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Teacher Of The Month At Dutch Lane

Dutch Lane School Special Education teacher Jen Stanzione was recently named Long Island’s teacher of the month. Stanzione was nominated for KJOY radio station’s “Teacher of the Month” contest at the beginning of February. Residents all across Long Island contacted the station to nominate outstanding teachers who’ve made a difference in their lives or the lives of their children. After four finalists were selected, voting for the winner took place every day throughout February. Voting was open to all Long Islanders and networks of school communities reached out to encourage others to vote for their favorite teacher.

At the end of March, Stanzione was notified that she won the contest. She and her students were awarded gift certificates to Noodles & Co. Restaurant in Garden City. Stanzione, who has worked in the district since 2005, was first hired to start the autism program in Lee Avenue Elementary School, where she worked for five years. Stanzione is also a member of the Hicksville Congress of Teachers. She lives in East Islip with her husband Dave and their twin sons, Jonathan and Andrew and their rescue husky, Cooper.

“As a special education teacher it is extremely rewarding to watch my students grow both academically and socially. I am honored to be a part of their lives, and I am grateful for the trust and respect afforded to me by their parents,” said Stanzione.

Parents, former students, and colleagues all pulled together to spread the word about what an excellent teacher Stanzione is, how much she cares about all of her students, and how committed she is to providing them with a warm, safe, and stimulating school environment.

“I am deeply touched by the support of the Hicksville staff, students, and the greater community. I thank everyone for their past and continued support,” she said.

— From Mary Masterson, Hicksville Congress of Teachers

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