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Congratulations, Mr. McGuire!

Elwood Middle and John Glenn High School tech teacher Mr. Matt McGuire was recently awarded $200 for the program from Harbor Freight Tools.

Through a Teacher Donation program, Mr. McGuire reached out to Harbor Freight Tools earlier in the school year and explained how much of the high school technology laboratory needed updating. With three design and drawing for production courses, a production systems course, an architecture course, robotics course, and a world of technology course in mind, Mr. McGuire expressed his deepest thanks in any help to build a better learning environment for Elwood students.

The organization was impressed with the work he does for the program, and applauded his commitment to the classroom and school, and granted him the donation to be used towards equipment updates. Congratulations, Mr. McGuire!

P.S. I Love You Day at EMS

P.S. I Love You Day at EMS photo
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Thanks to the initiative of Elwood Middle School’s Knights of Good club, the school celebrated P.S. I Love you Day for the first time on Feb. 8. The goal of this day is to bring awareness to students of the importance of spreading love and kindness in order to the prevent unnecessary loss of lives from suicide. This year, nearly 200 schools pledged to participate.

Knights of Good club member Anthony Bell came across this awareness day earlier in the school year and brought it before the club advisor as well as his peers.

“When I first read about P.S. I love you Day, it really spoke to me about the importance of kindness,” said Anthony. “And I really felt the need to pass this message along to my classmates—because you never know who may really need to hear it.”

The Knights of Good agreed to come alongside the day’s mission, and requested for the entire school to wear purple on Feb. 8 to stand up against bullying, help promote mental health awareness, and prevent the tragedy of suicide.

“Our hope is that on this day, students will walk around their school community and see a sea of purple,” said club advisor Todd Schwartz, “and that they’ll remember that there are people who truly care, and that they’re never alone.”

Science Research Student Moves on in Prestigious Competition

Science Research Student Moves on in Prestigious Competition photo
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On Feb. 6, John Glenn science research student Rithika Narayan was selected to continue on to the second round of the Long Island Science & Engineering Fair (LISEF). This is the first time Elwood has had a student advance to the next round of this prestigious competition.

Rithika’s project, entitled “Orphaned by Laplace: A Tale of Two Cysts”, presented findings gathered in an independent science research class offered at the high school. Based on scientific observation and an existing law put into place by the mathematician Laplace, Rithika was able to explain why kidney cysts tend to rupture but liver ducts do not. Her in-depth research and well-presented project set her apart from the other participants and was selected as one of five students from the math category to advance to the second round.

The next stage of the competition takes place on March 14; winners of which move on to the International Science and Engineering Fair.

Outstanding Athletes Honored

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At its Feb. 7 meeting, the district’s Board of Education and administration honored six of the district’s top athletes for their outstanding individual achievements this year. Athletic Director David Shanahan introduced each of the student-athletes from Elwood-John H. Glenn High School and praised each of their accomplishments.

“These athletes represent sportsmanship, the highest character, teamwork and discipline, and are the best of the best at Glenn,” Coach Shanahan said.

Congratulations to the following students:

* Alyssa Adomaites – broke the school’s all-time record for scoring with 1,614 points to date
* Mia Cergol – named an All-State volleyball player
* Caroline Garretson – named All-State volleyball player
* Adam Astarita – named All-State soccer player
* Josh Fenner – scored 1,000 points as a junior on the varsity basketball team
* Kyle Szokoli – named All-State football player

Elwood Students Prepare to be World Changers of the Future

Elwood Students Prepare to be World Changers of the Future photo
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Four students from Elwood Middle School were awarded the "Most Creative Community Space” for their team’s Future City design, which was presented at the Future City regional competition on Jan. 19. Out of nearly 50 teams, only twelve specialty awards were distributed.

This competition, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers, challenges sixth through eighth graders to imagine ways to make the world a better place by solving city sustainability issues. The 2018-19 theme was “Powering Our Future,” and called for students to design a city power grid that could potentially withstand and recover from a natural disaster.

