By Ingrid Chu
Due to the pandemic, New Hyde Park students were not able to have the traditional homecoming experience last year. This year, students packed the stands at the annual homecoming event. The theme for this year was a “Tribute to First Responders." NHP performance teams filled the halftime show with high kicks, thunderous steps, and beautiful twirls with their music mixes and outfits dedicated to the first responders who continue to help the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following seniors were chosen by the student body and faculty to be in the homecoming court: Faiza Ahmed, Samantha Chang, Michaela Cooney, Riley Griffin, Laurence Lai, Emily Mirabile, Steven Mirabile, Maximillian O’Connor, Eric Orbon, and Ethan Pineda.
Q. Did you expect to be nominated?
Faiza Ahmed: I definitely did not expect to be nominated since there are so many great people in our grade that also deserve this opportunity.
Samantha Chang: I really didn’t expect to be nominated because of how many amazing candidates we have in our class.
Michaela Cooney: I honestly didn’t expect to be nominated, since I knew so many people wanted it that there probably was a slim chance that I would’ve made it to the top five.
Riley Griffin: I did not expect to be nominated. I was happily surprised to make it to the semifinals, and then to make it all the way to the homecoming court is even crazier.
Laurence Lai: No, I never expected it because I didn’t promote myself or ask anyone to vote for me. I was also unprepared for the interview, but hey, it’s a happy surprise!
Maximilian O’Connor: I had publicly asked the senior body to vote for me so yes I did.
Eric Orbon: Frankly, I don’t like being the center of attention unless it’s necessary, so I didn't advocate for myself at all. To know that my friends helped nominate me without instruction shows how exceptional they really are.
Ethan Pineda: I told people to vote for me as a joke, but people actually took me seriously so it was a pleasant surprise.
Q. How did you feel/react when you found out that you were nominated for the homecoming court?
FA: I was extremely happy to feel recognized by my classmates but nervous for the future rounds, especially the interview.
SC: I remember sitting next to Ethan Pineda in AP Bio and we both made stunned faces and cheered each other on.
MC: I was extremely excited because it meant that so many people thought I was a good fit for potentially being homecoming queen, and it meant that I must’ve also had a positive impact among people.
RG: I was beyond excited when I found out. To have my fellow peers nominate me, and then to have the teachers and staff of NHP support me and push for me is quite sensational to think about. I am honored to be one of the five in the homecoming queen court and overjoyed that so many of my friends and fellow peers nominated me.
LL: I was both surprised and kind of nervous because I was reluctant to be in homecoming in the first place.
MO: I was grateful and eager to move on to the interview process. Being selected by my peers to be a part of the homecoming court served as a means to quantify my positive impact on them.
EO: It was heartwarming when I found out I was one of just 10 men in the grade that advanced on to the interviews. I have to admit that I was caught by surprise and even overwhelmed when everyone began congratulating me, but it's 100% a memory I will never forget.
EP: I was super happy to hear that I was nominated to be in the court and above all I was looking forward to the interview process. It was something I had never experienced before, and I was really interested to undergo this process.
Source by Anna Detke
Samantha Chang, Laurence Lai, Maximillian O'Conner, and Faiza Ahmed smile with excitement as they await the final announcement; Steven Mirable and Emily Mirabile, the newly crowned twins, stand with excitement after their crowning.
This year, the homecoming king and queen were twins Emily and Steven Mirabile.
Q. How did it feel to win Homecoming King/Queen?
Emily Mirabile: Winning homecoming queen was a surreal experience for my family and I. My parents were NHP graduates so being named homecoming queen with my twin brother being named king was an overall great experience for us all. This will definitely be a very memorable experience for us, and we couldn’t be any happier!
Steven Mirabile: It felt great to win homecoming king! Any finalist would’ve made a great king; there was great competition.
Q. What is it like to represent New Hyde Park Memorial?
EM: I am very fortunate to represent our school, New Hyde Park. Representing NHP in this way is an honor. It’s nice to know that I am respected by my peers and thought very highly of by the faculty of our school. It’s very nice to represent our school because I strive to be an influential person to others and appreciate that!
SM: I am extremely proud to represent NHP, so it is an honor to be homecoming king. I am extremely appreciative that my fellow classmates feel that I am the best fit for homecoming king.
Q. How are you involved in the school?
EM: I am involved in many different sports and clubs at school. I am in Best Buddies, Red Cross, FBLA, Gladnation, and also in the Business Honor Society. I am also a member of the girls varsity field hockey team while being named a captain by my coaches and teammates and I am also on the girls varsity lacrosse team.
SM: I am very involved within the school. This past summer I volunteered to be a counselor for the NHP summer enrichment camp for seventh and eighth graders. I am also a member of FBLA. Lastly, I’ve been playing football and lacrosse for the school since seventh grade and held leadership roles. Overall, I feel I am a helpful hand within the school whether it be in the classroom or the gymnasium.
Q. How was the experience?
EM: This experience is definitely one to remember! We were lucky to have homecoming this year, and this one is one that I will remember forever. I couldn’t be more proud of my brother and going through this experience was heartwarming, knowing how our peers and teachers see us at our school.
SM: I loved the homecoming experience. Although the football game wasn’t the outcome I was expecting, it was great to see so many members of the school and NHP community. The homecoming experience is always exciting but this year was extra special. With not having normal festivities last year and luckily having them this year, it was even better. Hearing my name being called for king and my sister’s for queen, was a very memorable moment. The roar from the stands made the whole thing very surreal.