The Paw

Students bring the senior citizen prom full circle

The Senior Citizen Prom is an annual tradition that has been held at Tigard High School for over a decade. It serves as an event for seniors and THS students alike to interact and have fun together. The prom was held on Feb. 12 this year; the music and decorations were based around an “All That Jazz” theme. Senior and Leadership member, Jessa Barendse was a presence behind the choice of theme for each year’s prom.

“A lot of the times we’re trying to go back to what they know,” Barendse said. “Two years ago we did ‘I Love Lucy,’ which was a popular TV show back in their time.” Approximately 70 to 100 senior citizens and all of Tigard High’s leadership students attended the prom to dance, eat, and have a good time.

It takes a lot of time and preparation to set up an event like this one annually. Barendse explained that the leadership committee first started planning the event in early January from the food and music to the decorations and the flyers that are hung up in throughout retirement homes during the weeks preceding the event. Despite being a difficult and work intensive event to put together, the yearly efforts are worth it for the seniors and students who attend each year.

“I really like seeing all of the senior citizens asking leadership students to dance. A lot of the time they’ll just gravitate towards a certain person, and it’s just really cool to see everyone getting together,” Barendse said.

Leadership senior Taylor Smith liked seeing the senior citizens, who were all well-dressed for the formal flavored party.

“It shows that it’s a really special day for them and that they take a lot of enjoyment in the activity,” Smith said.

Activities Director, McKenzie Coulson enjoys the senior prom tradition.

“I think it just started as an opportunity for community service and it just grew from there. It’s really cool to see the students get into it,” Coulson said. “They learn some dances like the salsa and the waltz, and it’s really good for them to step out of their comfort zone, but it’s also a nice connection that this generation still cares about the older generation.”