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Long Island homecoming kings and queens: Where are they now?

They attained royalty in high school as homecoming kings and queens.

But did you ever wonder where they are now? Let's follow up with some of the past kings and queens of Long Island high schools.

Adrian Ulloa then

At Bay Shore High School's homecoming parade of
Photo Credit: Bay Shore-Brightwaters Public Library

At Bay Shore High School's homecoming parade of 1999, Adrian Ulloa and his friends piled into his 1990 Toyota pickup truck and took off down Main Street. They used to call it "Big Red."

"Everybody was on my truck in the bed, and we rode down the whole street, right up to the high school," he recalled. "I think we lost that game, if I'm not mistaken. But we had a great time; I really enjoyed my senior year."

As a high schooler, Ulloa played lacrosse and football, and also wrestled. He received his royal title alongside Gillian Chapman at the homecoming dance, which was held right after the football game. He said that he didn't know what to expect.

"A lot of my friends told me that they voted for me," he remembered. "But when they announced it, I was pretty surprised."

Adrian Ulloa now

After graduating in 2000, Ulloa went on to
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Adrian Ulloa

After graduating in 2000, Ulloa went on to DeVry University in Long Island City and studied engineering. "I've always had an inclination for technology," he said. "Math was not my strong point but I learned to enjoy it, and physics tied it all together. I work in the healthcare industry and I service cardiology and ultrasound equipment. I've been able to travel the world doing what I do."

Ulloa has worked for GE Healthcare since he graduated from DeVry in 2003. Some of his favorite places he's traveled to include England, Paris and Bolivia. But for Ulloa, the most important milestone came when he became a father. His daughter, Liangela, is 8.

If he could return to his Bay Shore days, he'd tell himself to dream big. "Don't limit yourself to thinking you can't do certain things," he said.

Sonia Murdock then

Sonia Murdock, née Genther, was crowned homecoming queen
Photo Credit: Bay Shore-Brightwaters Public Library

Sonia Murdock, née Genther, was crowned homecoming queen at Bay Shore High School in 1981. She served as co-editor of the yearbook and helped organize her class activities, including the homecoming parade.

"It was an exciting time," Murdock recalled. "Bay Shore High School was -- and still is -- filled with lots of school spirit. There was a sense of community."

She and her king, Matthew Hickey, were crowned at the homecoming game. Murdock said she was surprised to hear her name announced. "I think it was a great honor to have been included," she said.

Sonia Murdock now

Following graduation in 1982, Murdock went on to
Photo Credit: Sonia Murdock

Following graduation in 1982, Murdock went on to Roanoke College in Virginia. Her career path toward marketing and sales took a sharp turn when her sister began to experience postpartum psychosis and depression.

"As a result of that experience, we found out that the medical community -- as well as ourselves -- are ignorant about what to do," she said.

Murdock co-founded the Postpartum Resource Center of New York. The nonprofit is based in West Islip and serves as a parent support network. She is now the executive director of the organization.

Murdock said that her family's story has a happy ending -- her sister is doing well -- and that's why she has continued to work so hard for this cause. With such a personal attachment to her work, Murdock considers the resource center "the most important" milestone she has achieved. "I just feel so fortunate to be able to serve and give back in this way, and help other people in a time of crisis," she said.

Joel Santisteban and Terri Stigliano then

Joel Santisteban and Terri Stigliano were elected homecoming
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Joel Santisteban

Joel Santisteban and Terri Stigliano were elected homecoming king and queen of Valley Stream South High School in 1978.

As a star running back, baseball player, member of the track team and writer for the school newspaper, Santisteban had his hands full throughout high school. With grades seven through 12 in the same building, he believes the votes from his younger friends led to his homecoming glory. "I was really big into helping [younger students]," he said. "I was a senior, but I treated them like they were my peers. I think they really liked that about me, and I was really funny. I could make people laugh."

He is pictured here with Terri Stigliano, who received the queenly title. "I really didn't think I was going to win at all," she said. Stigliano was so certain of this that she didn't even attend the pep rally where the announcement was supposed to be made. Instead, she was dancing the night away at a Neil Young concert at Nassau Coliseum. "I was really shocked," she said. Santisteban and Stigliano were officially crowned king and queen at the homecoming game on the football field.

