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Sweet Retirement

Hilary Sperber is ready to retire after serving as a band and orchestra teacher in the Hicksville School District for 35 years.

She made her mark in the music department at Dutch Lane, East Street and Fork Lane Elementary School, her longest tenure. She got her start as a music teacher in 1977, where she began as a side teacher per-diem. In September 1983, Sperber officially joined the full-time ranks. She ran the band and orchestra programs, starting in 1993.

Sperber has had many fond memories of her time as the band director. She recalls her eighth-grade class in 1988 at Hicksville Middle School as the most interesting.

Sperber will miss the joy of teaching children who want to learn about playing an instrument. She believes there is a lot involved with learning the ropes of being a great musician and takes this as a “look at what I can do” approach towards helping kids hone their skills as they continue to grow and become better musicians.

“I will miss the glory of watching them have success while playing the instrument” said Sperber. “It is about the success of finding the right instrument.”

Sperber has plenty to look forward to in the next stage of life. She plans to continue with her outside musical program, the Atlantic Wind Symphony, and as the program director for the Long Island Brass Guild. Sperber would like to go to Europe—particularly London and Italy.

Although she is done teaching full-time, she plans to be involved in the school music area. She wants to go back to teaching at per diem as a substitute teacher at Dutch Lane. “I want to go back to where I started” said Sperber. “I want to be able to give back to my colleagues.”

Her words of wisdom are to never to give up.

“If it is in your heart, you do it” she stated. “If this is what you desire, you pursue it.”

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com