Mr. Joseph Scalia was a beloved English and Creative Writing teacher in Hicksville for 33 years. He taught in both the junior high and high schools.
Mr. Scalia profoundly influenced many students, but Rob Dircks (Class of 1985) and Dave Dircks (Class of 1980) credit Mr. Scalia's teaching with forming the foundation for their future careers. Visit Goldfinch Publishing to see Rob and Dave's unique publishing company.
Please enjoy these videos with current Florida residents Stefanie Cedar Shames (Class of 1977, another of Mr. Scalia's students, and a HixNews editor) and interviewer Dave Shames (a HixNews recruit). Mr. Scalia is a published author, poet, and painter. His book, UFSD 71, has a picture of the junior high school on the cover.
The editors welcome you to share your own memories of Mr. Scalia with HixNews (and he is a subscriber so he might see your comments).
Do you have another favorite teacher you are in touch with who we could interview?
Interview - Intro
Interview - Complete
Editorial by Ron Wencer regarding the above interview:
I’d like to clarify one point, as the interview may imply to some people that the late Gerald Shanley, then an English teacher at HHS, was actually shot in Hicksville. He was not.
I was a student of Mr. Shanley at that point, and during the time he was recuperating, he stopped by the school to talk about the incident with his pupils. During that year, Mr. Shanley frequently supplemented his income by painting houses and re-shingling roofs. He usually did this together with Mr. Clark, a fellow member of the English Department.
On the day of the incident, they finished a roofing job in Queens, had some beers, and parted ways. Mr. Shanley realized he was not up to driving home to Bethpage, so instead he headed for his in-laws’ home, which happened to be nearby. As the interview states, he was in a neighborhood of look-alike houses, and he didn’t realize that he was one street over from his in-laws’ home. The door was unlocked, but no one was home; he went upstairs and fell asleep on the bed. The voices of the returning homeowners awakened him, and he saw that he was in the wrong place.
The article here from the Long Island Press is accurate about what ensued. Mr. Scalia’s recollection of Mr. Shanley’s wound is only partially correct – the bullet first went through the forearm, just above the wrist, and only afterwards penetrated the lower body. The arm injury made it impossible to write for some months afterward.