Stepping Up for Homecoming

By Darsh Mirchandani


Homecoming is an opportunity for New Hyde Park Memorial Gladiators and alumni to join festivities that display their school pride.


This year, Spirit Week was held as a prelude to Homecoming. The week consisted of days where students dressed in neon, pink, white or blue clothing. In addition, the Twirlers, Romanettes, Step Team and varsity cheerleaders performed in the mornings as students entered the school.


A school-wide spirit contest was held to hype up students for Homecoming. The contest had two divisions, senior high and junior high. The senior high division consisted of sophomores, juniors and seniors. The junior high division consisted of seventh graders, eighth graders and freshmen.


Each grade was scored based on their spirit wear, their Pink Mile attendance, the amount of food they donated to collection boxes, their presence at the Homecoming Parade and their class banner. The winners of this contest were announced at the Homecoming game. The seniors won the senior division, and the seventh graders won the junior high division. The theme for Spirit Week and Homecoming was “Gladiators Step It Up.”


“We celebrate a community that expresses a sense of togetherness and through the theme ‘NHP Steps Up’ we were able to highlight this. No matter who you are, we are all a part of the NHP community,” Student Council President Ava Geigle said.


Source by Anna Detke

Romanettes, Twirlers, Step Team and varsity cheerleaders pose with pride after a successful halftime show.


Prior to the football game, the Homecoming Parade took place. The parade began on Jericho Turnpike and made its way to New Hyde Park Memorial High School. The performing groups, pep band, Homecoming Court and students from each grade were in the parade.


This year there were changes in the selection process for the Homecoming Court. Originally, the senior class cast a vote to choose one person to be crowned Royal Gladiator, as opposed to voting for a Homecoming King and Queen. After the administration met with student representatives, seniors cast another vote for two royal gladiators to better represent the students' choices for who deserves to be crowned.


Additionally, the requirement to vote for 10 boys and 10 ten girls was removed; now, gender is no longer considered when voting for the court, so students do not have to choose five male and five female students. This means that the Royal Gladiator can be two female or two male students. The candidates with the most votes were then individually interviewed by the Homecoming Committee, and 11 of these candidates were elected to be in the Homecoming Court.


Dr. Faccio was asked for the reason for these changes, in light of the gender restrictions lifted.


“The decision to change from Homecoming King and Queen to Royal Gladiators had nothing to do with the LGBTQ+ community. This decision was all about allowing for better representation of what students were voting for,” Principal Dr. Richard Faccio said.


During halftime, it was announced that the Royal Gladiators were Izhaan Ahmed and Brenda Bolouvi. The NHP football team won the Homecoming game against Herricks, with a final score of 48-14.


“It feels enlightening to know that both my friends and the faculty have been able to overlook a lot of my anxious and idealistic tendencies and choose me for this title,” senior Izhaan Ahmed said.


“The honor of being in Homecoming court was amazing but winning the title of Royal Gladiator was beyond my wildest dreams,” senior Brenda Bolouvi said. “When I heard my name from the loudspeaker, I quickly double-checked that it was me…Winning the title with Izhaan was like the icing on the cake. We are both very close and run track all year round together, and I can't imagine winning with anyone else. As one of the Royal Gladiators for the 2022-2023 school year, I hope to live up to the expectations of my peers and display school spirit, while also making it fun and exciting.”


Source by Anna Detke

Homecoming Court honorees Matthew Zatz, Natalie Margo, Ava Geigle, Julia Esposito, Nikki DiMartino, Walter Reyes, Brenda Bolouvi, Izhaan Ahmed, Ashwathi Chemban, Ishita Bansal, and Natalie Bak rejoice when Royal Gladiators are announced; Royal Gladiators Brenda Bolouvi and Izhaan Ahmed smile after being awarded their respective titles.