Board of Education News
Elwood Board of Education Dedicates Tree to Beloved Past Board Member
During a recent ceremony at Elwood Middle School, the Elwood Union Free School District Board of Education dedicated a tree to past Board of Education president Julia Fried.
The tree, which is located in the courtyard of Elwood Middle School, was dedicated to Mrs. Fried, who tragically lost her battle with pancreatic cancer in 2020. A Board member beginning in 2014, she served the district as both Board president and vice president and was an integral part of the school community. She served as an active member of the PTA and Elwood Educational Endowment, as well as leader for other district initiatives.
At the touching ceremony, family, friends, current Board members and district administrators shared stories of the long-lasting effects Mrs. Fried left on the Elwood community through her tireless work in service to the students, staff and community members of the Elwood Union Free School District.
Elwood-John H. Glenn High School Celebrates Beginning of New Brick Walkway
Elwood-John H. Glenn High School recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the beginning of a new brick walkway that leads to the baseball field on the school grounds, which is being completed as part of a fundraising initiative.
The initiative, led by community member Scott Lindquist and the Elwood Booster Club, raises money for the project through families purchasing engraved bricks to be a part of the walkway. The aim is to improve the areas surrounding the field, easing access for athletes and spectators.
Please see the flyer from the Elwood Booster Club for more information on how to purchase a brick to assist in this incredible project.
Elwood Board of Education Recognizes Outstanding Community Members
At the May 6 meeting of the Elwood Union Free School District Board of Education, the Board recognized a member of the community and two members of the Board for their unwavering dedication to the community and the district’s staff and students.
The meeting began with the recognition of Tiogo Magden, owner of Mozzarella’s Pizza in East Northport, for his longstanding support of district events and activities through countless charitable acts over many years. Additionally, the Board recognized two of its members, Dr. Sara Siddiqui and Deborah Weiss, as part of the New York State School Boards Association’s Recognition Program, in which board members display an outstanding commitment to completing NYSSBA training initiatives that enhance their knowledge and skills.
Concluding the recognitions, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert and the Board commended the outstanding efforts of the teaching staff in observance of Teachers Appreciation Week, followed by honoring the district’s principals in recognition of Principals Appreciation Day, which was May 8.
Board of Education Recognizes Class of 2021 Valedictorian and Salutatorian
At the most recent meeting of the Elwood Union Free School District Board of Education, the Board recognized Rithika Narayan as the valedictorian and Daniel Rourke as the salutatorian of the Class of 2021.
During the joyous recognition of these incredible student standouts, Elwood-John H. Glenn High School Principal Carisa Burzynski shared the students’ scholastic accomplishments during their time as high school students.
“The achievement of these students is nothing short of outstanding,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert said. “We are all excited to continue to follow their future accomplishments during their postsecondary careers.”
Elwood Board of Education Recognizes Exceptional Staff
Following an uplifting performance by the Elwood-John H. Glenn High School chamber strings ensemble, the district’s board of education was thrilled to honor several high school staff members for their unwavering commitment to success.
The orchestra students and director Emily Dana were credited with bringing a sense of “normalcy” to the meeting. “For the first time in ten months I felt like I was transitioning into a new norm,” Board President James Tomeo said.
To commemorate the performance, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert presented the group with a certificate on behalf of himself and the board of education. “It’s often said that you don’t know what you have until you lose it,” he said. “I’m not sure it occurred to me just how much I enjoy listening to our students perform until we don’t have the ability to do that.”
At the meeting, the board was also pleased to recognize the newest John H. Glenn High School Nobel Nights, Krista Albrecht, Kimberly Barnes, Solomon Buchman, Jennifer Champouillon, Nicole Gendjoian, Patricia Farrell, Suzanne Hulme, Patricia Iadarola, Arnold Kamhi, Christopher Lafferty and Sara Santos-Camacho.
Recognizing each of them, though unfortunately not all were in attendance, Principal Carisa Burzynski extended her gratitude for their “profound” dedication to their students and school community. “It is truly my humble honor to serve this faculty and these are among some of the best that we have at John Glenn,” she said.
Initiated in 2018, the Noble Night award aims to recognize the great work that faculty and staff are doing in the classroom, on the field and in cocurricular settings.
To close out the commendations, the board also sought to recognize the tireless efforts of Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Maureen Hull, Assistant Superintendent for Business Lorraine Dunkel and Dr. Bossert.
“They do a lot of work that starts at the top and transcends all the way down to the bottom,” Mr. Tomeo said. “We are fortunate to have some of the best leaders and our district is reflective of that.”
Elwood Celebrates Dedicated Staff and Board of Education
At its latest meeting on Oct. 15, the Elwood School District Board of Education was once again thrilled to welcome individuals back to the middle school auditorium to thank and commend their continued hard work in the reimaging of Elwood schools.
