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Astronaut Visits His Alma Mater

Dr. Massimino Returns Home To Carey High School

Since Dr. Michael J. Massimino graduated from H. Frank Carey High School in 1980, he has traveled far, about as far as you possibly can. Dr. Massimino is now a NASA astronaut who has traveled through space but he will always feels at home in Franklin Square.

On Friday, Jan. 29, Dr. Massimino was the guest speaker at two special assembly programs at Carey High School. Prior to the assembly program, Carey Principal Valerie Angelillo hosted a luncheon for Dr. Massimino. The luncheon was attended by Sewanhaka Central High School District Superintendent Warren A. Meierdiercks, assistant superintendent Dr. Linda Opyr, Sewanhaka Central High School District Board of Education President Jean Fichtl, board of education vice-president David T. Fowler, Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, NASA GSFCaGISS Educational Program Specialist Frank Scalzo and Valerie and Anthony Ribaudo.

Dr. Massimino’s favorite restaurant, Carmela’s Risotrante, provided the delicious luncheon in honor of Dr. Massimino and in memory of Anthony Calia.

The assembly began with Angelillo leading the students and dignitaries in the Pledge of Allegiance. Then she welcomed the students and all the guests, which included 20 students from each of the four other schools in the district and Christopher Patti.

Before being introduced, senior Michael Friscia presented Dr. Massimino with an honorary membership to Carey’s M.I.K.E. Club. The acronym M.I.K.E. stands for More Involvement through Kinder Efforts. The club was formed to help promote camaraderie among Carey’s many students who have the first name Michael.

Dr. Massimino started off by reminding the students to strive to be the best that they can be. He told them not to worry about failing. He recalled how it took a lot of hard work for him to reach his potential and his lifelong dream of becoming an astronaut. He then presented an amazing slide and video show about his most recent space trip.

The trip took place from May 11 to May 24, 2009 on the Space Shuttle Atlantis. One video clip showed the takeoff from inside the spacecraft with actual audio from the NASA Space Station. Pictures were shown from the different sides of the sun and of the drills and training that the astronauts took place in prior to the launch.

To illustrate the lack of gravity in space, Dr. Massimino showed a video clip of an astronaut making a burrito for lunch.

Before concluding his presentation, Dr. Massimino presented Principal Angelillo with a framed Carey varsity letter that was aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis. The varsity letter flew 5.3 million miles with 197 orbits and is proudly displayed at Carey!