VSCHSD honors 1943 champion with long overdue trophy

VSCHSD honors 1943 champion with long overdue trophy Photo
VSCHSD honors 1943 champion with long overdue trophy Photo 2
William George Houston graduated from Valley Stream Central High School in 1944. An athlete and involved student with bountiful school spirit, he earned the Long Island Champion title for High Jump during his junior year. This achievement was a proud event in Mr. Houston’s life, one that he recounted to his children and grandchildren. However, for all this time, one important memento was missing: a trophy.  

While recently reminiscing, with his daughter, Laura Neville, Mr. Houston shared for the first time that, following his win, he had excitedly anticipated receiving his trophy, but was disappointed to learn that due to metal rationing during the war, trophies would not be awarded that year as usual. Instead, he received a letter of congratulations, which while cherished, was of course not the trophy he had dreamed of receiving.

Upon hearing her father’s story Ms. Neville contacted Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bill Heidenreich who shared Mr. Houston’s story with the Board of Education.  The Board of Education unanimously decided recognize Mr. Houston at its next meeting.

On June 13, 2017, Mr. Houston’s well-deserved award was presented at long last. Joined by his family, he was honored with a special recognition at the Valley Stream Central High School District’s Board of Education Meeting.

Dr. Heidenreich and Board of Education President Cristobal Stewart shared Mr. Houston’s story, which his daughter brought to them in hopes of making a wish come true for her father. Just in time for Father’s Day and the end of the school year, her efforts proved to be successful when Dr. Heidenreich and Mr. Stewart presented a grand trophy that signified the dedication, skill, talent and inspiration that Mr. Houston contributed to Valley Stream.

Mr. Houston’s moment in the spotlight was met with applause and a standing ovation from an audience of staff, students, parents and other community members. He expressed his gratitude for the acknowledgment, and expressed his enthusiasm for his high school. Donning a hat that represented his two favorite teams, the Yankees, and Central, he shared that he continues to take pride in the accomplishments of Central High School students to this day.