The Masquerade

Prom 2021


Before prom, people gathered to take pictures in front of the capitol in Des Moines, Iowa. Picture provided by Alex Drent.

Alexis Dorsett, Newspaper Editor

After prom 2020, homecoming 2020, and winter formal 2021 being canceled due to COVID-19, juniors and seniors finally get their dance at prom 2021. 

Seniors Reagan Demmon, Alex Drent, and Dylan Meiners attended prom their sophomore and senior years. Demmon shared, “I would say that this year’s prom was more fun and my favorite compared to my sophomore year prom because we got to go to the arcade!” Drent and Meiners both agreed that this year’s prom was more enjoyable than their sophomore year. 

Although they all agree that this year’s prom was better than the 2019 prom, they did not all agree that prom made up for the loss of winter formal and homecoming. Demmon shared, “Prom did make up for not having a winter formal this year, it was much more fun having so many options of things to do!” On the other hand, Drent disagreed because other classes were able to have all their dances, but the class of 2021 only had prom. Even though this year’s seniors missed out on so much, “I’m just glad we had prom in general,” shared Meiners.

Prom may have been a hit this school year, but in order for that to happen Susan Vernon, high school English teacher, organized the dance portion of prom night. Vernon has been helping organize prom for eight years as a junior class sponsor. Her job has many things within it, she shared, “I organize a committee and help them select a theme and make a plan for prom. I order everything. I manage the money. I send out all communications to parents and kids. I help them [the students] decorate Friday night until usually 10 p.m., and then I clean up when the kids go to post-prom, with some parent help.” 

Due to COVID-19 coordinating this year’s dance was more challenging than previous years. “This year we didn’t know we were having prom until after spring break. As a result, we had a very small committee and had to rush through planning. Complicating things further, was the need to move prom from the commons to the gym to allow for better ventilation in Covid. That meant a lot of tools I had relied on in the past would not work and we had to reimagine everything. We also had some changes in the business office that made ordering and purchasing things a little trickier,” Vernon stated. 

In a typical school year, the dance would be hosted in the commons of the high school, but unfortunately, this year the dance was held in the high school gymnasium. This slight change in location created a more difficult time setting up for the dance with decorations because the area was bigger and needed more decorations to fill the space. 

However, because of the change in location, the planning committee was able to add a photo booth and two distinct locations. One location was the gymnasium, meant for dancing, and the other was the commons, meant for relaxing, talking with friends, and drinking water. 

Overall, Vernon believes prom went better than planned. “We felt it was important for kids to keep masks on in that setting where they would be so close to each other and most kids were respectful of that,” she shared and the only worry was “Our ability to make the gym look great, but, thanks to some creative kids and parents, the talents of Mr. Haupert, and the kind efforts of Mr. Dose, we created a space that was pretty incredible.”

 Lastly, Vernon shared, “I always enjoy prom, but I especially enjoy the time leading up to prom. Being on a prom committee usually allows students to share talents and practice skills they don’t get to exhibit every day. There is a need for artists, for organizers, for people good at managing money, for people good at organizing volunteers. Especially in years when we get to have a committee, a lot of learning and real-world application of learning goes into prom planning. I love that.”