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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

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.

For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.  

“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.

However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”


Sports

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

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Spooktacular Halloween

October 17

Fall Festival

October 18

Veterans Casework Seminar

October 21



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
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com