Valarie Zalewski Pakaluk

Class of 1951

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Just a bit about me...I was born on 14th Street and Mike, my husband, was born in the house we still live in. We had 3 children June, Michael and Jim - Jim passed away last year having died peacefully in his sleep. He had been mugged some years ago at an ATM machine in Cambridge, MA and never really returned to the big strapping guy he was. June and her husband Les live in Roswell, GA while Mike and his wife Catherine reside in Virginia with their 12 children!  Yes, 12 grandchildren, God bless them. Two are married and we have a great-granddaughter.

Mike retired from Metropolitan Life many years ago, worked several part time jobs and fully retired once his arthritis got the best of him. Mike played Pro Football back in the 40's and 50's for the Hicksville team. 

I retired as an Editorial Secretary at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press and was asked to come back to work part time in the Laboratory's Meetings & Courses office where I've been for the past 6 years. I love it! My job involves interaction with scientists from all over the world. I've been to the UK to attend joint meetings there with the Wellcome Trust and in the past 2 years have been instrumental in training staff for a new location that we opened in Suzhou, China.  Hopefully I will get to visit there this fall. My present title is Executive Assistant to the Executive Director of the Meetings & Courses Program - it's a mouthful but it means I work on my own meetings and work on anything else that he has to do.

I've been named Woman of Distinction by the Town of Oyster Bay and a Trailblazer by Nassau County. I'm President of the Hicksville Public Library Board of Trustees and the Hicksville Community Council. I serve as Treasurer on the Hicksville Boys and Girls Club and am a member in good standing of the Hicksville Historical Society and Gregory Museum having served on their boards in many capacities.

A few years ago I was chosen as the recipient of the Hicksville High School Hall of Fame award but was unfortunately leaving that day for a vacation with my husband that could not be changed.

I thank you for all your hard work Bob and encourage to keep it up.  For a good many years there was an active Hicksville High School Alumni Society that Howie Finnegan did so much for.  Memories are a wonderful thing in life.