Tag Archives: John Bowne

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.”

 

 

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Cardozo flies over Aviation with shutout in final home game


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

Benjamin Cardozo senior Jun Young “David” Lim was humble going into his final high school home baseball game Monday against the Aviation Flyers.

All season long, the Judges were cruising undefeated at the top of the PSAL Queens A East conference, while other schools chased them. But in their most recent game, the John Bowne Wildcats finally caught up and gave Cardozo a 7-6 defeat. Smelling blood, Aviation — the conference’s second place team by a half-game — was looking to upset Cardozo and take the top spot.

“That loss against John Bowne really [motivated] us to do better,” Lim said. “If we didn’t lose, we would have been too cocky. We always come on the field like we’re the best — while that’s a good thing — I think sometimes we have too much confidence and that could damage the team.”

His modesty helped him recognize Aviation as a significant threat, and Lim hurled a complete game shutout, 2-0, with 11 strikeouts and only three hits. With the win, Cardozo (14-1 PSAL) secured at least a tie with Aviation (12-2 PSAL) for the regular season conference title, and denied the Flyers a chance to win the division solo.

The offense was slow for both sides throughout the game. But Cardozo got the advantage after a two-run homer in the top of the third by center fielder Chris Campbell. Campbell, a senior, said he was ecstatic to cap his final high school home game with a homer and the win, and is looking forward to the playoffs.

“You don’t want to look back and say, ‘I could have done this, I could have done that,’” he said. “I have faith in this team, honestly. This year we are more of a family, so I feel we will go much further than in previous years.”

 

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Bowne House restoration breaks ground


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the Parks Department

Officials broke ground last week on a $3.2 million project to preserve a historic Flushing gem.

A 17th century symbol of religious freedom, the Bowne House will get a new roof, gutters, pipes, wood wall shingles and steel columns, among other exterior restorations.

“The Bowne House helped to shape our history and now it is time for us to take care of its future for a new generation,” said Borough President Helen Marshall, who helped secure part of its funding.

Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski said the site is a symbol of tolerance and diversity.

It was built in the 1660s by John Bowne and used for Quaker meetings when religious diversity was forbidden by law.

The city-landmarked house closed for restoration this spring.

“The house is both historically and architecturally significant,” said Historic House Trust executive director Franklin Vagnone, “and this restoration will ensure it is preserved for the thousands of visitors and school children who will visit the house each year.”

Renovations are expected to be complete by the end of the year, a Parks spokesperson said.

However, officials are yet to determine the time frame for interior construction including strengthening the first-floor framing.

 

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