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Hicksville Graduates 100th Class

Family, friends, school administrators and honored guests cheered on the Hicksville High School Class of 2014 recently, as students took their place as the 100th graduating class in the district’s history.

“Each of you has contributed to the fabric and culture of Hicksville High School and the broader community,” said Principal Raymond Williams in his opening address. “I am thankful and honored to be part of this ceremony celebrating you, the graduates.”

The program listed the 414 graduating students of this centennial commencement exercise along with the scope of awards they won on the local, regional and national level. Among other outstanding achievements, the group garnered more than $19 million in scholarship dollars.

“You seized the opportunity to learn, to educate yourselves, to work toward acquiring knowledge and character,” said Superintendent of Schools Maureen Bright. “Believe in yourself as you go on your journey, pursue your dreams, and take with you our love and support.”

The graduates heard from fellow students, valedictorian Ashna Joseph and salutatorian Alessandra Riccio.

“Our world is becoming increasingly diverse,” Joseph noted in her speech. “We learned not just academic material but the basics to work together with all groups of people.”

“I want you all to remember the relationships created in this school,” said Riccio. “We have to laugh at our mistakes and, most importantly, learn from them.”

The high school chorus, which opened the ceremony with “The Star-Spangled Banner,” again displayed their vocal talents by singing Carl Strommen’s “Like an Eagle.” They were directed and accompanied on piano by Michele Emeric.

A special presentation was made to honor Nassau County Police Chief of Department Steven Skrynecki, this year’s Hall of Fame inductee and Hicksville High School graduate of the Class of 1970. Skrynecki is currently the highest-ranking uniformed member of the NCPD.

“Always work hard to make your name one that you can be proud of, as proud as you are today,” said Board of Education President Phil Heckler.

The presentation of graduates led to the conclusion of the ceremony and the advancement of this class to the beginning of the path to their next milestone.

— From the Hicksville School District

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

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.


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



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