Thursday, 03 July 2014 00:00
We’ve all heard the saying about birds of a feather. And for Hicksville High School Class of 2014 salutatorian Alessandra Riccio the flock she was with pushed her to work harder and achieve more.
“People around me strived to do better in school and activities, and that pushed me to do better to keep up with them. I saw everyone else around me was doing it, so I was motivated,” says Riccio. “And
even working together in class or on a project and seeing different ideas, it makes you a better thinker and opens your mind to how you can approach situations—both in and out of school.”
She counts the top students in her class as some of her closest friends, and says being named the number two spot with a GPA of 102.82 is a great honor.
“It’s great to realize all your hard work for the past four years has paid off. It’s really rewarding,” Riccio says. “A lot of my friends were in the top, and everyone influenced me in that way. I’m glad I was able to be a part of that.”
In addition to her friends, Riccio says she was inspired to work hard by her cousin, who passed away two years ago.
“She worked hard, no matter how sick she was. She showed me that I can work hard too, because she kept going no matter what,” says Riccio. “She pushed me to go further and evoked my interest in the medical field.”
She also credits her calculus teacher Jason Cetron for being a constant source of support the past two years.
“He was more than a teacher, you could talk to him about anything. He was so understanding and encouraging,” Riccio says. “He would go out of his way to help you, he was there every day after school for as long as you needed him and to make you feel comfortable with the materials. He made you feel like you could accomplish anything, not just in school but in life.”
Riccio has an extensive list of extracurricular activities, including being a part of the swim team, numerous Honor Societies, Ecology club, Science Olympiad and Robotics team. She’s also worked as a swim instructor and volunteered as a Vacation Bible School teacher and at Winthrop University Hospital.
She says the activity she has the fondest memories of is the Olympics of the Visual Arts team. The team worked on an art project for several months, then traveled to Saratoga Springs, NY to compete against other schools. The past two years, the team has won third and second place, consecutively.
As she heads off to Stony Brook University in the fall to pursue a biochemical major with a pre-Physician’s Assistant track, she says she’ll miss the classmates she’s grown up with the past few years.
“I’ll miss seeing the same people every day. You go into college and it’s not the same people you’ve been with. It’s a new environment and before it was almost automatic; you knew everyone’s personality and sometimes you take that for granted until you realize you don’t have that anymore,” Riccio says.
Saturday, 30 August 2014 00:00
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.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
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.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
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.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
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.