The senior prom is around the corner, and students and staff are excited.
Thomas Jefferson High School will host the 2022 senior prom on May 7th at the Space Gallery. This night involves students dressing up, traditionally in prom dresses and tuxedos, going to dinner, taking pictures, and then heading to the dance. According to the website Jovani, formals began in the middle of the 1800s at colleges and universities where guests would come together to promote social etiquette and manners in each graduating class. This inspired Otto Rohwedders in 1928 to start prom, promenade, where high school students can partake in, “the formal introduction of parading of guests at a party.” Although the traditions surrounding prom have changed, it is still a big part of American culture and has even expanded into other countries.
The prom celebration starts with the SpartanPalooza held at TJ on April 24th from 12-3 p.m.. Volunteer parents have been fundraising and planning this event for the seniors for the past four years, and students and parents are excited that it is finally happening. The idea behind SpartanPalooza is to brand it like a music festival, where there will be food, games, and celebration. The event will also bring in many restaurants that students support daily, including Raising Canes, Chipotle, Slices, and donated ice cream from Glacier Homemade Ice Cream & Gelato. There will also be a grill station run by parents with hot dogs and hamburgers. The fun continues, as college related prizes like LED lights, mini-fridges, espresso machines, and so much more will be raffled every 15 minutes. Then, on the main turf field, there will be games and inflatables to keep everyone entertained. There will be a warrior obstacle course, bubble soccer, a light painting booth, and more. The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) has put a lot of effort into SpartanPalooza and has dealt with complications that COVID-19 brought to the table. When parents first started planning, there was still a mask mandate in schools and they did not know if an event the night after prom would be passed by the Denver Public Schools (DPS) board, so they decided to have a celebration the day after prom. Although the prom date has now changed, the 24th will still contain lots of fun as seniors will be able to enjoy themselves and spend time with each other. Parent volunteer Lisa LoJacono added, “My philosophy of being involved is how can we reach the most amount of kids” and without the help of her and other parents, the SpartanPalooza would not be a day that seniors will remember forever.
The Space Gallery was secured due to the class of 2020’s prom being canceled. This year’s prom venue was already half paid for and the 2022 class is appreciative of the generous donation. The senior sponsors and school counselors, Maggie Kennedy and Jillian Gleason, have been a big part of the logistics for the prom as they have secured the beautiful venue and vendors. They plan to have a balloon arch, a greenery wall, a photo booth, tables with centerpieces, and of course have a red carpet to meet the met gala theme. After the uncertainty of prom happening for the class of 2022 due to COVID-19, the senior sponsors have planned for this to be an unforgettable event. The decorations and night sound like a magical night and will hopefully fulfill senior Nina Patterson’s wish, “I’m hoping prom will be something out of a movie.”
Students and staff cannot stop talking about prom and the fun that will come with it. To add on, the change in dates allowed for more students to be able to come and have one last chance and dance to remember TJ. Gleason and many others look forward to “seeing students dressed up and outside of school to engage with them and see more of their personalities.” Prom is a great tradition in high schools and TJ’s 2022 prom will be a memorable night.