Tag Archives: John Bowne High School

John Bowne HS renames gym for beloved retiring phys ed teacher

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

A long-time John Bowne High School physical education teacher is hanging up his whistle and putting away his gym shorts.

Chris Englisis, who has been teaching in New York City high schools for more than 32 years, is retiring after this academic year, and the school honored him in a ceremony on Tuesday by naming its gym the Christopher Englisis Strength Conditioning and Fitness Center.

Englisis, 58, is known throughout the school by students and faculty members for fundraising to pay for new equipment for the school gym. Over 15 years, the veteran teacher raised more than $180,000 for equipment, which includes donations from the New York Sports Club.

“He just wanted to provide for the school,” senior Andrei Grant said. “As a teacher, he’s great. He’s hilarious, too. It’s kind of sad to see him leave. It sucks that everyone else won’t be able to take his classes.”

Englisis has been teaching at John Bowne since 1997. Before that he was a football coach and physical education teacher at various city schools around Brooklyn and Queens. Some of his former students have become professional NFL players and wrestlers, including former WWE superstar Tazz.

Because of his background, when he landed in John Bowne he founded the school’s annual after-school fitness and weight lifting competition so kids would be motivated to work out and rewarded for their hard work.

But the Flushing school only had a few old and worn workout machines. So after the first competition, Englisis treated the gym as his “baby,” selling pretzel snacks, water and shirts in the school, year after year to pay for new workout equipment. He even mopped and vacuumed the room himself after school.

Today, the gym is packed with about 55 workout machines and looks like a mini New York Sports Club.

“It’s a blessing for the kids and for him,” said Englisis’ brother John. “For him to give himself so they can benefit is phenomenal. And this is an ongoing thing that will benefit all these kids this year, next year and years after that.”

The remaining physical education teachers promised to continue the annual competition and fundraise for new equipment when necessary. Students and faculty are sorry to see him go, but Englisis believes that he’s done all he can for the school.

“There’s nothing more to do. This is the time to go,” Englisis said. “It’s kind of hard to give it up to somebody else, but you’ve got to know when to stop.”




John Bowne crushes Newtown basketball in tense game

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

John Bowne basketball added to its undefeated record after a tense game against Newtown High School, crushing the Elmhurst team by almost 20 points.

Bowne players yelled at both their opponents and teammates throughout the Tuesday night game and Newtown boys walked off the court before it was officially over, unable to stay for the defeat.

The game got a late start but Bowne (PSAL 12-0) hit the ground running with a layup in the first four seconds. It seemed the John Bowne Wildcats would stay strong, as they maintained a strong defense and the Newtown Pioneers (PSAL 5-8) fired several wild shots throughout the first quarter.

However, about halfway through the quarter, Newtown’s Leon Peprah Antwi made a three-pointer, forced a turnover after Bowne rebounded, then sunk an additional shot for a five-point play.

Bowne responded slowly and Newtown’s offense quickened. But with just a couple minutes left, Bowne forward Ethan Harris Holt stole the ball from Newtown and ran down the court, dunking the ball and getting his team back on the scoreboard.

Bowne then picked up play, ending the quarter 17-14 Bowne. The second quarter was the Wildcats’ show as they made fast, effective passes and executed shots, ending the half up 13, 43-30.

But Newtown came out swinging the second half and outscored Bowne 11-5 in the first few minutes. For the Pioneers, Peprah Antwi and Noah Patterson remained leaders on the court, sinking the majority of shots. But the streak ended after Holt caught a down-the-court pass and made an easy layup.

Bowne’s persistence in rebounds also paid off, and the quarter ended at 61-58 Bowne, the closest margin of the game.

Newtown started the last quarter strong and trailed Bowne by only a few points, and after a brief scoring run, Bowne got antsy. Players started yelling at each other and the game got physical. Peprah Antwi was pushed to the ground, and Bowne’s Luis Hernandez was pushed under the basket into the wall.

But Bowne proved stronger on rebounds, getting both their own and Newtown’s missed shots. About halfway through the quarter, Bowne maneuvered Newtown’s defense with ease and the score rose to 79-61 Bowne.

With 1.4 seconds left and Newtown’s morale visibly low, Patterson wrapped his arms around Karven Alcindor from John Bowne, prompting a foul shot to end the game. Patterson and Peprah Antwi didn’t stick around for the shot, and walked off the court.