A glowing fireplace welcomed guests into Grand County High School for this year’s prom. Branches twined around the entrance to the gym. The ceiling was decked with lights and a glowing “Tri-wizard Cup” sat in the middle of the room, surrounded by stands full of family and friends. The junior class had voted for a Yule Ball theme from the Harry Potter series and it was indeed a magical night.
Preparations started early in the school year.
“As a junior class council we talked over what we would like to see happen and our goals for the year,” Junior Class President and Prom Queen Auburn Jackman said. “One of them said that we wanted prom to be able to be something that kids would enjoy and want to stay at because in past years we’ve had people leave really fast and then the dance isn’t quite as fun, and some unfortunate events that we really didn’t want to happen again this year. So we started out with mentally preparing ourselves.”
After pairs of students promenaded, the class performed a dance choreographed by parents Shellie Cook and Jamie Reidhead. The royalty was crowned and danced, and then the rest of the class joined the dancing.
It took community efforts to make prom happen this year, Jackman said.
“We had lots of students that helped us out and we had a ton of support from the parents and the community. One of the big things that we did differently this year to try to get students to stay was the raffle. It’s kind of hard to express the gratitude that we have for the community and for the parents that helped us out because we definitely had a bigger crowd stay than we have in the past several years. Everyone was safe this year ... I know for a fact that kids really enjoyed that and they were really into it. It worked out perfectly,” Jackman said.
Jarrett Reidhead won Prom Prince, Hailey Cox was voted Princess and Trayken Robertson was named Prom King. In drawings held at the end of the night, Cody Johnson won a Pontiac G6 car donated by Norm Knapp from Canyonlands Auto Center, Elton Kunze won a Nintendo Switch donated by Mike and Janet Steele and Stan Johnson won a television donated by Knowles Home Furnishings. Kaylan Young won a photo printer donated by Big Horn Lodge and half a dozen other students won $100 cash prizes.
The Moab Police Department had a presence, with school resource officer Larry Velasquez present for the entire prom and part of an after-party at the bowling alley. Assistant Chief of Police Brett Edge said that two officers working that evening did extra patrols around the high school and bowling alley areas.
Jackman said that in the end, prom was an experience that brought the junior class closer.
“Prom, to most people, it’s just a fun dance. You go and you enjoy yourself. To me it’s kind of a symbol of the unity that we’ve created over the last several years. My hope is that that will continue throughout our last year of high school. It’s almost like a hurrah, like we’ve got one more year left, we’ve come all this way and it just [gets better] from here,” Jackman said.