Prom 2019: Enough to Win Daisy’s Heart?

By Alyssa Vue


What do both Gatsby’s parties and prom have in common? They’re big, fancy, and memorable. However, this once-in-a-year night meant for teens to make new memories has been met with increasing apathy over the years.

2019’s Junior Class Committee and its steadfast co-advisors, Kellie Hermes and Colleen Trowbridge, have worked ambitiously with decorators, volunteers, and even DJ Skoolz himself to light up prom with Gatsby’s glamour and restore its former glory. With interviews from fifteen different students and Ms. Trowbridge herself, we’ll get the inside scoop on the success behind prom 2019.

“I really loved the decorations. They were so glitzy and adorable,” shares junior Kayleigh Hallen, reacting to the tables decked with jewels and feathers.

In addition, palm trees were lit with gold and surrounded by luminescent tulle. The giant, gold curtains laced with fairy lights even provided a gentle transition from the bright lobby to the dark dance floor.

Although the interviewees had similar opinions to Kayleigh, some made interesting suggestions. Junior Maggie Stoltzman says, “It’d be nice to have a more modern theme.” She believed a Hawaiian theme may encourage more teens to match.

But in the end, a dance shouldn’t only look good; it should sound good too. However, the student's opinions begin to drastically differ upon the topic of music.

Senior Katelyn Espe emphasizes that “the music was so much better [than last year],” but junior Zoey Eicher points out that “some people stop[ped] dancing because they [still] didn’t know the songs.” Senior Jami Wedll proposes adding older songs or more swing music as a solution to the music controversy. Some students, however, were perfectly content with DJ Skoolz’s skills. “The music and the food were really good,” says junior Kira Swanson.

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Speaking of food, students relaxing from the dance were met with a decorative plethora of desserts, ranging from powdered donuts to fresh berries to even delicate macarons.

Senior Jon Reinke liked snacking on nuts at the dining tables too. “I do enjoy me some mixed nuts.”

However, the dessert arrangement was a little troublesome. Although junior Elizabeth Gorton liked it, she says, “I didn’t eat any of the desserts because they’d all be cross-contaminated.” Allergy and non-allergy food would be best separated next year.

Perhaps the most memorable attractions were the prizes. All you had to do was put your name on a ticket and wait to be called from a raffle. Over the span of three hours with twelve prizes to spare, students had a chance to earn fast food gift cards, an Amazon tablet, and Airpods.

Students responded positively to the generous giveaway. Everyone liked the idea of winning a prize.

“I liked the prizes that were given away. It kind of kept it going,” shares junior Allie Case.

With the new addition of dessert variety, song requests, and a larger prize giveaway, the statistics of whether or not students knew of these attractions were scattered. Marketing may have to be improved next year for a greater attendance.

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The interviewees all had recommendations on other aspects of prom too.

There were mixed reviews on the flat screen TV playing the Gatsby movie starring DiCaprio. Some students loved seeing the movie. Others found it weird for a slow love song to play while Gatsby and Daisy fought in the back.

Some students, like senior Holly Fellows, suggested, “You should be able to get tickets at the door.”

From the fancy decor to the myriad of desserts and modern music, 100% of interviewees agreed that prom 2019 was a good way to end the school year, making “A Night at Gatsby’s” a success. “Seeing your friends and hanging out with people…  It was a fun party to gather everyone at,” says junior Megan Northey.

Every ending always comes with a brighter beginning. Co-advisor and attendance clerk, Ms. Trowbridge shares success from an outsider’s view, the experience of the adults, and future plans for proms.

The process was stressful and exhausting, but the outcome of everyone’s efforts showed prom is regaining popularity. “I was totally impressed with the numbers at prom and the numbers that stayed. That reaction alone told me kids were really enjoying [the night],” she says.

Students weren’t the only ones enjoying themselves. Ms. Trowbridge shares that she and the other adult volunteers enjoyed taking photos, eating food, and just socializing all night long. More staff, or even parents if possible, should be encouraged to create new memories on this special night too.

Ms. Trowbridge was also excited to share that the caterer for prom had ideas about adding saltier, snack-like items to the menu for 2020.  

Prom 2019 proved successful. Students danced all night, adults laughed together, and everyone went home satisfied from the new memories made and eager to return for the next night in 2020. Maybe Gatsby can win Daisy’s heart after all.

Thank you to the following interviewees for being so eager to participate. I couldn’t have done it without you: Allie Case, Dylan Eckart, Katelyn Espe, Zoey Eicher, Holly Fellows, Elizabeth Gorton, Kayleigh Hallen, Bethany Pietso, Jon Reineke, Megan Northey, Kori Skrypek, Maggie Stoltzman, Kira Swanson, Colleen Trowbridge, Jami Wedll and Eden Wells.