Seniors at Whitehall High School will be able to celebrate their class this year through not only a prom but also a senior dinner dance and a graduation ceremony.
The class of 38 students will be able to partake in all these events while following the state Department of Health guidelines.
Dane Stutes has seen nine classes leave Whitehall High since he started, and he is the 2021 class advisor. He has been planning some of these events with students and is excited to be able to see off this year’s seniors in person.
For the dinner dance, Stutes has quite the lineup for seniors on the last Friday of the school year after finals week.
“At 6 o’clock we are going to be going down to the Mohegan on Lake George and we are going to be going on a three-hour cruise,” he said.
For the dance, students will be able to invite teachers of their choice to attend as a last celebration with them. Stutes highlighted that even though there are COVID guidelines to abide by, they still intend on celebrating all the students’ accomplishments.
Seniors will also have a prom this year. The pandemic outbreak last year forced cancellation of the prom but this year seniors will be celebrating their prom with the junior class in attendance as well. Stutes mentioned that the proms are normally separate, but this year, students decided to have one together.
“Because they missed out on their prom last year, this year, as the senior class, we are doing everything with the junior class,” he said. “Planning everything, splitting the cost, we are having two coronations, or two prom courts, I should say. It will be a combined coronation so they are still getting the experience they would have had last year.”
Something that the school has implemented with the prom plans is the use of transportation to and from the event. The school will bus in students to the event as well as bussing them home after. This cuts down on the number of after-prom parties students may try having. It keeps the students safe and provides all students a chance to attend.
“Because we have transportation from the school, we are one of the few schools who disallow students to rent limos and do anything like that, as a way to enforce the after-prom and not dealing with any student-led parties and things like that,” he said. “We do make our students go to the after-prom so by the time they get back into Whitehall it’s so late that we don’t have to worry about them making poor decisions.”
As for graduation, Stutes mentioned that the students want it to be held outside this year. Ideally, students would like the ceremony to be on the football field this year. Prior to the ceremony, students will be able to gather for a senior breakfast on the day of the rehearsal and catch up with teachers and staff as well.
“The plan is to do graduation outside,” Stutes said. “I’d love for it to be on the football field, but if not, similarly to last year, it would be out in the front courtyard area. Even if they’re allowed to have it indoors, the seniors want to have it outdoors this year.” Although some dates are still tentative, the prom will be held on May 22, the senior dinner dance will be on June 11 and graduation on June 25.