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Lancaster High School hosts “A Night to Remember” Prom

The prom is a rite of passage and an event that seniors look forward to attending. There's a lot of excitement built around the event, which is why when Lancaster ISD announced that its prom for its special needs high school students was returning this spring, students and teachers couldn't wait to fill the Lancaster High School cafeteria with music, dancing, laughs, and fun. 

There were doubts this school year if the prom would even take place due to COVID-19 concerns. However, when Lancaster ISD Health Services reported a decline in new cases, the uncertainty quickly faded, and planning for the highly-anticipated event began.

"This prom is my pride and joy, and I was excited to begin planning the event for our students after not hosting the event for the last two years," said Roshanda Bonner, the event coordinator. "This is the third prom we've hosted for our students, and they deserve to have something they can call their own. Seeing the excitement and delight on their faces makes it all worthwhile."

Bonner started planning the first event in 2018 and recalled what inspired her to go the extra mile to host the event.

"My class was tasked with creating a community service project for a grant, and we came up with the idea of hosting a prom to honor students with special needs. I knew it would be an awesome idea because many of our special-needs students miss out on prom because they may not feel comfortable attending our regular senior prom. I wanted them to have an event that caters specifically to their needs."

Although the grant for the prom no longer exists, Bonner says she wanted to continue to host the event.

On the night of the prom, students made their way to the cafeteria, which was decorated with balloons, a gift table, a dance floor, and even a photobooth.

"I thought the decorations looked great, and I had fun dancing all night," said junior Anaysia Ollie. "I'm already looking forward to next year so I can get another dress and dance again. I would love to be prom queen."

Students were dressed in beautiful gowns and tuxedos to dance the night away and eat delicious meals prepared by the Lancaster High School Culinary students. 

"The chicken wings were amazing," said junior Reginald Lewis. "All of the food was great, but the wings were my favorite. I had a great time hanging out with my friends, and I can't wait to do it again."

Lancaster ISD Superintendent Dr. Katrise Perera, Chief Academic Officer Dr. Marcus Jackson, and other district administrators, teachers, and staff even made their way to the dance floor to join in on the fun. 

"The students had so much energy that it made my heart smile," said Carl Butler, Lancaster High School special education teacher. "I can't thank Ms. Bonner enough for giving our students a wonderful experience."

This year's theme suggests that it was indeed "A Night to Remember" for everyone.

Bonner says her goal is to plan the proms for many years because she believes it is important to continue the tradition.

"As an educator, it brings me joy to know that I can put a smile on our students' faces," Bonner expressed. "As long as I can, I will try to make those smiles continue through this prom event."