Missing a milestone

How students and staff have dealt with the cancellation of Prom


Photo courtesy of @getiemann on Twitter

Principal Dr. Greg Tiemann shared a photo on Twitter showing what he and many others were doing at the school on April 21. While wearing masks and practicing safe social distancing, staff members and other volunteers helped to hand out yard signs and Post Prom gift bags to the graduating seniors.

Dana Summers, Staff Reporter

Originally scheduled for April 18 at the CHI Health Center, this year’s Prom was set to be a night in Ancient Greece followed by a Post Prom held at the school. The Junior Class Board was wrapping up their plans for the event when a global pandemic brought uncertainty.

The quickly spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) eventually led to the cancelation of the remaining school year and left many students wondering about events such as Prom.

“At first the dance was just postponed,” JCB President Olivia Peterson said. “We had several Zoom meetings to discuss alternative plans and the possibility of the dance being rescheduled. While we, of course, wanted to put our Prom plans into action, we also acknowledged the safety aspects of the situation.”

Following the directives of the Governor and local health officials, Principal Dr. Greg Tiemann eventually communicated that the Prom was officially canceled.

Although this meant students would not get to experience the dance in a traditional fashion, JCB still wanted to vote for and honor the 20 royalty candidates. A Google Form was sent out to juniors and seniors to cast their votes, and JCB sponsor Megan McEnaney put together a video to introduce the nominees and announce the winners.

“We recognize that these students were selected by their peers as students who represent Millard West Style and Pride,” McEnaney said. “We are very fortunate that technology allowed us to still honor these students, although nothing replaces the actual coronation on Prom night.”

The video was released on the original date of Prom at 8:20 p.m. via email and Twitter, crowning junior Thomas Biglar as Prince, junior Emma Baker as Princess, senior Peter Buglewicz as King and senior Lauren Hoff as Queen.

“I thought the video was amazing,” Hoff said. “My heart was beating so fast and I teared up a little. Even though Prom was canceled, I felt like this video and the voting process was a good thing to do. During this hectic and sad time, I loved how Mrs. McEnaney and JCB still tried to incorporate some normalcy into our lives.”

Along with JCB, the Post Prom committee also tried to give students as much of the Prom experience as possible. Parents from this committee put together and donated Post Prom gift bags for the class of 2020 graduates. These students were encouraged to stop by the school on April 21 to pick up these bags along with a yard sign.

Although faculty tried their best to make up for the canceled Prom, they are aware that this is an event that high schoolers should not have to miss out on.

“Personally, and I think my feelings are echoes of many educators and adults, my heart aches for students during these unprecedented times,” McEnaney said. “Milestones such as junior and senior Prom are ones in which students look forward to, plan for and remember for many years. I am saddened that our students, especially our seniors, are missing this opportunity. This will definitely be an end of the school year that we all remember in the future.”

Although many students have been affected by missing out on these milestones, the health and safety of everyone is the number one priority in making these decisions.