School Notes: Fifth-grader records parody song on struggle logging on to virtual class

School Notes: Fifth-grader records parody song on struggle logging on to virtual class

Plus: Gaithersburg students awarded full, four-year college scholarships; School board seeking applicants for Ethics Panel

| Published:

Ilan Shterenberg, an 11-year-old who attends Cedar Grove Elementary School sings about his struggles to log in to online classes last week.

Screenshot from YouTube video

MCPS fifth-grader crafts COVID-19 song to the tune of ‘Hallelujah’

A Montgomery County fifth-grader last week recorded a parody of the popular song ‘Hallelujah’ about his struggle logging on to a virtual class.

In the four-minute video, Ilan Shterenberg, an 11-year-old who attends Cedar Grove Elementary School in Clarksburg, plays guitar and belts out lyrics. He sings about his excitement to see his classmates during a Zoom meeting on the first day of online classes and his disappointment when he can’t log on.

“These last three weeks were a sad scene that we’ve spent at home on quarantine. I haven’t seen a soul but my two parents,” Ilan sang. “Days wasted sitting on a chair; I haven’t even brushed my hair. I haven’t seen my friends in, like, forever.”

The Shterenbergs tried calling technical support, different log-ins and even yelling at the laptop, Ilan quipped, but to no avail.

Eventually, Ilan and his parents gave up trying to get the video conference to work, and called in to the meeting instead.

“One day I know that this will pass and I’ll be able to see my class with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah,” Ilan sang.

The video, posted to YouTube, had more than 77,000 views as of Thursday afternoon.

Ilan was uplifted by seeing videos of people in Italy singing and playing music from their balconies and was inspired by another musical parody about COVID-19 that a family in the United Kingdom created, his mom, Katya, wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat.

“He is just so happy to hear that he’s able to raise some people’s spirits in the best way he knows, and to inspire some other kids to do the same,” she wrote.

Gaithersburg students awarded full scholarships to McDaniel College

Two high school seniors from Gaithersburg were recently awarded full four-year scholarships to attend McDaniel College in Westminster.

Daniel Adum, who lives in Gaithersburg and is a student at the McLean School in Potomac, and Rachel Allen, a senior at Gaithersburg High School, were surprised with the scholarships during a video conference last week.

The full-ride scholarships cover the cost of tuition, room and board for four years, a value of more than $200,000.

McDaniel College is a private school with an enrollment of about 1,600 students, according to its website.

Adum and Allen were supposed to be surprised during assemblies at their respective schools, but because schools across the state are closed due to the coronavirus, the surprise announcements were made via video call.

The duo are among five students chosen for the Dorsey Scholarship.

Adum is involved in athletics, performing arts and student leadership. He holds a state record in wrestling, according to a news release from McDaniel College.

Allen is an advocate of gender equality and has been involved in debate, mock trial and Girl Scouts and edited the high school literary magazine.

School board Ethics Panel needs new member

The Montgomery County Board of Education is seeking applicants to fill one seat on its five-member Ethics Panel.

The term is three years, beginning July 1. Members do not get paid.

Members review ethics complaints as needed, and meet once per year to approve financial disclosures from school board members.

Ethics Panel members can’t be school board members, school district employees or people employed by a business “subject to the authority of the school board,” or spouses of those people.

People interested in serving on the Ethics Panel must submit a letter of interest and a resume by 5 p.m. on May 18. Materials can be submitted to; by fax to 301-279-3860; or by mail to Robyn Seabrook at 850 Hungerford Drive, Room 123, Rockville, MD 20850.

Back to Bethesda Beat >>

Leading Professionals »


    Get top stories in your inbox
    Exclusive deals from area businesses
    Including a sneak peek of the next issue
    The latest, local job openings straight to your inbox

Dining Guide