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Student Aims For The Stars

Not many high school students can say they know how to fly a plane, build a heat shield or act as mission control for a flight. But these are just some of the skills Hicksville High School junior Veronica Ann Morrish picked up at the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy, an international program that encourages students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Morrish applied for the prestigious program last year and was selected based on her academic merit and two essay prompts. She says she has always loved the mystery of space.  

“I always found it fascinating growing up,” Morrish said. “It’s such a great unknown, we have no idea what’s up there. It would be such an amazing opportunity to actually go up to space and explore.”

At the beginning of March, Morrish flew down to join 304 students from 38 countries at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alamaba. Every day of the weeklong program, she engaged in different activities such as shuttle missions, weightlessness training, simulated jet-fighter pilot training, scenario-based space-walking missions, and designing, building and testing rockets.

Morrish says one of her favorite activities was the flight simulation, where she got to learn how to fly a plane just like a real pilot.

“They taught you how to use everything and you got to fly around and take off like you were in an actual plane. It was honestly the most amazing experience, it was so cool,” Morrish said. “I was one of the three people who didn’t crash,” she notes with pride.

Morrish also got to hear from and meet with top scientists, engineers and former astronauts, including Robert “Hoot” Gibson.

“He was really inspirational,” says Morrish. “He inspired me to work harder to do what I want to do with my life.”

Before the training, Morrish had been leaning toward a career in psychology but now says she would like to become an engineer or pilot. She says that her week at the leadership academy taught her valuable leadership and speech skills, as well as helped her form new friendships with other space-loving teens from around the world.

“I really grew as a person. It was an amazing opportunity and it changed my life,” she said.

News

Looking for a place to work on your bedside manner and start a promising new career in the process? Look no farther than your hometown.

The Vocational Education and Extension Board (VEEB), a division of the county that oversees educational facilities such as the Fire Service Academy and EMS Academy, recently transplanted one of its facilities — The School of Practical Nursing — into a new location right in the heart of Hicksville, where they recently held an open house to celebrate their new home.

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.


Sports

The Hicksville girls volleyball team improved to 7-1 by knocking off Oceanside in three consecutive sets by scores of 25-13, 25-19 and 25-14.

Emily Markakis played terrificly, using a powerful serve to record three aces, seven kills and added nine digs. Nikki Chase added six kills and eight digs. Additionally, Raeann Dong was versatile—recording three aces, seven kills and nine digs.

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School


Calendar

Board of Education Meeting

October 22

Oktoberfest

October 25-26

Pancake Breakfast

October 26



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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