By Callia Gilligan, ’22
The Class of 2021 is finally having a prom! After a Junior prom cancellation last spring, months of hybrid learning and a sometimes-bumpy return to in-person classes, the seniors are capping off their final year at HHS with a long-awaited prom on Saturday, May 15th.
The event will look a bit different this year, taking place in a tent outside the school, the trees in the courtyard decorated with lights. Advisers Mrs. Mia Gallagher and Mrs. Kathy Gallagher have been working hard with the class officers to preserve the traditions, which will include dinner, dancing and even red carpet photos. Everything will take place outside, and the weather is expected to be beautiful.
That the prom is happening at all is a grand accomplishment in this year of uncertainty. Planners had to navigate frequently changing COVID rules, but pulled it together with tremendous help from the community. That community, according to Mrs. Kathy Gallagher, includes:
- Class officers Fiona, Shamus, Sean, Nick, Jack and Caroline, “who sold their vision of the night to the classmates”
- Mrs. Curtis, Mrs. Curley and the Dirty Works Club, who spent “hours getting their hands dirty cleaning and planting the flower beds”
- Mr. Faria, Mr. Amonte and the engineering students, who have been “integral” in building ramps, a giant decorative wall and more
- The prom chaperones for the evening: Mrs. Collins, Mrs. Aborn, Mrs. McHugh, Mrs. Curley, Mrs. Parry, Ms. Doyle, Mrs. Keefe, Ms. Corbett, Mrs. Mann, Officer John, administration and our class advisors
- School nurse Roz Davis and the HPS health team for conducting several rounds of COVID testing over two weeks to ensure the event could be held safely
- Parent volunteers Brenda Maver and Daryce Morris, “our resourceful and creative prom decorators”
- Grill 43 and HHS parent Joe Hiffa, for catering dinner
- Mr. Steve Ryerson of HPS for capturing the memories of the evening, including on the red carpet
- The Hanover DPW Facilities and Maintenance Departments, for mowing, weed-wacking, moving tables, and getting everything into place – including the giant wall!
- The Senior boys who literally picked up that giant wall and the other numerous decorations – “too many to name, but a big shout out to them!”
- Principal Mr. Paquette “for everything”
Due to the lingering pandemic, there are several regulations that students will have to follow in order to ensure that prom can operate safely. In addition to requiring COVID testing, the event has been limited to just HHS seniors, no dates from other grades or schools. Students must wear masks at all times except when eating or drinking and stay socially distanced during dancing; that means no slow songs this year. Finally, students have been advised not to gather in groups of more than 10 people before or after the dance.
“It’s going to be pretty nice,” said class secretary Sean Dever. “We could really only start planning two to three weeks ago, but I’m happy with how it all came together.”
For Class President Fiona Hutchison, the prom is a much-needed way to bring together a class that lost many of its milestones and was even split in two for half of the year.
“Everyone is starting to get excited and it’s making me so happy,” she said. “It means the world to me. The seniors have something to look forward to and a way to come together as a grade. It’s a great way to reconnect and celebrate our senior year.”