Multicultural and Diversity Project: Olympic Field Day

Each elementary school represented a different country

An exciting new Olympic-themed Opening Ceremony for the annual 4th and 5th grade Field Day turned Hitchcock Field into Paris – emulating the upcoming Summer Olympic Games.

Athletics Director Jamian Rockhill, Fine Arts Director Nancy Lussier, Lincoln Principal John Geniti, S-G Alumni Sam Brown, SGHS senior Makai McClinton, Glendaal Principal Tom Eagan, Glen-Worden Principal Nick Criscone, Sacandaga teacher Brendan Swider, Lincoln teacher Anna Morlock, Glen-Worden teacher Julia Pyzik, and Glendaal teacher Gina Brown

“We celebrated inclusion and diversity just like the real Olympics, with educators and leaders from all four elementary schools as torchbearers representing different countries,” said Athletics Director Jamian Rockhill. “Each school’s students even had the opportunity to pick their own representatives, and learned about a different country. What an incredible event showcasing the beauty of diversity!”

SGHS senior, Makai McClinton sang a pitch-perfect National Anthem, captivating the audience.

SGHS senior Makai McClinton

The event also featured a former SGHS graduate and backstroke record holder who qualified for the Olympic trials in Indianapolis next month. Class of 2022, Sam Brown, holds the record for the fastest backstroke in the state of New York. He led the students in an Olympic Athletes Oath before the Games began.

Sam Brown leads students in the Olympics Oath

Elementary special area teachers and administrators came together to develop this diversity and multiculturalism initiative during a Superintendent Conference Day earlier this year. The collaborative effort to emulate the spirit of the actual Olympics, recognized and honored the diverse backgrounds and talents present within our school community.

During physical education classes, students learned about the countries they would be representing for the Field Day Olympics and chose a school leader to carry their torch.

Read further to learn what was presented at the Opening Ceremony on behalf of each school.

Sacandaga – Brazil
Torchbearer: Brendan Swider

Sacandaga represents the country of Brazil. Brazil’s national sport is soccer or futbol. Soccer is more than just a sport in Brazil: it is a way of life. Brazilians often describe their country as a “Soccer Nation.” Rio de Janeiro, a city in Brazil, hosted the 2016 Olympic Games. Thank you to Mrs. Nuzzo for helping the Sacandaga 5th graders make our Brazil flag. Mrs. Nuzzo, by the way, was a college soccer player who won a national championship at SUNY Oneonta.

Sacandaga was led onto the field by teacher Brendan Swider. Mr Swider was nominated by our students for being a model of kindness, caring and helping others. Mr. Swider fills our bucket with smiles, kind words and helping hands every day at Sacandaga. Mr. Swider is a graduate of Scotia-Glenville and is a great example of what it means to be a Tartan. Mr. Swider is an athlete who lettered in Varsity Basketball, Baseball and volleyball at Scotia-Glenville.

Lincoln – Greece
Torchbearer: Anna Morlock

Greece is a country in southeastern Europe with a population of over 10 million people.  Athens, the capital of Greece, is known as the oldest capital city in all of Europe.  The Olympics originated in Greece around 3,000 years ago.  The ancient games happened in Olympia, Greece from 776 BC through 393 AD.  After that, it took 1,503 years for the Olympics to return.  The first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece in 1896.  Some of the original ancient Olympic games included running and long jump, just like our Field Day. The current most popular sports in Greece are soccer and basketball, both of which we have played in PE this year.

Our torch bearer from Lincoln is teacher Anna Morlock. Mrs. Morlock is a perfect representative for our country because she is Greek herself! According to Lincoln students she is always happy and has a smile on her face. She is truly a bucket filler and always believes in us!

Torchbearer: Julia Pyzik

Glen-Worden will be representing Japan at this year’s Scotia-Glenville Elementary Field Day.  We have learned that many of us have tried various Japanese foods like Sushi, ramen and mochi, but some of us aren’t quite sure about the raw fish. When learning about the Japanese sport of sumo wrestling we had Jackson Quinn and Jackson Bodden be guest demonstrators wearing their blowup sumo costumes. The 4th and 5th grade students had a ton of fun trying sumo wrestling in class as well. Japanese culture represents respect and honor for others in their daily life.

Julia Pyzik was selected as the torchbearer for Glen-Worden because of the many positive qualities she demonstrates on a daily basis. The students recognize her for the  kindness she displays to all and the enjoyment in learning that she instills in our youngest friends. Many of the reasons for her nomination were because she is “awesome” and is a great role model in the building.

Torchbearer: Gina Brown

Glendaal Elementary is representing the country of Kenya for field day. Kenya is located in East Africa. Its terrain rises from a low coastal plain on the Indian Ocean to mountains in its center. In the Olympics, Kenya has done well in the events of boxing and track and field. Kenyan athletes have won 113 medals in total, all from boxing and track and field, 35 being gold. Some former Kenyan Olympians and their events are Brimin Kipruto, who won a gold and silver medal in track and field, Nabiba Naftali Temu, who got the first gold medal for Kenya, and his sport was track and field as well. In PE class, students participated in popular sports in Kenya such as running and soccer. Student council even set up a fundraiser for ‘Kind coins for Kenyan kids, to help them get education and everything necessary to be successful in school. In chorus, students sang a song in Swahili, which is the official language of Kenya, called ‘Jambo Rafiki.’

The torchbearer for Glendall is Gina Brown. She was voted by the students who had nothing but great things to say about her. Such as, “Mrs. Brown was always sooo… nice and cheery.” Not only did her former students say nice things about her, so did her fellow teachers stating, “ She has been my mentor and others throughout the years. She is a positive role model that is always available to her coworkers and students. She is always giving great advice and loves to help people.” A student even went on to mention that this year she is retiring, so I want to make a sweet memory for her.” Well, Mrs. Brown good luck to your new endeavors and good luck to the Glendaal athletes representing Kenya!

Check out this link for a Facebook album of photos from the Field Day events.