Emporia High hosting unique, pandemic-safe prom

Education 21st Century

EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNT) – Emporia High’s 2021 prom will be unlike any other year before.

“We just went a totally different direction this year,” Special Education Teacher Tonya Dall said.

Their 2020 prom was like no other as well, because it was canceled due to COVID. But Dall said this year teachers are working around the clock to give students a special night to end this school year.

“It didn’t matter what it was, we were going to find something that would be acceptable so that they could have the opportunity to create a memory,” Dall said.

This year’s prom will be at White Auditorium in Emporia to allow for social distancing, and there won’t be a typical dance. But Emporia High junior Gilberto Aguilera said he’s just excited prom is happening at all.

“At the beginning of the year, we all thought prom was not going to happen,” Aguilera said. “But we ended up coming up with something that I feel like is going to be a truly one-of-a-kind prom that we’re planning right now.”

The theme, also unique to this year, will be enchanted forest.

“It’ll be really whimsical, we have moss and ferns and twinkling lights and things like that, that just remind you of walking through a garden,” English teacher Kaitlyn Just said.

Students will be served dinner, watch performances from Emporia High musicians, and there will be a prom night murder-themed performance from the Kansas City Improv Group.

“Most of us have had a traditional dance experience and I think a lot of us are really excited to try something new and COVID gives us that opportunity,” said Emporia High junior Sarah McDonald .

The night will also be the chance to make life-long positive memories, giving students something resembling a normal high school prom experience.

“They’ve had so much loss and I don’t know that that’s been acknowledged enough,” said Assistant Principal Trevor Mathews. “So our commitment has been to do something unique, something fun for them that way they have a fun, memorable experience they can look back on.”

At the end of the night on May 1, they’re giving out prizes to the juniors and seniors who exemplify some of their core values at Emporia High.

If you’re interested in donating a prize for their prom, you can call the high school at (620) 341-2365 and ask for Mrs. Just or Mrs. Dall.

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