Elwood’s Future City Team, composed of students Nate Tyll, Chloe Keil, Catherine Ruyle and Colby Knorr, designed a city that was earthquake proof. This was accomplished by having the city magnetically levitated while being powered by black hole energy.

“Students did an amazing job at designing, constructing and then defending their city against a large panel of judges,” said technology club advisor Mr. Alex Wrightman. “These students are preparing themselves to be the world changers of the future.”

LISFA Selectees

LISFA Selectees photo
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Eight orchestra students from Elwood Middle and John Glenn High School were selected to perform in the Long Island String Festival Association (LISFA) Secondary and Intermediate festivals. Participants included Sasha Jamal, violin; Rithika Narayan, viola; Benjamin Fuchs, violin; Giuliana Brown, violin; Angelina Song, cell; Joanna Kim, violin; Benny Lee, violin; and Emma Rothleder, violin.

Only select talented musicians students throughout Suffolk county were chosen to participate in the three-day festivals. Congratulations, students!

Point Guard Breaks School Record

Point Guard Breaks School Record photo
John H. Glenn High School senior Alyssa Adomaites, a point guard for the varsity basketball team, recently broke the school’s record of 1479 points, which was set in 2009, with a whopping 1587 points. She is additionally the second leading scorer on Long Island. Alyssa is passionate about basketball and has been playing since early elementary school, and will be attending Adelphi University in the fall.

“Alyssa is an outstanding student athlete that works hard both on the court and in the classroom, and is a shining example of school pride and athleticism,” said Director of Athletics and Physical Education David Shanahan. “The district is extremely proud of her for all her hard work and dedication to the game.”

Congratulations, Alyssa!

Elwood-John Glenn High School Presents: Hairspray

Tickets are on sale now for the High School Musical, *Hairspray *at John Glenn HS March 15 and 16
Tickets can be purchased exclusively online now for $12.00
Tickets purchased at the door on show nights, will be available for $14.00.
Only cash and checks will be accepted, no debit or credit cards.


Nominating Petitions Now Available

Packets of information for your use in seeking election to a seat on the Board of Education in the Elwood Union Free School District may be picked up at the District Office or at a Board of Education Meeting from the District Clerk.

There is one seat available for a three-year term commencing on July 1, 2019 and expiring on June 30, 2022. The Board member election will be held on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, the same time as the District’s Budget Vote on the 2019-2020 school budget.

Please call Mary Lou Janelli, District Clerk, for more information: 631-266-5400, extension 1402.

JGHS Science Success

JGHS Science Success photo
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Congrats to John H. Glenn’s outstanding science students for their recent hard work and impressive successes!

On January 26, the Science Olympiad Team competed at Eastern Long Island Division C Regionals
At Ward Melville High School. The New York State Science Olympiad, Inc. organization’s mission is to challenge and engage students in all areas of STEM through competitive team tournaments throughout New York.

Members Hannah Kleinman and Caleb Shim placed 9th out of 52 teams in the Chemistry Lab event.

Additionally, science research students, Jaida Morgan, Annie Song, Brianna Duswalt and Matthew Tallo competed in the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl Regional Qualifier at Brookhaven Labs on Jan. 26th as well, demonstrating their vast knowledge of the area of science.

Great job, students!

Peticiones de nominación ya disponibles

Los paquetes de información para su uso en la búsqueda de la elección de un asiento en la Junta de Educación en el Distrito Escolar Libre de Elwood Union pueden recogerse en la Oficina del Distrito o en una Reunión de la Junta de Educación del Secretario del Distrito.

Hay un asiento disponible por un período de tres años que comienza el 1 de julio de 2019 y vence el 30 de junio de 2022. La elección de los miembros
de la Junta se llevará a cabo el martes 21 de mayo de 2019, al mismo tiempo que la Votación del Presupuesto del Distrito en el Presupuesto escolar 2019-2020.

Llame a Mary Lou Janelli, Secretaria de Distrito, para obtener más información: 631-266-5400, extensión 1402.