To kick the evening off, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert welcomed the district’s food service workers to stand beside him as he shared a few words about their dedication and commitment to the district. Since school buildings closed in March, the team has worked tirelessly to provide nutritious meals to more than 100 families per day.
“We can’t thank you enough for your support then and your continued support each and every day,” Dr. Bossert said.
Moving along, the board then took time to thank the district’s custodial, building and grounds team for their overwhelming contributions to the reopening of schools in September. Director of Facilities John McDonald noted that each member of his team went “above and beyond the call of duty” when preparing to welcome students back to school.
“We often say that we could not do what we do if they didn’t do what they do,” Dr. Bossert added. “When we come in and the buildings and grounds are ready to go, it’s because they did their jobs effectively. You don’t always notice what they do, but you would absolutely notice if they stopped doing it.”
Members of the Board, including its newest members, Thomas Scarola and Dr. Sara Siddiqui, were also among those to receive thanks in celebration of NYS Board of Education Recognition Week.
On behalf of district administrators, students, faculty and staff, Dr. Bossert said, “I have said many times that being a volunteer member of the school board can be a thankless position, so if we don’t take the time to express our gratitude and say ‘thank you,’ their work may also go without recognition.”
After a brief video tribute, each board member received a plaque, inscribed with their names, as a token of the community’s appreciation. However, according to Board of Education President James Tomeo, the greatest gift is giving back to his community.
“We do it to support you and to make sure that our students and our community flourish,” he said. “We don’t serve in this position for thanks; we do it in collaboration for all of you.”
To conclude the evenings commendations, librarian and student council advisor Alice Wolcott introduced John H. Glenn High School senior Daniel Rourke as the new student liaison to the Board of Education.
As an active member of the school community, Daniel is a member of student council, Freshmen Buddies, Natural Helpers and recently served on the district’s reopening task force.
Following his introduction, he reported that instruction is running smoothly not just at the secondary level but at the elementary schools as well.
He said, “While the year may look different, I am excited to see how we as a district can bring the same academic excellence to mold future generations of leaders.”
Elwood Board of Education Recognizes ‘Boyd Stars’ and Nursing Staff
The Elwood School District Board of Education was once again pleased to recognize outstanding students and staff at its meeting on Feb. 11.
James H. Boyd Intermediate School Principal called upon students Julianne Froh, Madelyn Moreno and Kayla Winters, to thank them publicly for their continued efforts in keeping their classmates and school community connected during the pandemic.
As student council members, each took it upon themselves to create thoughtful videos, in which they shared tips for staying positive, general hygiene and proper handwashing tutorials, as well as a love of reading.
Dr. Toscano described the students as “true role models” with a “focus for helping others,” earning them the title of “Boyd Stars.”
To continue with the commendations portion of the evening, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert welcomed Director of Physical Education, Health, Athletics and Nursing David Shanahan to the podium to introduce the district’s nursing staff. However, before allowing him to speak on behalf of his staff, Dr. Bossert first insisted upon praising Mr. Shanahan for his unwavering dedication to the anticipated return of Elwood athletics on Feb. 1.
“With David at the helm, I feel very very comfortable that our student athletes not only have the opportunity to return to play, but do so in a healthy and safe way,” Dr. Bossert said. “Mr. Shanahan worked sunrise to sunset to make sure that everything went smoothly.”
Mr. Shanahan went on to introduce the nursing team from each of the district’s schools, commending them for, not only implementing, but embracing new health and safety protocols and procedures in September.
“It is said that adversity builds character and COVID-19 certainly has. But more importantly, adversity has revealed the character of these outstanding individuals,” Mr. Shanahan said. “They’re a hard-working team, they’re team oriented, caring and professional. It’s been my honor to work beside them.”
Elwood Board of Education Honors Contributors To Community
The Elwood Board of Education kicked off its meeting on Jan. 28 by honoring community members, teachers, staff and students for their “significant contributions” to the community in the age of COVID-19.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Bossert publicly thanked the district’s food service workers for their commitment to providing healthy meals to families throughout the global pandemic, beginning in March when school buildings closed.
Contributing to that effort was Michael Alfano, owner of Chefs of New York in East Northport. As part of the district’s “Pizza Fridays” initiative, Mr. Alfano donated, on average, 20-30 pies per week, which were delivered to families in need within the Elwood community.
The Board also recognized Elwood Middle School art teacher Amy Lindenbaum for her efforts in supporting the social emotional needs of Elwood Middle School students, faculty and staff. Ms. Lindenbaum has been instrumental in the implementation and continued success of the school’s “Mindful Moment Mondays” initiative, which seeks to empower viewers to stay positive.
To conclude the commendations portion of the evening, Elwood Middle School Assistant Principal Dawn Valle called upon the student crew members of the Nightly News weekly broadcast. Each week, students showcase exciting schoolwide events, daily announcements, weather forecasts, fun facts and unique surveys.
“These students are very talented and have a very bright future ahead of them,” Ms. Valle said. “They continue to lift our spirits during the pandemic.”