HICKSVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — This weekend will mark a special high school homecoming for Billy Joel.
As CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported, the “Piano Man” will speak Saturday to this year’s graduating class at Hicksville High School — the school he was supposed to graduate from exactly 50 years ago.
“It’s a thrill,” Robin Zeller, a Hicksville High teacher. “It’s really wonderful. It’s a wonderful model for the children and it’s a wonderful example, and his pride in Hicksville is really heartfelt.”
“I think he gives us all a little inspiration to do great things like he did,” said Jared Costa, a senior.
Believe it or not, Joel didn’t actually graduate from the school with his class. Apparently, he was just one credit shy of finishing his degree. But in 1992, he came back and received an honorary degree from the school. Twenty-five years after that, Joel is back again to inspire others, rain or shine.
So what is Joel going to say or sing? That’s anybody’s guess.
But some told CBS2 what they’re hoping to hear.
“I hope he instills in the students that this is the start of something wonderful for them,” Zeller said.
“Just follow your heart and go after your dreams,” said Jennifer Salemo, a Hicksville High graduate.
Others said they hope he sings his signature hit “Piano Man.”
The graduation ceremony gets under way at 10 a.m., with doors opening up at 9:30 a.m. More than 400 students are expected to attend.