JGHS Music Department Learns and Performs at Disney World

JGHS Music Department Learns and Performs at Disney World photo
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During the weekend of Jan. 18-21, 120 the John Glenn High School music department traveled to Orlando, Florida, where each of the three ensembles participated in unique Disney music experiences.

Mrs. Rachel Nagle and the JGHS choir were taught and worked hard on a medley from the movie Fozen, Additionally, they learned how to insert their own sound effects and choral recording onto the movie screen from well-known voiceover artists through the "Disney Sings" Program.

In the "You're Instrumental" clinic, Ms. Karen Gellert and the orchestra worked on various songs from different Disney movie soundtracks and ultimately filmed and recorded "Remember Me" from the movie Coco, in accompaniment with the actual film.

The marching band and members of the John Glenn Knightline, led by Ms. Vickie Henson, had an exciting and impressive performance as they marched down Main Street in Magic Kingdom surrounded by cheering crowds. Between activities, students enjoyed all four Disney World Parks.

“It was both impressive and heartwarming to see the students’ maturity, camaraderie, and support for one another throughout the extended weekend,” said Ms. Nagle. “It was a meaningful and memorable experience for all."

Suffolk County Winners of the PTA Reflections

Suffolk County Winners of the PTA Reflections photo
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Congratulations to Harley Avenue student Brayden Clancy and John H. Glenn student Kerri Giambruno for their winning photography entries in the PTA Reflections Contest "Heroes Around Me" at the Suffolk County level.

The Reflections Program is a National PTA and New York State PTA sponsored competition that helps students gain confidence in exploring ideas and learning through cultural arts, and both students were selected to now advance to the New York State level of competition. Great job, students!

National Interscholastic Administrators Association Scholarship Winner

National Interscholastic Administrators Association Scholarship Winner photo
High school senior Mia Sansanelli was recently awarded the National Interscholastic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Scholar Athlete Award, making her the singular female winner selected from Suffolk County. While Mia excels phenomenally at each sport she participates in, she will be attending Sacred Heart University to play soccer in the fall.

The NIAA scholarship program seeks to recognize students who show strong academic and athletic leadership, outstanding sportsmanship, and active citizenship in the community around them. This recognition in turn promotes and reinforces the importance of athletics in the educational system, showing students the significance of learning to balance both extracurriculars and academics.

“I feel like the two seem to go hand in hand,” said Mia. “When you have less free time, you learn to balance each area you’re putting your efforts towards—and you can then do them to the best of your ability.”

Elwood Faculty and Staff Go Above and Beyond

Elwood Faculty and Staff Go Above and Beyond photo
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On Jan. 24, some of our district’s outstanding members who go above and beyond on a regular basis were recognized by the Board of Education.

Harley Avenue Primary School principal Mrs. Elissa Milan presented Ms. Michelle Kretz, Mr. Jose Alicea, Mr. Christian Haack, and Ms. Alexandra Harris to the Board to commend them for the incredible work they put into creating “Sensory City” at Harley. This superhero-themed sensory path, which helps students use gross motor skills help them refocus in the classroom, was incepted by social worker Ms. Kretz. Once the idea was ready to be executed, Mr. Alicea, Mr. Haack, and Ms. Harris all put forth incredible dedication to the project.

On top of the hard work, personal and after school hours the team logged to have “Sensory City” completed by Thanksgiving, they also leant themselves to beautifying the inside of Harley with bright colors, encouraging quotes, and more. The project’s timeline that originally extended to the end of the school year only took a few short months

“I’m so proud of this team,” said Mrs. Milan. “Their dedication and focus in bringing our dreams of an extreme makeover, school edition, to a reality has been an incredible journey, and I know the Harley community is so grateful for all they’ve done.”

Mrs. Milan also presented Ms. Amy Schombs to the Board and expressed gratitude for her never-ending willingness to add to the positive culture of Harley Avenue; whether it be helping a colleague, joining committee, or learn new teaching techniques to improve her professional practices.

