ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Prom is a well-known tradition that is very important to high school students. The Edgewood prom has taken place for 50 years, and with prom there have been a multitude of activities. The week before is full of stressful, fun and sometimes very eye-opening activities that involve all of the student body. Prom at Edgewood is open to juniors, seniors and sophomores who were invited by an upperclassman.
“Prom is a right of passage,” said prom co-adviser Mary Cornely. Before the students could hit the dance floor, there were weeks of planning and preparing.
This year Cornely worked very closely with Linda Hazelton, student Hayley Hall, and a small group of other students to put together and plan the prom. Located at the Spire Institute the evening of May 11, the theme was “Moonlight Beach.” Upperclassmen and their guests were transported to a romantic beach setting filled with beach-wood and murals of sea horses and other sea-life. Junior Chris Davis and art teacher Debra Paxon contributed greatly to the decorations.
Although this was her first year planning prom, Cornely found that working closely with the students was very rewarding. However, the week before was stressful getting everything organized and together to take to Spire the day before prom.
The success of last year’s prom at Spire was what inspired principal Karl Williamson to have it there again this year.
Cornely said, “Last year it went well, so Hazelton scheduled it again because we were happy with the job they did.”
The Prom Committee worked closely with Spire, even having a night when the committee went and sampled the food.
Before prom, there were many student activities, including the election of Prom Court. Eight gentlemen and eight ladies were selected by the students.
“It was an honor to be chosen,” said Jacob Crislip, a member of the court. “It was very cool and surprising. I'm glad my fellow classmates think so highly of my character.” Although the last prom for any senior is bitter sweet, Crislip said, “It's nice to have a last memory of (high school) being on court.”
Prom was not all fun and games, however. To remind students to stay safe during all the fun, adviser Jill Shaw and SADD club members organized a few events to remind students to make responsible decisions. A mock crash has been a tradition for at least 10 years. During the event, senior SADD members acted out a crash to show students how serious and real the consequences can be for making irresponsible choices. Shaw also invited a speaker to address the upperclassmen and hopefully inspired them to make good choices not only on prom night, but every night of their lives. To plan all this, Shaw utilized Sandy Pulsifer, who organizes the mock crash events for all of the schools in the county. Pulsifer coordinates the emergency response teams for this event. Another SADD tradition is when eight seniors dress up as the Grimm Reaper on the day of the mock crash.
“Throughout the six hour school day, they ‘killed off’ eight students by tying a black ribbon on their arm,” said SADD member Robert Taylor. “This meant that they weren’t allowed to speak for the rest of the day. In doing this, though it could be humorous, it was meant to bring to light the number of people who are killed in accidents involving drunk driving. Through this, we hoped that people were able to see the negative impact it has on our society, let alone our school.”
To encourage students to make the right choices, students were able to sign the Prom Promise which was originally started by Nationwide Insurance. In addition to this, the SADD club put on a Chinese auction for students who committed to the Prom Promise. This year, senior SADD members Robert Taylor and Sara Turner contacted many local businesses for donations to promote SADD club and the causes they promoted. They also gave prom-goers a T-shirt to remind them of the promise they made. Annually, prom is a very exciting time for upperclassmen. Through the traditions and related activities, prom was once again a memorable part of the high school experience.