Joel Santisteban now

Santisteban graduated in 1979 with a few goals
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Joel Santisteban

Santisteban graduated in 1979 with a few goals in mind. "I always had news in the back of my head," he said, "but I was an athlete first." He went on to C.W. Post and tried out for the Miami Dolphins in 1984. When he didn't make the cut, he pursued a career in journalism. He worked at the ABC television network as a program coordinator before transferring to WABC national radio, where he worked in various jobs including advertising director and reporter for nearly three decades.

Eventually, Santisteban reached his target: He paid the college tuitions of his three children and retired by age 55. Santisteban now spends his time kayaking, hiking and exploring parts of Long Island he's never seen before, and hopes to continuing traveling now that he has time on his hands. "Because I worked so hard, I never saw the Grand Canyon, I've never been to any state and national parks out of state, I've never done any of that," he said.

Terri Stigliano now

Stigliano had planned to attend Adelphi University after
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Brittany Stigliano

Stigliano had planned to attend Adelphi University after graduation, but ended up working at an import-export company in John F. Kennedy International Airport. Now, she is the manager of operations at an international logistics company.

"I stayed in the industry and worked for many different companies," she said. Stigliano has two daughters, Vanessa and Brittany, who both attended Lawrence High School in Cedarhurst. As underclassmen, they were elected to their homecoming courts, and Brittany was named homecoming princess during her senior year (which is the runner-up position to the queen). Vanessa graduated in 2000; Brittany graduated in 2004.

"I was proud and honored that both of my girls won," she said. Stigliano is pictured with Vanessa, center, and Brittany on Vanessa's wedding day.

Mick Foley then

Long before his legendary squared circle antics, Mick
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Mick Foley

Long before his legendary squared circle antics, Mick Foley was a Ward Melville High School student looking for a laugh. In this 1983 yearbook shot, he poses elegantly atop a throne of sorts and reigns over the high school's annual homecoming parade. Foley may not be an official homecoming queen, but in this attire, he sure is a knockout.

Mick Foley now

Dressing up as Her Highness for homecoming was
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Paul Hawthorne

Dressing up as Her Highness for homecoming was only the beginning: Foley went on to incorporate his comedic wit and ability to perform as characters in his WWE career. A three-time WWE champion, Foley was known for facing opponents under various facades -- the merciless Cactus Jack, far-out amorous hippy Dude Love, and of course, the dark-but-eccentric Mankind. Foley went on to write the best-selling autobiography "Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks" in 1999, and penned several other books before engaging in a stint as a stand-up comedian. In August, he and his family debuted in the WWE Network reality show "Holy Foley," focusing on life in their Smithtown home.

Ryan Whitcomb then

Ryan Whitcomb was named Mr. Hauppauge in 2000,
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ryan Whitcomb

Ryan Whitcomb was named Mr. Hauppauge in 2000, and recalls a rigorous selection process. Royal hopefuls had to fill out paperwork and give a speech in front of a committee after school. Through this system, the faculty picked the nominees for Mr. and Ms. Hauppauge, and the students selected the winners. "Hauppauge [High School] didn't mess around!" he said with a laugh. Whitcomb mentioned that he and his queen, known then as Suzanne Carter, mixed with many crowds throughout high school. "We were able to transcend the different cliques that the school had," he said. "I think that was one of the reasons why we were picked by fellow students; everyone knew we could relate to them."

Ryan Whitcomb now

Whitcomb replied to newsday.com's request for past LI
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ryan Whitcomb

Whitcomb replied to newsday.com's request for past LI homecoming kings and queens and dished on what he's up to now. After high school, Whitcomb initially majored in theater at Ithaca College, but was released from the program after the first year when his final performance didn't make the cut. He completed his education there with a communications degree, and called that period in his life "a real blessing in disguise." Only later he discovered his true passion: He is now a dietician. After his studies at Queens College, he opened his own private practice called GUT RXN Nutrition in Jersey City. "If I had to go back and give 18-year-old self a piece of advice, I'd say don't take things so seriously," he said. "Let things fall as they will. What you think is important today, probably won't be important in the future."

