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Middle School Celebrates Grads

The Hicksville Middle School Class of 2014 commencement exercise acknowledged and celebrated the many accomplishments of 435 eighth-grade students prepared to take on the rigors of high school in the fall.  

“I encourage you to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that will present themselves in the next four years,” said Superintendent of Schools Maureen Bright in her address to the students. “Take a course of study that will help achieve your goals.”

Vice Principal Todd Wallace served as emcee for the ceremony and announced the names of the students receiving awards for their accomplishments. Srishti Tyagi earned the annual Bernard H. Braun Memorial Scholar Award as the top performing middle school student over the past three years. The award honors the memory of a former principal of the school. Following the presentations the chorus, directed by Justin Starr and accompanied by Caroline Calleo, performed Avril Lavigne, Bridget Benenate and Matthew Gerrard’s “Breakaway.”

“It’s been a pleasure to attend this incredible school,” said Student Council President Justin Rodriguez in his address to his classmates. “We have all had great academic opportunities, met great people and made new friends.” Continuing along those same lines, National Junior Honor Society President Katie McDevitt said, “We will always have each other to fall back on no matter where we are.”

“You have gracefully navigated the challenges of middle school while still enjoying and appreciating your time here,” said Middle School Principal Mara Jorisch. “You have set a wonderful standard for the future eighth-graders who will be in your position next year.” She then listed the combined community-minded efforts and fundraising initiatives of the Class of 2014.

The presentation of diplomas, followed by the recessional exit from the school gym, led to celebratory gatherings of family and friends on the front lawn of the school.

— 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