Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School

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Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School At a Glance
Member of SO since 1990
Best finish, regionals 1st Place- 2001-2010, 2012-2017
Best finish, state 1st Place- 2006-2008, 2010, 2013-2015, 2018
Best finish, nationals 3rd Place- 2010


Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School is located in East Setauket, New York on Long Island. Because of their location, they compete in the Eastern Long Island Regional Tournament, which is held in February or March each year. They have gone to States many times in the past decade.

The team formed in the early 1990's, and went to States at least twice before their current streak from 2000 - 2019. In 2000, after Mr. Gary Vorwald became the new coach, the team qualified for States for the first time in nearly 10 years, and placed 6th, winning the Best Performance of a New School Award. Their most notable achievement is being the NY state champions ten times since 2006 (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019) and placing 2nd in 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2017. They have gone to the National tournament in 16 of the last 17 years, placing in the top ten in '06, '07, '08, '10, '11, '13, '15, '16, '17, and '19. They have a sibling school, RC Murphy, which has placed in the top ten at the state tournament in the past four years. Gelinas had the best year in their history in 2010, getting 95 points for a first-place win at States and winning third place at Nationals, just 30 points behind Solon Middle School, the top team.

Mr. Vorwald retired at the beginning of the 2017/18 season, however, the group has tried very hard to continue to be the team that they originally were. He will be greatly missed and the teams hope that his name and the legacy he has left behind continues. Recently, the team has adopted the motto, "All Hail Gary V, Our Lord and Savior" in honor of their former coach. Mr. Vorwald was an Earth Science, General Science, and Science research teacher, who won many teaching awards in his career. The new head coach is Mr. Marotta, who has worked hard to keep the Gelinas traditions alive. He is ably assisted by Mrs. Cutting. He led the team to an 11th place finish at Nationals in 2018 and an incredible 9th place finish in 2019. The team's score in 2019 of 333 points is their best since 2010 when the team placed 3rd with a score of 276.

School Info

Paul J Gelinas is a Junior High School with about 900 students in grades 7, 8, and 9, which competes in Division B. Therefore, the Science Olympiad team is composed of only 7th, 8th, and 9th graders. The school has a sister Junior High school, RC Murphy, and both feed into Ward Melville High School, which also has a nationally ranked Science Olympiad team. The Science Olympiad team at Gelinas had a wonderful coach (Mr. Vorwald) who always pushed the students to do their best. The new head coach is Mr. Marotta, along with Mrs. Cutting as an assistant coach. The technology coaches are Mr. Broadhurst and Mr. Rieckhoff. Several other teachers also help out, such as Mrs. Ecker, Mr. Schuchman and Mrs. Ouzonian. Additionally, a number of alumni from the high school team, Ward Melville HS, regularly come to help mentor the team. Many others have helped the team in the past such as Mrs. Guarascio, Mr. Maloney and Mr. Suesser. The school colors are green and gold, and the school's mascot is the Patriot (the same as Ward Melville). Gelinas formerly had the Vikings as their individual school mascot. Gelinas also has an excellent theater program, which puts on very large scale musicals every year.

Gary Vorwald

Gary Vorwald was a former Science teacher at Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School located in Setauket, New York. He retired in the 2017-2018 school year.

Gary Vorwald is Gelinas Science Olympiad's "lord and savior", according to the Science Olympiad team. He was considered by many to be the reason behind SciO's success. His spirit remains eternally entombed in his old classroom and office where they mourn his departure every day. Although he is not with them anymore, they still strive to achieve and become better in his honor. Gary V was hands down the greatest coach ever, according to many team members. If Gelinas Science Olympiad makes it to Nationals again, their banner will be a life-size picture of this amazing person.

History

Year Regionals States Nationals
2000 3rd 6th N/A
2001 1st 6th N/A
2002 1st 4th N/A
2003 1st (84) 2nd 17th (487)
2004 1st 4th N/A
2005 1st 2nd (226) 21st (580)
2006 1st 1st 6th (387)
2007 1st (29) 1st (140) 9th (394)
2008 1st (49) 1st (183) 10th (409)
2009 1st (54) 2nd (211) 11th (390)
2010 1st (39) 1st (95) 3rd (276)
2011 2nd (47) 2nd (159) 7th (368)
2012 1st (60) 2nd (108) 14th (441)
2013 1st (35) 1st (119) 8th (351)
2014 1st (44) 1st (102) 11th (421)
2015 1st (60) 1st (108) 10th (348)
2016 1st (40) 1st (103) 10th (372)
2017 1st (44) 2nd 10th (373)
2018 2nd (140) 1st (126) 11th (350)
2019 1st (131) 1st (100) 9th (333)