Lauren Magel then

Student government, Key Club, Anchor Club, track and
Photo Credit: Sayville Library

Student government, Key Club, Anchor Club, track and swimming consumed Lauren Magel's time throughout high school. Known then as Lauren Horton, center, she was crowned Sayville High School homecoming queen in 1991. According to Magel, the royal title was the first thing she'd ever won.

Lauren Magel now

Magel is pictured here with her husband Stefan
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lauren Magel

Magel is pictured here with her husband Stefan and their three children, Jack, Grace and Ryan, ages 11, 9 and 6. They reside in Avon, Connecticut, and Magel works as an ESL tutor in the Farmington public school district. Despite moving away, she speaks highly of her Long Island roots. "Even back then, I knew it was such a great place to grow up," Magel said. "My cousins lived in Massachusetts but all they wanted to do was spend the summer in Sayville. I always loved it." Her family still resides there, and they occasionally run into Magel's homecoming king, Ed Walther. "My dad has seen him and refers to him as the homecoming king," she said with a laugh. "He'll say, 'Oh, I saw the homecoming king today!'"

Judy Andrews then

Judy Andrews, (center, known then as Judy Soltan)
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Judy Andrews

Judy Andrews, (center, known then as Judy Soltan) was the homecoming queen of Seaford High School in 1962. She remembers details from the event as if it were yesterday, right down to which team Seaford faced at the football game. "The day before was the pep rally, and they had a big bonfire," Andrews said. "That day they had the parade and we played Wantagh High School; that was our rival. At night they had a dance and the football game. We rode in a car; I think it was driven by one of the guidance counselors. It was a convertible and we sat on top." Andrews was a cheerleader, a member of the student council, and served as president of her class in 10th grade. This was an achievement: She said most of the students elected class president at that time were boys.

Judy Andrews now

Andrews graduated from high school in June 1963
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Judy Andrews

Andrews graduated from high school in June 1963 and got married that September. She's been with husband Larry Andrews (pictured here) ever since. They have two daughters, a son, and six grandchildren. At age 50, Andrews decided to continue her education at Nassau Community College, where she received her associate degree and later landed a job as a secretary in the Syosset school district. Andrews chuckled a bit while reflecting on her homecoming days. "I'm very happy with everything, the way it all worked out," said Andrews, who answered newsday.com's request for LI homecoming kings and queens to participate in this project. "I usually don't like talking about myself but maybe I did it for my grandchildren so they can see what I did, way back then."

Lori Ann Messino then

Lori Ann Messino, center, then known as Lori
Photo Credit: East Islip Public Library

Lori Ann Messino, center, then known as Lori Ann Zullo, was crowned East Islip homecoming queen in 1982. Among others, she beat out Stacy Walton -- daughter of then-Jets offensive coordinator Joe Walton, who would become head coach the next year. Although Messino was a cheerleader, she often found herself palling around with students from other cliques, too. "[Homecoming] was a big deal," she said. "They had a dance and introduced us like when you go to a wedding and bridesmaids put their hands together for the bride to walk through."

Lori Ann Messino now

After high school, Messino went on to Farmingdale
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lori Ann Messino

After high school, Messino went on to Farmingdale State College and came out of her studies there with a proficiency in Gregg shorthand. She now uses that skill in her job with the Islip Terrace Fire District, where she has been working as a district supervisor for two years. Messino strives to teach her sons, Alex and Anthony, ages 19 and 24, the things that aren't taught in high school. "Any stupid decision you make at 19-years-old, you don't think it's a big deal, but at 23 or 24, it comes back to bite you in the you-know-where," Messino said with a laugh. She is pictured here with her husband of 28 years, Gary Messino.

Pamela Holihan then

Known then as Pamela Stokes, this Half Hollow
Photo Credit: Half Hollow Hills Central School District

Known then as Pamela Stokes, this Half Hollow Hills West High School homecoming queen received the royal title in 1979. She participated in cheerleading, lacrosse and the yearbook committee. There was no homecoming king elected back then- just a queen to rule over all. "In our high school, homecoming was a big deal," Holihan said.

