An Uncom(prom)ised Night

Seniors Celebrated Their Prom Night May 27


Our very own “Weekly” editors at Prom! Photo taken by class of 2021.

On Thursday, May 27, trolleys could be seen making their way down Clark Street en route to Morgan’s On Fulton. Upon further inspection, through the trolley windows one would see Parker’s class of 2021 eagerly making their way to their Senior Prom night. In a year filled with the loss or modification of many traditions, Parker was able to give the class of 2021 their well deserved and long anticipated Prom.

Upper School Coordinator Rolanda Shepard has been working out the logistics for Prom alongside the Social Committee for months. “I sent an email to start talking about Prom in December,” Shepard said. “I think we may have had a meeting to get a plan going, just touch base about it before break, and then after break we started meeting consistently.” 

Taking into consideration COVID-19, the space for Prom was the largest concern. The venue ended up being Morgan’s on Fulton, with an outdoor area complete with a retractable roof that gave students the ability to remove masks. “When we started planning, students were still six feet apart coming to school in Group A and Group B,” Shepard said. “We had to follow what the sanctions of the school were and keep in mind that if this is what the school is requiring us to do we have to follow that until something changes… the area gave them freedom that allowed them to not think about being in a pandemic, the venue was beautiful and just enough space.”

By time the night of Prom rolled around they were able to follow less strict guidelines compared to when the planning began in December. “It was amazing,” Shepard said. “It was beautiful. It was so close to normal, and I was so happy just to see all of the students happy to be in the space and happy to have a sense of normalcy they hadn’t been able to have in almost two years.”

There were pictures as well as trolleys left from Parker, which has never been done before. “Then it was also equitable,” Shepard said. “You didn’t need to worry about who was going to be comfortable being in someone’s house… not everybody came to the space that was normal, comfortable, and a neutral ground. It was a great start.”

Senior Emily Simon attended Prom, and was also a part of the planning process as a Social Committee Head. “Prom this year was so much fun,” Simon said. “It did feel pretty normal. We got the trolley rides to and from Parker and a really good and actual prom experience. The DJ was great, everybody was up and dancing, and it was really nice to see everyone all dressed up after only seeing each other at school and in pajamas on a Zoom screen.”

As a head of the Social Committee, Simon saw the planning that led up to the event. “On the Social Committee we couldn’t know how well it was going to go before it happened,” Simon said. “But I really think it went the best it could have.”

Out of 75 senior students who attend Parker, Shepard estimated around 70 turned out to the event. “You have to think there may have been gatherings that took place out of school,” Shepard said. “But did those include the whole class?”

Senior Elliot Landolt attended prom. “I had a ton of fun at Prom this year,” Landolt said. “I think the two main reasons it was so successful were because A, we were not permitted to leave and B, there were no juniors and no underclassman.”

At the venue there was dancing and DJ-ing done by a Parker alum Brian Smith ‘09. “It was a good good night,” Shepard said. “Normally at prom students start to leave before the night is over, and there are always some people that are kind of stuck behind. This year everybody partied and had a ball until I made the announcement that it was over.” 

Landolt felt that staying the full time at Prom was beneficial to the experience. “The first reason it was so amazing for the full two hours was because we were forced to be there,” Landolt said. “So we really bought into having a really fun two hours. Everybody knew this was a really monumental night and the retreat built up to it. We really went in with a comradery.”

Simon also felt the retreat added to the tight knit feeling between the seniors at Prom. “We were already kind of on that bonding vibe and were getting along with each other really well because of the retreat. I was super, super grateful that we had an opportunity to have prom.” 

“With the retreat and everyone being super excited for this one thing, it was nice to have the time to come together,” senior and Prom attendee Bella Charfoos said, also noting the impact of the senior class retreat that was held the day prior.

Due to space and the COVID-19 guidelines, this was the first ever senior-only prom. “As sad as I am we didn’t get to enjoy Prom with the juniors, I think it really made for a unique experience,” Simon said. “As a grade we are really close, and everyone was able to be really carefree and dancing, and we got to see everyone because of the smaller group. I obviously wish there were no restrictions, but as we didn’t get a prom last year, having it with just the seniors was super super special.”

Landolt felt the absence of younger grades made for a better experience. “I think it really would’ve hurt the experience we had if younger grades were there,” Landolt said. “We were all really comfortable being with each other after the retreat, and therefore nobody was afraid to dance. Everybody was together on the dance floor. Juniors and sophomores may also hinder the experience because they don’t have as much sentiment for Prom, for seniors this is the last hurrah.” 

Landolt, Simon, and Charfoos all described Prom in a positive light. “This one culminating thing was really the cherry on top to a perfect week, it was really the perfect night,” Charfoos said.