Prom 2021

Credit: Ava Roberts
Families were invited to take pictures with the seniors at pre-prom in the Johnson Center. Although this year has posed many COVID-related challenges, weather-related complications have often complicated pre-prom. In 2019, pre-prom also took place inside the Johnson Center in 2019 due to unforeseen weather.

Prom is an event that is widely anticipated and exciting for the seniors, so Hackley made the decision to keep this tradition alive and as close to normal as possible while keeping COVID protocols in place. On Tuesday, June 8th, 2021, this COVID-friendly prom will take place right on campus. An email was sent out to seniors and parents letting them know what prom would look like this year, and it is definitely different from previous years.
Melissa Tranchida, computer science teacher, and Jenny Leffler, sophomore dean and English teacher, coordinated the prom together. Ms. Tranchida provided some insight into what exactly it will look like this year.
The goal is to keep as much of the prom experience intact as possible, and while this will be accomplished to the fullest extent it can be, many things will have to be different to ensure everyone is safe and following pandemic guidelines.
Oftentimes seniors attend prom with someone from outside of Hackley or lowerclassmen; however, this year this will not be permitted. In addition, prom usually would be held in various venues off-campus, but this year prom will take place in the Johnson Center. The dance was originally going to take place on Akin Common, but it was moved to Pickert Field before being moved again for weather conditions indoors to the Johnson Center.
It is a tradition that the prom attendees meet at Hackley to take pictures, and this year this will be kept alive, except everyone will be masked. Parents and guardians will also be allowed to attend the pre-prom to take photos, which maintains some more normalcy from past proms.
The regular Friday morning pool testing on June 4th will clear the seniors and the chaperones for prom.
Despite COVID protocol, some normalcy will be kept in place as food will still be offered at the event. Flik is exploring options for COVID-friendly and fun ways to offer food to the students.
One aspect of prom culture that has remained and has provided some fun on campus is the “promposals”. The promposals are where the seniors make posters for each other and bring other things like flowers to ask their date to prom. In the weeks leading up to prom, the promposals take place, which are always very fun and popular among the students. Throughout the past few weeks, before the senior projects had begun, there were promposals all around the school. Ranging from one that was French-themed to another that went as far as having a teacher give a fake pop quiz, the promposals were exciting and entertaining to watch in person and through the Instagram account @hackpromposals2021.
Although it is probably not the prom they imagined, Ms. Tranchida said “ [The seniors] are grateful to have the opportunity to have a prom and are looking forward to it.” There is a Prom Committee that meets, and a group of seniors voluntarily sit in on the meetings to voice the opinion of the students and offer input. “This way their concerns and ideas are incorporated and heard by the faculty.”
Senior Olivia Rowbottom expressed gratitude and is definitely excited about the prom. She explained that although some aspects will be different “it still sounds like a real prom”, which is what she wants.
However, Olivia is worried about how dancing will work and is also curious about what exactly the food situation will look like. In terms of the venue remaining on campus, she said she is not too concerned about it because so many events have taken place there and a lot of time has been spent under the tent.
So much has been canceled or changed because of COVID, so a prom taking place at all is very exciting for the seniors, even if it is not exactly what they imagined. There is bound to be disappointment in this long-awaited event in high school being changed but overall, it is a very good thing for the seniors to have this at all.