, II and III teams also returned for the day to give back to their community. 

The players strengthened skills and ran drills with the campers in two group sessions, with ages 6-12 in the morning and ages 13-16 in the afternoon. Campers also received a free Playmaker T-shirt and autographs from players for participating. 

District Prepares for the Launch of New AP Program

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In preparation for Elwood-John H. Glenn High School’s implementation of their new Advanced Placement Capstone program, five staff members from the district recently attended the AP Seminar training workshop at Goucher College in Maryland.

Director of Math, Science and Technology Eileen Kelly-Gorman and Director of Humanities Pam Fine participated in the training as the administrators who will help to implement the program at the high school. Teachers Garrett Chesnoff, Richard Greening and Allison Peiliker also attended in preparation for teaching the course in the fall.

The training workshop focused on a number of important aspects of the program, including providing the administrators and teachers with a walk-through of the course and end-of-course assessments, specific teaching strategies and best practices and the curriculum framework of the program. 

College Board’s AP Capstone is a program that allows students to dive into independent research and collaborative teamwork, while strengthening their communication skills. Comprised of two AP courses, AP Seminar and AP Research, the program transforms students into collaborative scholars and gives them the opportunity to make logical, evidence-based decisions, better preparing them for college.

Elwood-John H. Glenn High School will launch the first of the two courses, AP Seminar, in September. It will be offered through the English department to mainly 10th-grade students. 

“We are looking forward to increasing opportunities for our students at Elwood John H. Glenn High School through the addition of this program,” said Ms. Kelly-Gorman.  



Language Teacher Seeks New Heights

Language Teacher Seeks New Heights Photo
Sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Italian, Elwood-John H. Glenn High School Italian teacher Elena Ferriolo recently received a scholarship from the Accademia Italiana Salerno to observe and take education classes in Salerno, Italy this summer.

She was awarded the scholarship as a result of the great achievement of her student, senior Michael Hermanns, who scored first place on the National Italian exam this spring. The scholarship allowed her to visit Italy for two weeks to learn new strategies that she will be able to bring into the classroom. 

“This has been a great experience,” said Ms. Ferriolo. “I am very thankful to Accademia Italian Salerno for giving me this wonderful opportunity to be amongst great educators and I look forward to working with them in the future.” 

Board Established for the New School Year

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The district’s Board of Education held their annual reorganization meeting on July 6 in preparation for the 2017-18 school year. Although unable to attend the meeting, Julia Fried, who was elected to serve on the board for another three-year term, was named president of the board as well in a unanimous vote.

In addition, board trustee James Tomeo was elected to serve as vice president and was sworn in by the newly appointed district clerk, Mary Lou Janelli. New board trustee Becky Marcus was also unable to attend the meeting but was sworn in on July 11 for a three-year term surrounded by proud family members, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert and vice-president Tomeo. 

Letter from Town of Huntington


Elwood Middle School Student Stands Out in Talent Search

 Elwood Middle School Student Stands Out in Talent Search Photo
Congratulations to Elwood Middle School eighth-grader Rithika Narayan, who was recently recognized for her high score in the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) Talent Search! She attended a special rewards ceremony with her family where she was awarded for her achievement.

Rithika was among approximately 27,000 students from more than 65 countries who participated in the CTY Talent Search between March 2016 and February 2017. The CTY Talent Search allows advanced students in second through eighth grade to take challenging tests to reveal their abilities and true capacity for learning.

Students in seventh and eighth grade take the SAT or ACT, the same tests used for college admissions. Rithika was commended for scoring exceptionally high on the rigorous, above-grade-level test. Only about 25 percent of Talent Search participants earned the High Honors designation.

Harley Avenue’s 2nd Grade Enrichment and Recreation Showcase

Harley Avenue’s 2nd Grade Enrichment and Recreation Showcase Photo

Community Donations

At its regular business meeting on July 6, the Board of Education accepted a number of generous donations. 

This included the donation of 4 wireless weather stations by two former students, Ava Mule and Nicolette Carluccio, in honor of the late Mr. Adamo. Also, a donation of $46.75 was made toward the Barbara Quigley Memorial Fund.

The Elwood Middle School PTA donated $1,800 to fund the purchase of picnic tables for the outdoor areas at Elwood Middle School and the John Glenn High School Senior Class donated 3 picnic tables to be placed in the cafeteria courtyard at the high school. 