Pamela Holihan now

She couldn't stay away from the Hills for
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pamela Holihan

She couldn't stay away from the Hills for long. Holihan earned her bachelor's degree in art education from the University of Delaware, and later received a master's degree at New York University. She went on to teach art in the Half Hollow Hills Central School District. While reflecting on her homecoming days, Holihan paused and laughed. "My kids are making fun of me for this," she joked of her 24-year-old daughter and sons, ages 23 and 19, learning about her homecoming past. If she could go back to the age of her youngest, she'd remind herself of one thing: "Relax and have fun."

Robert Abramski then

Robert Abramski and Wendy Halvorsen reigned as Sayville
Photo Credit: Sayville Public Library

Robert Abramski and Wendy Halvorsen reigned as Sayville High School junior king and queen in 1999. Abramski recalls that his friends campaigned for him in hopes that the royal title would go to someone who wasn't a jock. "I didn't think I had any chance of winning," he said.

Robert Abramski now

Abramski is now an assistant general manager at
Photo Credit: Robert Abramski

Abramski is now an assistant general manager at Costco Wholesale in Westbury. He still lives in Sayville and said he occasionally runs into Halvorsen. "We're definitely still friendly," he said. "We have a lot of friends that are intertwined, but as you grow older, you grow apart." He's been married to his wife Candice, pictured here, for two years. If he could talk to his younger self, he'd tell him to change a bit, but not too much. "I'd say to have just as much fun as I did then, but maybe do a little better in school!" Abramski laughed. "Can't complain about the fun part, though."

Lauren Scala then

The Mineola High School Class of 2000 selected
Photo Credit: Mineola Union Free School District

The Mineola High School Class of 2000 selected Lauren Scala as their homecoming queen. She is pictured here third from the left posing among the homecoming court and king, Vishal Gandhi. Scala would only continue to shine in the spotlight as the years went by.

Lauren Scala now

Scala moved forward to Fordham University, where she
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Ben Gabbe

Scala moved forward to Fordham University, where she earned a degree in communications by 2004. She went on to work for DreamWorks Pictures, MGM and Paramount Pictures, and J Records, and is now one of the most recognizable faces in New York. Scala can be seen (sans tiara) on NBC 4 New York. She serves as the traffic reporter for "Today in New York" weekday mornings. She is also a reporter for the daily lifestyle program "New York Live." Her own series "City Guide" airs exclusively in New York City taxis, and centers on interesting activities to do around the city.

Jodi Kelsch then

Jodi Kelsch reigned as East Islip High School's
Photo Credit: East Islip Public Library

Jodi Kelsch reigned as East Islip High School's homecoming queen in 1985. She received her tiara from a special guest at the ceremony: the homecoming queen of 1965. This was part of an East Islip tradition where the winner from 20 years earlier would attend the parade to bestow the crown on the new queen. Kelsch remembered, "I talked briefly to her; there was a 20 year age difference so there was only so much we could talk about. But she congratulated me and was very gracious." Volleyball, basketball and softball consumed most of Kelsch's time, in addition to working at a supermarket during her senior year.

Jodi Kelsch now

Kelsch went on to SUNY Oswego, where she
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jodi Kelsch

Kelsch went on to SUNY Oswego, where she studied German. Following graduation, she lived in Germany and then London before returning to New York. Kelsch was diagnosed with fibromyalgia during her travels, and it led to a change in her life path. "Twenty years ago nobody really knew what [fibromyalgia] was. I had a lot of chronic pain and so on," she said. "I still have it, of course, but as I recovered, I found massage therapy really helped, so I went back to school to be a massage therapist." Kelsch now works at a historical bathhouse in Saratoga Springs, where people can opt for a healing mineral bath and receive a massage afterward.

Elisa Emeritz and Kevin Connolly then

Before he was shuffling celebrities as a Hollywood
Photo Credit: Patchogue-Medford Public Library

Before he was shuffling celebrities as a Hollywood head honcho in "Entourage," Kevin Connolly reigned as a homecoming king. At Patchogue-Medford High School, he and Elisa Emeritz nabbed the royal titles in 1991. Although Emeritz was extremely involved in extracurricular activities -- field hockey, managing the football team, Interact Club and the drama club -- the win came as a total surprise. "I feel like I was nerdy in high school," she said. "I was just really surprised to have won. I was against some very nice, popular girls."

