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Spanish With Miss Lupe

In today’s ever diversifying world, knowing another language can be a huge asset. Lupe Beatriz Urquizo has been teaching Spanish to children at the Hicksville Public Library for the past 14 years. The library offers these free lessons to youngsters ages five to 14 most Saturdays throughout the year.

“I believe all of us remember our good teachers and our bad teachers," said Urquizo. “There have been teachers in my life that have touched my soul. They were an inspiration to me and I want to give that same motivation to the children I teach."  

Urquizo was born in Lima, Peru, the fifth of eight children. After high school, she moved to the United States. She didn’t know any English, but enjoyed living with her cousins in Great Neck so decided to stay in the Long Island. She started doing odd jobs, such as babysitting, cleaning houses, and taking care of elderly people, taking any opportunity that presented itself to her.

Urquizo found good fortune with an abstract artist named Stephanie Brody Lederman. “I worked for her in her home and she began to develop affection for me,” explained Urquizo. “She saw that I myself had an artistic eye and she convinced me to go to the Germain School of Photography. My horizons really expanded after I graduated and I began working as a professional photographer for weddings, birthdays, baptisms and other special events.”

Even though she had a comfortable career, Urquizo still didn’t feel whole.

“There was something missing in my soul,” she explained. “I always wanted to have a college degree. I decided to go back to school after I finally became comfortable with the English language.”

Urquizo attended Queensboro Community College where she received her Associate Degree in Liberal Arts. Afterwards she transferred to SUNY Old Westbury to work towards a degree in education.

“In college I was lucky enough to have wonderful professors who really moved me,” said Urquizo. “For example one of my professors named Kate Velsor was very good to me. When I had difficulty with the English language, Professor Velsor was very understanding and patient with me. She really encompasses the type of teacher that I would like to be. I want to touch lives. I don’t like to teach the rude way. I want to be a friendly teacher. I don’t want to be the teacher that people feel afraid of because if you teach in a simple way it is easier for the kids to learn. Lots of teachers are strict and mean and in my opinion that doesn’t help children learn.”

In May of 2000 Urquizo finally received her Bachelor’s Degree in Bilingual Education and Special Education from SUNY Old Westbury, a degree which has special meaning to Urquizo.

“My goddaughter is special needs and her condition made me realize that all children deserve an education,” she said.

In August of 2000 Urquizo became a Spanish teacher at the Hicksville Public Library. She said “the children I teach are incredible. They all come from such a diverse background. Their enthusiasm to learn reminds me every day that I am doing the right thing."

She encourages residents to sign their kids up for the free Spanish program.

“The Spanish language has become very necessary to speak and understand these days,” she said. “If children become fluent in Spanish then there is a wealth of opportunities that are open to them.”

Urquizo holds her next Spanish class for beginners and advanced learners Saturday, March 15. To find out more visit www.hicksvillelibrary.org    

News

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.

On Nov. 10, a dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of a beautiful new two-story house in Hicksville. However, while new dwellings are an ordinary occurrence on Long Island, this one was unique and special in a way that very few are.

The house at 77 Thorman Ave. was built in memory of Navy Lieutenant and posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Michael P. Murphy, a Long Island native who tragically died in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2005. However, this house represents more than just the dedicated service of a man to his country; it represents the beginning of a new life full of hope for a brother-in-arms and his family as well.


Sports

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.

The Long Island Fight for Charity will be hosting its 11th annual Charity Boxing Event on Nov. 24 at the Hilton in Melville. Among the 20 volunteers putting up their fists for funds will be Hicksville business owner Mell Goldman, who will be fighting under the nickname “The Kid.”  

Goldman is the President of All Boro Cleaning Services. He stated that he was enticed at the opportunity and wanted to contribute to charity.


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’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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