Downey Prom Follow-up

On May 15, Downey High held its senior prom at Erhart's by the Sea at Fort MacArthur, an active military base located in San Pedro. The junior class presented this year's prom, "A Night in Paris," which was held from 8 p.m. to midnight.Students and teachers praised this year's venue. "I liked the atmosphere since it was spacious and beautiful," said Ciara Campos, a senior at Downey. "I loved the view of the ocean from the dance room." "I really enjoyed this year's prom facilities-Fort MacArthur," said Teresa Hill, an English teacher at Downey. "I felt students had a lot of space to move around. Also, from a teacher's perspective, it was nice having the military police present." Many seniors enjoyed dancing and hanging out with friends. "Dancing was the best part of the prom, as well as seeing everyone dressed up very formal," said Chris Saldana, a senior at Downey. "I'm glad I got to hang out with my friends at the prom," said Marissa Fernandez. "I think it's one of the last few events where we can see our friends before college." For seniors such as Aisha Butt, the prom served as a great stress reliever from Advaned Placement (AP) testing as well as marking the end of a long journey at Downey High. "Our prom was the day after my last AP exam," said Butt, who had to take seven AP exams prior to the prom. "The prom was like the end of a four-year adventure for me. I'm finally done with high school, and I enjoyed being able to spend time with my friends before we go to college." Some seniors, such as Erika Yi and Brenda Galvan, enjoyed the transportation available to those who were attending the prom. "The party bus that took us to the prom was amazing," said Yi. "I had more fun in the bus than the actual prom itself." "Being in the party bus with my closest friends was awesome," said Galvan. While most seniors chose to dance the night away, others chose to participate in the various activities designated to allow everyone to have a good time. There were separate rooms in which students could sing karaoke with friends or have caricatures drawn for free. "After a few dances, I walked from room to room and watched people singing karaoke and the caricature artists drawing couples," said Gettler. "I got my picture drawn by a cartoonist," said Campos. "It was my first time!" Teachers who served as chaperones enjoyed the prom as well. "I liked the karaoke room and the free caricatures," said José De La Torre, a math teacher at Downey and a chaperone at the prom. "My wife was my date to the prom, and she even sang karaoke and got a standing ovation." "The chocolate-covered strawberries were yummy!" said Hill. "I took a lot of pictures with my students to display in my classroom." The highlight of the night was the coronations of prom king and queen, Michael Sabir and Geneve Melendez. For Michael Sabir, his coronation had a very special meaning for him. "I took my mom as my date," said Sabir, who is also the vice president of his senior class. "It was really meaningful for me to have my mom there when I was crowned prom king."

********** Published: May 29, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 6