A Tale of Two Proms

Classes of 2022 and 2023 celebrate after COVID cancellations

Student+council+president+Ben+Schanzer%2C+class+secretary+Katie+Brown%2C+and+the+junior+class+advisers+Kerriann+Lessard+and+Lauren+Hesemeyer+pose+for+a+photo+at+junior+prom+on+April+30.+These+individuals+put+in+incredible+amounts+of+effort+to+make+junior+prom+a+success%2C+working+for+months+to+organize+the+event.

Submitted Ben Schanzer

Student council president Ben Schanzer, class secretary Katie Brown, and the junior class advisers Kerriann Lessard and Lauren Hesemeyer pose for a photo at junior prom on April 30. These individuals put in incredible amounts of effort to make junior prom a success, working for months to organize the event.

For the first time in ARHS history, this spring there are two proms: a traditional junior prom and a special senior prom after last year’s junior prom was canceled due COVID-19 restrictions. 

Due to COVID, the 2020 and 2021 junior proms were canceled, leaving many students wondering if they would ever get to have the experience. The class advisers and Principal Sean Bevan found a way to hold two proms in one year to make up for lost experiences. Both events are being held at Union Station in Worcester, but each has its own unique theme and differing ticket prices.

Even though restrictions have eased, the administration has worked with the district’s medical advisory team to ensure it was safe to hold these proms with masks optional. 

“COVID was definitely an obstacle at first because we weren’t even sure whether we were going to be able to have a prom this year,” junior class co-adviser Lauren Hesemeyer said. 

While Algonquin typically holds only a junior prom, the steering committee planned a senior prom this year to ensure the class would not miss out on one of the most memorable events of high school. 

“It makes sense to provide [students] with the maximum amount of fun and opportunities as every other kid had before them,” Bevan said. 

Representatives from both classes said there were no budgeting obstacles during the planning process. The events are paid for through class fundraisers and by tickets sold. Due to the delay in the class of 2022’s prom, they had an extra year to fundraise , which led to reduced ticket prices for the senior class. Tickets were $80 for juniors and $60 for seniors.

“We have so much money because we’ve been saving up since basically freshman year and we haven’t had any [events] due to COVID,” senior class president Lindsey Stone said. 

Ticket prices were determined by the costs of the venue, food and decorations, which were then divided by the amount of students attending the event. Senior Emily Perry believes ticket prices were reasonable. 

“I feel like 60 dollars per person is not that bad, and the set up for prom is usually really nice,” Perry said. 

However, holding two proms in one year means double the amount of planning. The steering committee not only had to meet planning deadlines, but also ensure that students’ voices were heard. 

I’m honestly really excited that we’re even getting it because we hadn’t had a dance in so long, and prom is the big one, so I’m just glad that we’re having it, ”

— Senior Emily Perry

“Making sure that we represent all of the students is a challenge, but I think the steering [committee] does a good job of asking them about their ideas,” senior class co-adviser Evan Greenwald said. 

Junior class president Cyan Zhang said much of the credit for the successful planning goes to the class advisers, who put a lot of time and effort into the events.

“It’s a lot to do, but the advisers made it really easy,” Zhang said.

Junior prom has historically been held at Union Station in Worcester, and this year’s proms continued that tradition. The station was decorated with the theme colors purple and gold for the junior prom on April 30, and the senior prom on May 20 will be decorated in an enchanted forest theme. 

“It’s big, spacious and grand looking; it’s a really fun location,” Bevan said.

Like many other seniors, Perry is no longer disappointed about missing junior prom, as she now anticipates senior prom. She believes it’s a great way to end her high school career. 

“I’m honestly really excited that we’re even getting it because we hadn’t had a dance in so long, and prom is the big one, so I’m just glad that we’re having it,” Perry said. “It’s our last year, so it’s just another thing to look forward to.” 

According to Bevan, the junior prom went smoothly, proving that all of the classes’ advisers and committee members’ hard work paid off.

“I really admire the junior class for how they handled themselves,” Bevan said. 

Soon, the seniors will finally have their turn to dance the night away together. 

“I hope they behave, I hope they have fun and I hope that it’s memorable,” Greenwald said.