Superintendent’s Spotlight: Elizabeth Crispino


Superintendent’s Spotlight: Elizabeth Crispino

November 9, 2023

Elizabeth Crispino (her friends call her Liz) loves learning, and she is finding her path as she explores as many of the opportunities Park Avenue Elementary School has to offer as she can. The fourth grader’s list of activities includes Student Council, softball, Odyssey of the Mind, Drama Club, and her latest pursuit, the clarinet! 

Coming from a family of musicians, including a drummer dad, Liz was really looking forward to learning an instrument. Having tried out the saxophone and trumpet prior, she decided clarinet was for her. She was enthused by the instrument’s range and knew it would be really fun to get into learning about it.

“When I got my clarinet, my mom wasn’t home, but my dad was,” said Liz. “I opened it up and I was looking at all the pieces, and he showed me a video on the names of all the parts. Then, we were going to my grandma’s; on the way he quizzed me.” 

Music teacher Ryan Muehlbauer could see the benefit of Liz’s self-led study right away.

“When she came in, some of the kids hadn’t even opened the case, but she opened hers and knew every single part, and that’s very helpful,” said Mr. Muehlbauer. “There’s a lot of support at home, which is totally cool.”

Liz said the first time she put the clarinet together, she wasn’t able to get any sound. Her dad gave it a try – “more like three,” said Liz – and got it.

“Then, he showed me that you have to put your bottom lip on the reed and then your teeth on (other side). I couldn’t get it exactly right, but then I got it and was just pressing random buttons!” 

A key component of the Warwick Valley Central School District’s Portrait of a Graduate is being a lifelong learner, and Mr. Muelhbauer sees Liz developing that trait already. 

“In fourth grade, we’re sowing the seeds of becoming a lifelong learner. So, to have that curiosity, to be able to ask dad and be able to ask her cousin, even though Liz is only 10, you can see it starting already. She’s curious about finding those answers.”

Another component of the Portrait of a Graduate is being a communicator and collaborator, and Liz is not only doing her best at learning the clarinet, she is helping others learn too. 

In addition to being individually successful, Elizabeth is also kind and supportive of her fellow clarinet students. She offers suggestions and provides positive feedback,” said Mr. Muehlbauer. “And she is still a learner herself. But, if she makes a mistake, she doesn’t get discouraged. She tries to figure out how to make it better, and she’ll ask questions and try a million different things to do it.”

As Mr. Muehlbauer pointed out in regards to the purple and gold attire Liz wore to her Superintendent’s Spotlight interview, “You can tell by the Wildcats spirit wear, she likes to get into things.”

What’s so great about that is that Liz’s enthusiasm comes along with a drive to always try her best, to be well-prepared, and be learning all that she can, all the time.

Elizabeth Crispino in a yellow Student Council shirt and holding a clarinet


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