Elisa Emeritz now

Emeritz still keeps in touch with Connolly on
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Elisa Emeritz

Emeritz still keeps in touch with Connolly on Facebook. She now works as a talent acquisition manager at Infinity Consulting Solutions in Manhattan and lives in Levittown. If she could go back, Emeritz would tell her high school self to not sweat the small stuff. "Being a nerd isn't a bad thing," she said. "It'll serve you well later in life."

Kevin Connolly now

Connolly's acting career took off shortly after graduation.
Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Connolly's acting career took off shortly after graduation. In 1992, he starred in a short-lived comedy series on Fox called "Great Scott!" alongside another newcomer, Tobey Maguire. Connolly continued in television for years, taking on roles in "Unhappily Ever After" on the WB and "First Years" on NBC. Of course, his big break came in 2004 when he landed his "Entourage" gig. Connolly played smooth-talking Hollywood manager Eric Murphy, and appeared on the show until its final season in 2011.

Katherine Sarra then

Katherine Sarra (known then as Kathy Stump) was
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Katherine Sarra

Katherine Sarra (known then as Kathy Stump) was crowned homecoming queen of Newfield High School in 1982. As a student, she took part in community service club, Special Olympics volunteering, cheerleading and served as vice president of her class.

Katherine Sarra now

Nowadays, Sarra is working at the St. Charles
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Katherine Sarra

Nowadays, Sarra is working at the St. Charles Rehabilitation Outpatient Network location in Ronkonkoma, and raised two sons and two daughters in the hamlet as well. Her husband, Gregg Sarra, has been a Newsday high school sports writer for 31 years. Despite a positive high school experience, 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!"

Matthew Cipriano then

Matthew Cipriano fondly remembers being elected to the
Photo Credit: Deer Park Public Library

Matthew Cipriano fondly remembers being elected to the homecoming court by his peers, and although he took part in lacrosse, indoor hockey and the yearbook club, he was still a bit surprised to be put in the spotlight. In the 2002 yearbook, he's all smiles in a sequined crown alongside homecoming queen Michelle Venditti. "At Deer Park High School, [the students] make floats and the parade goes through town," he recalled. "It was great, and it was an awesome place to grow up."

Matthew Cipriano now

Following graduation, Cipriano attended Iona College, where he
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Matthew Cipriano

Following graduation, Cipriano attended Iona College, where he earned a bachelor's degree before going on to obtain his MBA in finance and electronic commerce. Now, he's working at Morgan Stanley in Baltimore as director of North American FX and commodities operations. If he could go back, the advice he'd give his 18-year-old self is simple. "Don't panic," he said. "It's going to be fine. Good things happen to good people." He is pictured here with his wife, Sarah.

Rosie O'Donnell then

Rosie O'Donnell reigns as homecoming queen at the
Photo Credit: Commack School District

Rosie O'Donnell reigns as homecoming queen at the 1979 Commack South High School homecoming dance with an unknown date. O'Donnell was the senior class president, a member of the girls leaders corps and prom committee, and performed in Agatha Christie's play "Witness for the Prosecution" during her senior year. Before graduating in 1980, she won the title of homecoming queen in addition to three superlatives: Class Clown, Personality Plus and Most School-Spirited.

Rosie O'Donnell now

After graduation, O'Donnell went on to steal scenes
Photo Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for SiriusXM

After graduation, O'Donnell went on to steal scenes in the films "A League of Their Own" and "Sleepless in Seattle." She became a household name when her talk show, "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," debuted in 1996. O'Donnell continues to make television cameos, winning several Emmy Awards throughout the years, and has fought for LGBT rights for more than a decade.