The district thanks these organizations and individuals for their contributions and extreme generosity. With your support, students are now given opportunities that otherwise would not be possible.

Coach Hanner Named Soccer Coach of the Year

Coach Hanner Named Soccer Coach of the Year Photo
Congratulations to Elwood-John H. Glenn High School boys soccer coach Lou Hanner, who was recently named a New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s Coach of the Year for the 2016-17 school year!

Hanner, who has coached at the high school for more than 15 years, was nominated by the NYSPHSAA and is now in the running for the Region 1 title of the National Federation High School Coach of the Year Award. 

The new achievement adds to Mr. Hanner’s successful career as he was recognized in the fall as the 2016 New York State Large School Soccer Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. 

"Being named the NYSPHSAA Boys Soccer Coach of the Year is an unexpected honor and extremely humbling,” said Mr. Hanner. “It would not be possible without the efforts of our players, coaches and the support of my family."

High School Earns the Title of Reward School

High School Earns the Title of Reward School Photo
The district is pleased to announce that Elwood-John H. Glenn High School was recently named a 2017-18 Reward School from the New York State Education Department. The high school is among 185 schools who received the honor for their high achievements and high progress.

Reward Schools are schools that have made the most progress or those that have the highest achievement in the state and do not have significant gaps in student achievement between subgroups. The high school has previously earned the Reward School distinction for years 12-13, 13-14, 14-15 and 16-17.

“I am very honored to work with such a dedicated team,” said Principal Carisa Burzynski. “The unrelenting support of the board of education, district administrators and parents in the community enable the talented faculty and staff at JGHS to prepare our students to reach such high levels of achievement. I am so proud of our students.”

Senior Knights Earn Their Diplomas

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Elwood-John H. Glenn High School seniors walked the field of the high school for one last time among proud family, friends, faculty, board members and administrators on June 23.

During the ceremony, students heard advice and wisdom from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert, High School Principal Carisa Burzynski, Board Vice President Julia Fried, Board member Deborah Weiss, All School President Matthew Weiss, Senior Class President Casey Oualaalou, Salutatorian Samantha Ciappa and lastly, Valedictorian Michael Hermanns.

Congrats, 2017 Graduates!

More information on the graduation ceremony will be featured in the summer edition of the Elwood Highlights.

Please enjoy this slide show of photos from the commencement exercises and click the following link to view the recorded commencement webcast,


Fifth-Graders Prepare Fellow Students

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In an effort to educate and prepare the incoming fifth-graders at James H. Boyd Intermediate School, eight current fifth-graders hosted a leadership presentation on June 19 to share information and answer student questions.

The student speakers were part of a leadership committee program whose goal is to help fourth-graders learn from the experiences of fifth-graders to create a smooth transition into next year. Consisting of fifth-graders Ryan Andersen, Jenna Ban, Briana Ebinger, James Froh, Krish Khanna, Meghan McGowan, Sean O’Grady and John Oualaalou, the students had about eight weeks to prepare for the event. They devoted one hour of their time each week to write their speeches, type their speeches and practice their public speaking skills.

Fourth-graders arrived to the presentation with notebooks in hand and took notes on what to expect, including useful tips that the speakers provided. The fifth-graders discussed topics such as how to succeed in school, studying and homework tips, best behavior, time management, how to stay organized and the new experiences that the fourth-graders can expect.

At the conclusion of presentation, the fifth-graders answered questions that the fourth-graders had. They spoke about locker sharing, project difficulties, field trips, subjects taught and offered their best advice to the fourth-graders in hopes that their transition to fifth-grade would be a successful one.

Seniors Say Goodbye with a Final Walk

Seniors Say Goodbye with a Final Walk Photo
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It was a bittersweet day for the graduating seniors of Elwood-John H. Glenn High School as they returned to their old elementary schools on June 19 for the district’s first Senior Walk. The graduates stopped by Harley Avenue Primary School and James H. Boyd Intermediate School to walk the halls in their cap and gowns and say goodbye to the district they grew up in.

Faculty members and students at both schools lined the hallways in anticipation as the seniors arrived. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert, administrators and board members also joined in the celebration and watched as the graduates walked the buildings. Many embraced their former teachers and high-fived the young students who cheered them on.

The district looks to continue this newly found tradition for years to come to celebrate the growth and the next chapter in the lives of its graduates.

