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Michele Dodenhoff, Top Teacher

KJOY commends Hicksville educator as best on Long Island

For all the hard work teachers do, finding a shiny apple on your desk sometimes just isn’t enough.

Michele Dodenhoff, a member of the Hicksville Congress of Teachers and a first-grade teacher at Dutch Lane School, was nominated as a candidate for KJOY radio’s “Teacher of the Month.”

Residents all across Long Island contacted the radio station to nominate outstanding teachers who have made a difference in their lives or the lives of their children. After six finalists were selected, voting for the winner took place during the month of December. Voting was open to all Long Islanders, and networks of school communities reached out to encourage others to vote for their favorite teacher. 

On Jan. 8, the Dutch Lane teacher was notified that she won the contest.

“I was so deeply touched by the outpouring of support that I received from the Hicksville community,” said Dodenhoff.

She was awarded a $500 prize, which she is using to supplement her classroom library, purchase “common core” instructional materials to help her 31 first-graders meet the new rigorous standards and attend a conference in order to stay on top of the of the newest innovations to help children achieve success.

Dodenhoff, who has worked in the district since 1997, first started out as a resource room teacher and then went on to teach first, second and fourth grades.  She lives in Islip Terrace with her husband Charlie and their three daughters, Shannon, Chelsea and Cassie (and their two Labradors). Parents, former students, and colleagues all helped spread the word about Dodenhoff – how much she cares about all of her students and how committed she is to providing students with warm and stimulating school environment.

“It’s so rewarding to be a part of Hicksville. Dutch Lane’s children, parents, and staff are like a second family to me and I couldn’t think of a better place to enjoy my career,” she said. 

News

The community is rallying together to raise funds for a Hicksville native who has been battling to get a service dog.

Nancy Burpee is a 49-year-old competitive swimmer and single mother with a rare genetic terminal illness called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which causes the deterioration of the connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and vital organs.

Local veterans groups and residents gathered at Hicksville Middle School Veterans Memorial Park recently to honor brave servicemen and woman, past and present. William M. Gouse Jr. Post 3211 hosted Hicksville’s annual Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11.

The ceremonies began with the pledge and national anthem sung by Hicksville High School student Cassie Pursoo, accompanied by trumpeter Conner Hoelzer. Monsignor Thomas Costa from Our Lady of Church in Hicksville gave the invocation.


Sports

The fall athletic season seemed to move quickly, but all teams had outstanding seasons with all teams reaching the playoffs except for two who had their best season in many years.

In addition to athletic acheivements, all of the varsity programs at Hicksville High School also participated in raising more than $4,000 for several charities this past fall: pediatric cancer, breast cancer awareness and cystic fibrosis.

Football was Mike Torrellas’ heart and soul. He also liked a good Turkey Bowl.  

Unfortunately, the Hicksville Crusaders co-founder wasn’t able to witness the program’s inaugural event, which took place Saturday, Nov. 8.

Torrellas passed away suddenly last December due to a blood clot, but the spirit and drive of the man who wore the number 53 and tragically passed at that age still surrounds the Crusaders football program.


Calendar

Model Railroad Open House

November 28-30

Popcorn Balls

November 30

Craft Fair

November 30



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