Prom 2023: How It’s Made


Chase Grivna, Staff Writer

Prom at Mayo High School combines months of planning and student collaboration to create an unforgettable night. Everyone at Mayo knows about the event, but not many people know how it’s created. Mrs. Diana Carter ,the leader of the Prom Committee for 13 years, is nicknamed the prom queen for a reason: she is at the center of it all, making prom unforgettable for literally thousands of students. 

When she first started at Mayo, Mrs. Carter was practically begged to be the prom planning leader. The school had no one else to turn to, so she took the opportunity and hasn’t stopped since. Her favorite aspect of being the head of prom is meeting new kids and seeing the students having fun at the event. As soon as the school year starts, she begins planning. She has an entire spreadsheet of what she needs to do each month. “I have it down to a science,” she says. 

First, Mrs. Carter reserves The Undertaker, the DJ, who has been doing prom since Carter first began planning it: “He keeps everyone at the dance.” Over the next few months, she begins setting up the official committee, then they decide on the theme. The committee members order décor and supplies based on the theme, and decide on food and ticket designs. They begin setting things up around mid-April, and that’s all it takes. 

It may sound like a short list, but each task involves endless coordination. In order to get the word out, prom has to be promoted across many mediums. Posters, social media posts, PBIS slides, announcements, and emails are all integral parts of the advertising process. It’s important to keep prom in the minds of students, so the committee publicizes it as much as possible to get them hyped and invested. 

The student leader of the prom committee is Sadie Gonzalez, who has planned prom for two years now. Her involvement this year is unconventional, since prom planning is usually handled by juniors. She is a senior but wanted to join the committee again: “I like being able to build something, and I like seeing the progress and accomplishment when it’s finished.” The beginning of the committee was not like those of other years. For the first few weeks, Sadie was essentially the only one planning prom with Mrs. Carter. They believe this was because they hadn’t gotten the word out properly. They tried gathering committee members, but were unsuccessful. Eventually, Gonzalez and Carter decided to make an announcement about the committee over the school speakers… and it worked much better than they could’ve imagined. All of a sudden, about 25 juniors showed up for the committee meeting that day. Last year’s committee had only 15 students, so this was a welcome improvement. 

During the week of the event, it became time for the prom committee to hit the ground running. They had a month to make corsages, boutonnieres, and set up the decor for the event. With so many helpers and a solid publicity strategy, they were optimistic about success. This year’s prom may have gotten off to a shaky start, but it turned out to be a fantastic experience for all who attended, so we’d like to say thank you to Mrs. Carter, Sadie Gonzalez, and all the other committee members.

Back row (l-r): Ege Kilickaya (11), Andrew Prak (11), Noah Larson (11), Ana VanKoeverden (11), Madeline Banks (11); middle row: Chase Grivna (12), Olivia Gamst (11), Jade Aakre (11), Geeta Ashrani (11), Elle Roth (11); front: Morgan Fuglestad (11), Alyssa Saxton (11), Maya Sawyer (11), Sadie Gonzalez (12), Annika Ohashi Berg (11), Jennifer Reyna-Hernandez (11)