Editor's Note: Newsday.com is catching up with former Long Island homecoming kings and queens to reflect on being named royalty and see what they're up to now. If you're a former Long Island high school homecoming king or queen and would like to participate, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
“I never thought of myself as being the most popular or anything like that,” said Katherine Sarra, Newfield High School’s homecoming queen of 1982. “I flew under the radar and was on the shy side, so I was kind of surprised to win.”
Sarra — known then as Kathy Stump — was officially recognized during the halftime ceremony at a Newfield Wolverines football game. She laughed remembering that as she rose from the bleachers to accept her tiara, her high heel got caught on the hem of her dress and caused her to slip.
“Everyone was like, ‘Did you get hurt?’ I hurt my ego and pride more than anything else,” Sarra said.
Throughout high school, Sarra was active in extracurricular activities, including the community service club, Special Olympics volunteering, cheerleading, and served as class vice president.
After graduation, she went on to Stony Brook University, and has been working in physical therapy since earning her degree there.
These days, Sarra is working at the St. Charles Rehabilitation Outpatient Network in Ronkonkoma, and has raised two sons and two daughters in the hamlet as well.
Her husband, Gregg Sarra, has been a Newsday high school sportswriter for 31 years.
Despite a positive high school experience overall, Sarra wouldn't necessarily choose to go back.
"I think a lot of people glorify high school," she said. "I had a great experience, but people always think it's the best time of your life and it's all downhill after that, which is not true at all. It all depends on how you live your life, and it gets better ... I like my life now!"