District Hosts Annual Maker Faire

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Creativity was celebrated during the district’s second annual Maker Faire at Elwood Middle School on June 16. Open to kindergarten through eighth-grade students and their families, the evening consisted of 45-minute sessions where students could build, tinker and explore through hands on activities.

Prior to the event, students registered for what sessions fit their interests. The sessions took place in classrooms and ranged from creating marble roller coasters and water slides, to experimenting with bubbles. Coordinated by Director of Math, Science and Technology Eileen Kelly-Gorman and teacher Krista Albrecht, the event kicked off with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert and Ms. Kelly-Gorman welcoming those in attendance and providing an overview of what to expect.

“We are so excited to have so many of you here to join us today,” said Ms. Kelly-Gorman. “We can’t wait to see your great ideas come to fruition in each of these sessions.”  

Organizations such as the Elwood Harley Avenue School, James H. Boyd Intermediate School and Elwood Middle School PTA’s, as well as the Elwood Booster Club and the Elwood Education Endowment supported the event by donating money to expand on the learning opportunities for students. SEPTA provided food and refreshments throughout the evening while staff members and Elwood-John H. Glenn High School student volunteers helped facilitate the sessions.

The school’s cafeteria featured stations with more activities for students and their families to enjoy. A popular station for many was the Google Expeditions area. Here, students had the opportunity to test out the newest educational technology tool in the district that will be used in 2017-18 school year. The viewers allow students to immerse themselves in virtual tours of places around the world and were bought for the district with the help of the James H. Boyd PTA and the Elwood Education Endowment.

NYSSMA Students Soar on Assessments

NYSSMA Students Soar on Assessments Photo
Congratulations to the Elwood-John H. Glenn High School Music Department who participated in the NYSSMA Major Organization 2017 Assessments!

Orchestra received the Level 6 Silver Award, concert choir received the Level 6 Gold Award, ninth and tenth grade band earned the Level 4 Silver Award and eleventh and twelfth grade band received the Level 5 Gold Award.

Music teachers Mrs. Gellert, Ms. Henson and Mrs. Nagle are extremely proud of the work put forth by their ensembles this year.

Relay For Life 2017

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Students and community members recently banded together for a worthy cause on the field of Northport High School for their annual Relay For Life event. Coordinated by Kris Kalinowski, Elena Ferriolo Christina Kerensky and Marisa Jensen, the event raised over $15,000 for the American Cancer Society. Over the past seven years, the Elwood community has raised well over $250,000 in the search for a cure.

This year, the Elwood community had two students suffering from cancer. In light of this, the district decided to combine their efforts with the Northport-East Northport School District to help fight for a cure against cancer.

Elwood's Relay For Life is a student based event in addition to the participation of community members. Additionally, students from Harley Avenue Primary School and James H. Boyd Intermediate School decorated Luminaria Bags which were placed around the Northport High School track around the football field. The students decorated over 500 bags in memory of, in honor of and celebrating those touched by cancer.

The Knights for Hope at the Elwood Middle School sold Lap Beads for those who wanted to keep track of their laps with beads and donated everything to Relay For Life. Each bead represented the color of a particular type of cancer. The Elwood-John H. Glenn High School students also had a Volleyball-a-thon this past March, which a portion of their proceeds went to Relay for Life.

Elwood’s own Mr. Solomon Buchman sang the traditional song entitled "You Raise Me Up." Mr. Buchman has performed this song at every one of the district’s Relay For Life events and this year was no different.

Thank you to all who made the event such a success!

Student-Athletes Win Butch Dellecave Award

Student-Athletes Win Butch Dellecave Award Photo
Congratulations to Elwood-John H. Glenn High School seniors Maggie McGuckin and Damien Caffrey who received the 2017 Butch Dellecave Award at the 17th annual awards night on June 11!

Damien, a star football player and Maggie a talented volleyball and basketball player, were presented with the award from Guy and Mark Dellecave for being top female and male Suffolk County student-athletes who demonstrate excellence in athletics, academics and community service.

Town of Huntington Honors Student-Athletes

Town of Huntington Honors Student-Athletes Photo
Congratulations to Elwood-John H. Glenn High School seniors Anthony Aromolo and Samantha Ciappa for recently receiving the 2017 Town of Huntington Scholar Athlete Award! 

To be selected, one boy and one girl are chosen from their high school. The students were among 20 student-athletes from across Huntington who were honored with plaques for their academic and athletic excellence.

