Prom Committee on Creating Neverland

Stephanie Chen, Op-Ed Editor

Prom: an incredible and magical night to celebrate not only the graduation of more than six hundred Ward Melville seniors, but seniors all over the country. Many a clichéd movie has been made about the subject (usually in the form of a girl’s life leading up to the epic night), but it is undoubtedly special for everyone. From one perspective, prom is simply a time when people get to dress up with extravagance and have one night when they can feel that they own the school. However, it is also the bittersweet symbolic event where the school is transformed so seniors can enjoy one of their last few times at Ward Melville.

Behind the big night is a group of tireless people who spend months preparing to make it happen: the prom committee. Every year, the committee of about twenty people decides on a different theme for the prom along with their advisors, Ms. Hurley and Ms. Conrad (in the past, Ms. Kane). Past themes have included Casablanca (2010), One Enchanted Evening (2011), A Night in Wonderland (2012), A Gatsby Affair (2013) and The Lost City, Atlantis (2014). In order to decide a theme, the committee first brainstorms for a few weeks, then splits into groups in favor of one choice. Each group argues for their idea by creating a Powerpoint presentation illustrating their ideas for the theme, and creates mock invitations and centerpieces for the theme. After this, all of the groups present their ideas to the entire committee, and the committee together votes for a theme. This year, the Neverland theme presentation group, headed by prom committee president Ashley Earl, won.

Although prom is only one night long, the Committee is busy all year long, with activities such as creating invitations and designing each room of the prom. The committee also pitches the ideas to parents involved in the planning prom with a PowerPoint presentation in order to turn their planning into reality. In the past, some help parents have provided is with painting, papier-mâché, etc. For example, for last year’s Atlantis prom, parents provided lighting, huge custom photo banners, a water wall, and a large playground ship.

“I like being able to see exactly how everything is going to turn out and being able to turn my dreams for prom into reality,” President Ashley Earl says. However, she admits that being a relatively small club has its problems. Since there are only about twenty people in the club, only a small percentage of the senior class gets to decide how one of the biggest events of the year will turn out. There will always be complaints about how people think prom should be, which puts a lot of pressure on the committee. With Neverland, Earl says that the biggest complaint is that people perceive it to be childish.

However, this year, Earl is determined that the prom committee will outshine itself. Neverland is a theme that few, if any, other schools have used before, which gives the committee a chance to explore unique ideas. There will be nods to Captain Hook and the Lost Boys, which will surely tug on everyone’s nostalgic memories from childhood.

“It’ll be fantastic,” Earl says, “Everyone should go to prom because it will really be a night to remember.”