February 8, 2023 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

SJO to host event for seniors

The administration at St. Joseph-Ogden High School wants to give their seniors some sense of normalcy. 

 “The decision to have some type of event for our seniors really stems from wanting to give them something that resembles normalcy as their time as SJO students comes to an end,” said Principal Gary Page.   “While all of our students have had to endure difficulties due to the circumstances around COVID 19, our seniors have had everything that is a senior year either taken away or altered beyond recognition.”

Page said the district thought it was important to hold something that resembled a prom to help the seniors find closure.

“If we didn’t have a prom, the current senior class would have never had the opportunity to have a prom,” he said.  “With everything that has transpired this year they haven’t even been able to be together as a class to support each other through what was very much an emotional roller coaster.”

Page said the students have taken all the rules and regulations in stride and have made the most out of the various situations they have faced. 

“Knowing this we knew we had to figure something out for them and give them an event where they could all be together as a class and enjoy some time together at SJO,” Page said. 

Page said the administration realized a completely traditional prom would not be safe and could jeopardize in-person learning, extracurriculars and a formal graduation ceremony. 

“It was ultimately decided we could put together a formal event here at the school that would allow our seniors to get  the chance to have something that resembled a prom,” Page said.  While we won’t be able to have a dance, have dates from outside the senior class, or have our underclassmen be a part of the event, our seniors will have the opportunity to get together as a class and enjoy each other’s company and hopefully have a memorable experience to cap off what has otherwise been a very difficult year.”

The event will take place on May 1 and will take place in a large banquet tent on the south lawn of the school. Students will arrive at 5:30 p.m. and be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, a formal picture opportunity will take place in the south wing of the school and dinner will start at 6 p.m. with teachers serving as servers. 

Coronation will take place at 7 p.m. with the event concluding by 7:30 p.m. 

Parents are planning a post prom event that will take place from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the commons, gym, band room and football field. 

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