BY VINNI MILTON-RODRIGUEZ Seniors had two evenings of football, dancing and fun to celebrate the beginning of the final high school year as Homecoming came and went. The dance took place on October 28 in the courtyard instead of the gymnasium due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senior Advisors Mrs. Tuckman and Mr. Alspach both had a major role in making the event a success. Tuckman said, “I know I speak for Mr. Alspach and myself when I say we are so thrilled we were able to pull this event off. It was not easy given the situation and all the restrictions. Plans were changed even up to the week of [the events.] All we wanted was to give our class a night they won’t forget, and I think we accomplished that.”
Due to the cancellation of the 2020-2021 Homecoming, a lot of changes would have had to be made to make it fun and safe for the hundreds of seniors attending the dance. Despite this, the event was a success. “This was the first-ever event in the courtyard, and it was beautiful.” Mrs. Tuckman mentioned. “I imagine it will not be the last now that we know we can do it successfully.”
The evening autumn air made people dress in warmer clothing. “It was a bit chilly outside but eventually everyone warmed up by dancing and it made me forget about how cold it actually was,” Sabrina Huezo, an attendee of the event commented. “I think it was all perfectly set up and our advisors did a great job with everything considering the circumstances.”
“We had 350 seniors at the dance,” Mrs. Tuckman also described. “Our seniors have missed so much, and our goal is to do whatever we can to make this year the best ever. This was a huge piece of it. We loved every minute of it.”
That goal seemed fulfilled, as students enjoyed the event. “I had a great time at the Homecoming Dance and just loved being with my classmates and seeing everyone together, smiling, and having fun.” Joey Grotkopf, the Homecoming Queen, stated.
Much to their astonishment, Homecoming couple Grotkopf and William Kennedy won by a popular vote. “Winning King just capped off the night, it was great,” said Kennedy. “My reaction to winning Homecoming King was very excited, [but] I just waited to see if Joey was going to win. That’s what I really cared about.”
“Truly, I didn’t think I was going to win,” Grotkopf said. “Especially since there were so many nominations. I was so shocked when I heard my name and [Will]’s, but I was so excited and happy because I wanted to [become the Homecoming queen].”
One of the major changes to homecoming from 2018-2019 was the event becoming senior-only. “Honestly, this homecoming was better,” Nick Termyna, who attended both the sophomore and the senior dance, stated. “It felt really special, and it was just our grade, so everyone knew each other. I got to wear a really cute coat, and the decoration [was] so pretty.”
Due to the pandemic, the seniors have not seen each other exclusively in person since their sophomore year. Because of this, the future graduates felt ecstatic to see their classmates again. Kristen Lee, another attendee of the dance said, “It feels great to be back in an environment with lots of people because I’ve missed being able to go out and spend time with my friend at school events. It makes life start to feel normal again.” The Homecoming Dance has brought back the closeness of the high school community in a fun and safe way and is a stepping stone back to normalcy.