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Community Reacts To Sandy Hook Shooting

Nation mourns for Newtown following

deaths of 20 children, six adults

In the aftermath of the unthinkable, local students, teachers and administrators returned to school on Monday, Dec. 17 following the Connecticut school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that took the lives of 20 children and six adults the previous Friday.  

The Hicksville Public School District Superintendent Maureen Bright, along with the board of education, said that in the face of danger, teachers and administrators at Sandy Hook displayed an altruistic side that many educators are known for throughout the country.

“The courage, love and selflessness demonstrated by the teachers, administrators and school staff serves as a shining example of the commitment that school professionals make caring for the children in our care,” Bright said in a statement.

The superintendent said that the district takes safety “very seriously” and maintains an ongoing relationship with the Nassau County Police Department.

Bright said that the district’s doors at its schools are locked and the district screens any visitors. Buzzers and security staff are utilized and cameras in place districtwide. A building emergency response plan is in place and staff are trained in lockdown, lockout and active threat protocols that are practiced with students and staff members.

School safety teams also participate in reviews for evaluating plans and administrators take part in workshops that the Nassau County Police Department sponsors.

“This tragedy highlights the importance of working together to be diligent in following security procedures in our schools and reporting unusual or concerning individuals or behavior to school personnel,” Bright said.

The incident has raised many questions, including how lawmakers will respond to not only gun control issues but also the nation’s stance on mental illnesses.

“We cannot begin to assign a psychiatrist to every American, but we can take meaningful steps to lessen the effect of what has become an American culture of violence and obsession with guns,” said Assemblyman Charles Lavine. “I have long fought for rational measures of gun control and to keep high-capacity magazines and weapons out of the hands of those who should never be allowed to use them. I will continue to do so.”

County Legislator Rose Marie Walker, a former teacher whose children attended Hicksville schools, empathized with those who lost their lives in such a tragic way.

“As a parent, grandparent, and a former teacher, I can speak from my heart and say that this was truly an unspeakable tragedy. Words seem so inadequate at a time like this. May God bless all the beautiful little angels and the adults who died trying to protect them, and give all their loved ones the strength to continue on,” Walker said.

Tips on speaking with young students about the tragedy are available on www.hicksville publicschools.org.

News

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.

Some students returning to school the first day might see a new face on the bus: Hicksville’s new interim superintendent Dr. Carl Bonuso.

“Every year on the first day of school I ride one of the buses. To see the face of a kindergartener on that first ride just reminds you of why you’re in the field,” he says.


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



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1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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