“All of Amy’s students and colleagues have gained so much from the positive energy, ideas, and enthusiasm she brings to the table,” said Mrs. Milan.

Additionally, Executive Director of Special Education Ms. Dianne Wilkinson addressed the board to commend Ms. Patricia Buckley. Ms. Buckley, who oversees preschool special education throughout the district, makes such a difference in the lives of both special education students first beginning school, as well as their families. She works diligently behind the scenes to make the transition to school as smooth as possible and is an integral member of the department.

“Patti helps quell the fear of both parents and students alike coming into school for the first time with her warm, caring, and compassionate heart—and Elwood’s Special Education Program wouldn’t be what it is without her.”

A Letter from Dr. Bossert


2019-2020 Adopted School Calendar

At its meeting of January 24, 2019, the Board of Education adopted the School Calendar for the 2019-2020 school year. For your convenience and planning purposes, this calendar is available on the link below, on the website and will be sent home using our School Messenger system.


Read it, Dream it, STEAM it

Read it, Dream it, STEAM it photo

The district hosted their annual K-8 STEAM night at Elwood Middle School on Jan. 17! For this year’s theme, Read It, Dream It, STEAM It, students were invited to bring the worlds of storybook fantasy to life through experimenting with science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.

“We were looking for a way to integrate literacy and our typical science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) themes together,” said Technology Instructional Specialist Krista Albrecht, “and we thought it would be interesting for students to participate in activities related to some of their favorite picture books and also to be exposed to some new titles.”

Students and parents journeyed through the school holding a map of the available stations that each contained a different activity. Students had the opportunity to use engineering skills to build a “campsite” for a family that got lost in the woods of a storybook, experiment with heart-rate monitors that tracked resting and active heart rates in real-time, experience augmented reality using “Merge Cubes”, enter a digital star lab, and much more.

At one of the stations, “If I Built a Car,” students were hard at work building rubber band propeller cars that ran on stored energy. Parents stood by, marveling at their children’s innovation, and commented on the refreshing nature of STEAM-focused events.

“The second the email hits home, my son is already asking to be signed up,” said Mrs. Calanese, mother to RJ, an Elwood Middle School student. “Today he reminded me that it started at 4:30—and that we shouldn’t be late!”

Mr. Glenn 2019

Mr. Glenn 2019 photo
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On Jan. 11, the high school held the annual Mr. Glenn 2019 show. This comedy and talent show is an Elwood tradition organized and presented by the boys of the senior class. It also serves as a fundraiser for the Class of 2019.

World Language teacher Ms. Nicole Gendoijan directed the show, and participating boys were as follows: Abiola Familusi, Adam Astarita, Andrew Raymond, Giancarlo Porpora, Gregson Pigott, Irvin Evangelista, Justin Tiernan, Matt Tallo, Nicky Weiss, Russell Rohan, and Zach Stickelman.

The evening included date wear, formal wear, beach wear, and a talent skit for each contestant—making the audience roar with laughter. The boys ended the evening with a dance choreographed by Knightline and Step Team. Senior Russell Rohan was chosen as this year’s Mr. Glenn.

Congratulations on a wonderful job to all who participated!

All-Eastern Music Festival Selectees

All-Eastern Music Festival Selectees photo
Recently, two dedicated JGHS music students were selected to attend the 2019 the All-Eastern Music Festival. Elizabeth Choi, a violinist selected to play in the symphony, and Melissa Mandel, a soprano selected to sing in the Mixed Chorus, will be traveling to participate in the festival in Pittsburgh, PA, during the first week of April.

Congratulations students!

All New York State Selectees

Congratulations to two of John H. Glenn’s outstanding student-athletes, Kyle Szokoli and Adam Astarita, who were both selected for all New York State teams.

Kyle Szokoli - All New York State Football team
Adam Astarita - All New York State Soccer team

Congratulations, students!