Elwood Celebrates Outstanding Staff

Elwood Celebrates Outstanding Staff Photo

During the district’s Board of Education meeting on June 15, the Board recognized 14 staff members who were awarded tenure, while also honoring the 2016-17 retirees and 25 year employees.

Administrators, faculty members and their families attended the commendations in the Elwood Middle School auditorium. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert opened the meeting by congratulating those being honored that evening for their dedication and service to the district and introduced the first tenure recipients who are administrators in the district. Those that received tenure included Assistant Superintendent for Business Keri Loughlin, Harley Avenue Primary School principal Elissa Millan, James H. Boyd Intermediate School principal Dr. Denise Toscano and Elwood Middle School Assistant Principal Dawn Valle.

The principals of each school then presented a plaque to their teachers and teaching assistants who also received tenure. These included teachers Moiro Citko, Jessica Hasday, Shanna LaBarbera, Sima Lis, Megan Riley, Lisa Rosenthal, Danielle Sullivan, Jennifer Vacchio and teaching assistants Maria Gagliardi and Kelsie Wilkinson.

Retirees were praised by their fellow administrators for their positive impact on the students and school community. Those recognized were Lee Anderson, Nancy Barkocy, Noreen Driscoll, Ann Gengenbach, Christine Graber, David Heiss, Susan Masserwick, Denise Preto, Cynthia Smith, Donna Verton, Linda Wilson, Carol Yamond and Marcia Zatulskis.  

Faculty members Jan Fairchild, Anthony Gallo, Michael Marino, Darren Szokoli and David Trabulsi were presented with trophies for their 25 years of service in the district. Each were congratulated by the Board and administrators for their hard work and dedication for so many years.

In addition, Elwood Middle School principal Dr. Hugh Gigante was commended for his leadership at the school as he will leave to take on his new position at Western Suffolk BOCES.

“We congratulate you on your new position, as we know it is a career aspiration for you,” said Dr. Bossert. “But we are saddened of your departure because of your profound positive impact on Elwood Middle School over the last seven years.”

Board of Education president Michael LaMena was also recognized as it was his last meeting serving on the Board. Board vice president Julia Fried thanked Mr. LaMena for his dedication to the district.

“He is committed to a focused process which has proven to unite the Board this year and has made for a very successful transition for our new superintendent,” said Mrs. Fried. “Mike, we will miss your calm leadership but we are grateful for the time you served on the Board. We are all better for it.”

The final two recognitions were for district clerk Nancy Mancini, who will retire from her role with the Board and transition into her new role in transportation and technology, as well as incoming Elwood-John H. Glenn High School senior Joseph Pacifico, who was commended for his assistance with the webcast broadcasting of the Board of Education meetings throughout the school year.

Congratulations to all and thank you for your outstanding service to the district!  

Team Does Their Part to Help the Environment

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The Elwood-John H. Glenn High School varsity girls lacrosse team recently partnered with the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation to clean up Crab Meadow Beach in Northport.

The student-athletes worked together and collected a record 97 pounds of garbage from the beach and surrounding area in an effort to help the environment. 

“They did an excellent job,” said coach Janine Bright. “They were proud to be a part of it.” 

District Receives Grant to Create New Makerspace

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James H. Boyd Intermediate School has recently been selected to receive a 2017 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant from The Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. The $5,000 grant will allow the school to begin building a Makerspace to enhance learning opportunities for students.

The foundation offers the grant each year to K-12 public schools across the nation to provide community support for basic educational needs. The grant application, submitted by teachers Liz Held and Krista Albrecht, was for their project idea, “If You Build it, They Will Come.” 

The project focuses on creating a space where students can learn through hands on activities and building. The mission of the makerspace will be to encourage curiosity, tinkering and learning, while inspiring students to invent new things, continually question how processes happen and how inventions can be improved. Ms. Albrecht and Ms. Held plan to purchase items such as Lego kits, tablets, a green screen studio, and storage containers for student projects to incorporate into the space.
“We were thrilled to learn that we won the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant to begin creating a Makerspace at Boyd,” said Ms. Albrecht. “We are always looking for innovative ways to fund ideas for our students. Incorporating science and technology, and discovering ways to solve problems is so important. If this Makerspace at Boyd can help students become better thinkers, then we are on the right track!”