Gina Bias and Bill Bjelke then

Gina Bias was a busy Connetquot High School
Photo Credit: Connetquot High School

Gina Bias was a busy Connetquot High School student. She was involved in the school newspaper, student exchange, track, cheerleading and student government. Bias was crowned homecoming queen in 1981. "I was surprised," she said. "I was on [the ballot] with my longtime boyfriend, who I dated until I came to college. It was quite surprising." According to homecoming king Bill Bjelke, their three-year relationship was the longest-standing in the class, so their popularity may have led to so many students stuffing the ballot box with their names. "Homecoming was a lot of fun," he recalled. "We all got involved with making the floats." In addition to being active in the senior class events, Bjelke was a proud player for the football team, the Connetquot T-Birds.

Gina Bias now

Bias attended Suffolk County Community College for a
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Gina Bias

Bias attended Suffolk County Community College for a year before transferring to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her passion for academics only continued -- now she teaches middle school science in Indian Trail, N.C. She battled cancer, but says she has been cancer-free for 12 years.

Nowadays, she excitedly prepares for each school year and takes vacations with former classmates from high school during her time off. She didn't connect with many of her current Connetquot buddies until later in life.

"I did pretty much everything I wanted to do [in high school]," Bias said. "But I'd tell myself to make friends outside of my normal group of friends. There are people that I went to school with but wasn't necessarily close to, and now we've become close through Facebook, but I wish I hung out with them in high school."

Bill Bjelke now

Bjelke now serves as the general manager of
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Bill Bjelke

Bjelke now serves as the general manager of TruGreen Lawn Care in Yaphank. His four children followed in his footsteps and attend school in the Connetquot district. His wife Camille, pictured with him here, also graduated from Connetquot in 1984. "I wouldn't change much; everything's been great up to this point," Bjelke said while reflecting on his high school years. "But maybe I'd choose a different career path. Looking back I thought maybe I could be a teacher...it would have been nice to work more with children." Fortunately, Bjelke found a way to combine his passion for sports and love of working with kids: He coaches in the Connetquot youth lacrosse program.

Laura Gravina then

Laura Gravina didn't see herself as popular in
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Laura Gravina

Laura Gravina didn't see herself as popular in high school, so winning homecoming queen was a delightful surprise. At the Sachem High School homecoming parade of 1974, Gravina (known then as Laura McNeill) was all smiles as she rode atop a sleek convertible. She clutched a big bouquet of flowers, and a homemade sign on the side of the vehicle declared her "homecoming queen" in bubble letters.

Laura Gravina now

After high school, Gravina went on to Suffolk
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Laura Gravina

After high school, Gravina went on to Suffolk County Community College, and later St. Joseph's College. She worked at the New York State Office of Mental Health for more than three decades before retiring in Ronkonkoma. Even after all this time, she still has regular outings every few months with her Sachem friends. "It's a tight group," Gravina said. "We have a group of girls that get together; we organized a group called 'The Sachem Foxes.' After we had the 40th reunion, some of the guys expressed interest and wanted to come, so now we get together every couple of months as 'The Sachem Foxes and Hounds.'"

Tammy Baiko then

Tammy Baiko was popular among several cliques during
Photo Credit: Wantagh Public Library

Tammy Baiko was popular among several cliques during her time at Wantagh High School. As captain of the swim team, a member of drama club, senior class vice president, and a musician in both jazz band and vocal jazz, she believes the votes from her friends in all of these groups led to her victory. "We joked that all the other chicks lost because they split the vote amongst themselves," she says with a laugh. Baiko earned the royal title in 1997 alongside Frank Mauro, whom she had known since nursery school. She said that her boyfriend at the time -- a long-haired, heavy metal guitar player -- was late to the ceremony. She walked across the football field to him and he asked, "So, what happened?" She recalled, "I was wearing the crown and holding the trophy and I was like, 'I won!'"

Tammy Baiko now

After graduation, Baiko pursued a degree in education
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Tammy Baiko

After graduation, Baiko pursued a degree in education and taught as a substitute in several Long Island school districts. Most recently, she worked as a behavioral specialist at AHRC in Nassau County, but recently left to take another job. The evening that she reflected on her time as homecoming queen also marked her first day teaching ninth-grade English at Flushing High School. This photo was taken in her brand-new classroom. As for the advice she'd give her ambitious 18-year-old self: "It's all good. You're in the right spot."

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