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration for the 2019-20 school year begins Feb. 4, by appointment only. Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m., and Fridays (in Feb and March only) from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The forms are available on the district website under “District Forms”, or can be picked up in person at Harley Avenue or at the district office. Contact Peggy Pietzak at 631-266-5400 x1455 or if you have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment.

Elwood Comes together to Support Medical Missions to Nepal

Elwood Comes together to Support Medical Missions to Nepal photo
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For the past two years, the James Boyd Student Council has conducted a fundraiser to aide Joe Rizzuto, a JGHS graduate class of 2011, in completing a medical mission to rural Nepal. Mr. Rizzuto desires to continue traveling to Nepal to provide medical supplies and health checks for people in need—many of which have never been seen by a doctor. During his mission, Joe and his colleagues visited a school that recently reopened after being destroyed by the 2015 earthquake and performed health checks on students as well.

So far, James H. Boyd raised nearly $500, and Harley Avenue raised $110.

Recently, Mr. Rizzuto visited James H. Boyd to explain to students what he does, and why he does it. Students listened intently as he disclosed his experiences, and students had many questions for him after his presentation concluded—and some even went up to Mr. Rizzuto to thank him for trying to make the world a better place. Additionally, he visited Elwood Middle School to speak with the National Junior Honor Society, and students were moved by his efforts, pledging to donate to aide his future trip.

Fundraisers are also set to take place in the spring at EMS and JGHS to contribute to Mr. Rizzuto’s mission.

Student Athlete Reaches 1000th Varsity Point

Student Athlete Reaches 1000th Varsity Point photo
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Congratulations to high school student athlete Josh Fenner who scored his 1,000th varsity point on Thursday, Jan. 3rd, during John H. Glenn’s impressive basketball game against Mattituck. Josh finished out the game with a total 1,028 points—the first junior in John H. Glenn history to reach 1,000 points before heading into his senior year.

Coach Charly Rogener praised Josh for his skill and versatility in which he plays, commenting, “He can break people down and then he can hit the 3-pointer. He's the fastest guy on the court, he gets the transition game going and he's a complete player for us."

Congratulations, Josh!

2019-2020 Kindergarten Registration Information


Video: James H. Boyd Spreads Holiday Joy


Decorating Delicious Houses

Decorating Delicious Houses photo

During the week of Dec. 17, kindergarteners at Harley Avenue got into the holiday spirit by constructing and decorating gingerbread houses. Students each invited a loved one to visit during the afternoon and had help building their creations. Many parents and loved ones helped by donating a lot of the delicious materials used to build the houses as well.

Using frosting as glue, marshmallows for snow, and more, students built their little houses around milk cartons, and enjoyed spending quality time with their loved ones!

A Moose on the Loose at Harley Avenue

A Moose on the Loose at Harley Avenue photo
A Moose on the Loose at Harley Avenue photo 2
During the month of December, Harley Avenue Primary students in Mrs. Schombs and Mrs. Millers second-grade class have been visited every day by a special guest—a moose named Fred. Every morning when Fred, also referred to as the “moose on the loose”, appears in the classroom, he has a different kindness challenge to give to the students. Some of the challenges have included writing a thank you note to someone special, volunteering for a good cause, and creating a kindness club.

Students have done a phenomenal job of extending kindness to those around them, and have seemed to absorb the concept’s importance.

“One of the most important things I learned is that it’s important to be kind to everyone…even when they’re not so kind to you,” said Logan, a second grader in Mrs. Schombs and Mrs. Miller’s class.

Students enjoyed accomplishing the challenges daily, and even resolved to start a kindness club—and had their first meeting on Dec. 18.

“We decided we wanted to start a club where we get together at recess and talk about ways we can be kind to others,” said second-grader Michaela. “Then at the end we come back and talk about how we were kind to other people.”

Mrs. Schombs and Mrs. Miller both agreed that they’re always looking for ways to better foster a climate of kindness in their classroom.

“Our hope is that the lessons that they learn while they are young will continue to be carried out as they get older,” said Mrs. Miller. “We feel that one of the most important things that we can teach our children is how to treat each other.”