Prom committee working to overcome challenges


Photo from @phs.sga24 on instagram

Esther Hong and James Wagner

The prom committee and junior SGA make progress towards figuring out the logistics of prom, while keeping in mind the difficulties caused by the prom last year. This year’s prom will be held on Friday May 12, 2023 from 7:30 pm – 11:30 pm at the Stamp Ballroom at the University of Maryland in College Park (UMD) with the theme of Old Hollywood. 

The committee is comprised of junior and senior volunteers that joined in the beginning of the school year. Due to complications with the PTSA having to do with bus transportation and location, arrangements were not finalized as early as they wanted. The roles of the committee include choosing the theme, setting up and cleaning up for the event, planning logistics. There are still tasks to be done such as picking music, planning the decorations, and selling tickets to the students.

“Prom is a very memorable and iconic night for high schoolers so for me personally I wanted to be involved in making memories with and for other people,” member of the planning committee junior Janissa Sebamonpimol said.  

The SGA begins their process before the school year and they split tasks based on each student’s respective roles such as the secretary taking notes during meetings and the treasurer working on the budget. In order to stay aware of the budget, there is a running spreadsheet of expenses and the budget is followed incorporating ticket sales. 

“I’m concerned with the entertainment as we need to have a balance with it being enjoyable while also budget friendly,” Sebamonpimol said.  

The previous year’s prom has played a significant role in the planning process for this year’s event.

“I know that the outdoor venue was chosen in order to mitigate the chance of a potential cancellation – and loss of deposit – due to covid related closures,” said 2023 class officer, Andrew Jauch. 

However, unfavorable weather conditions, including cloudy and rainy days leading up to and including the day of the prom, necessitated a last-minute change of venue.

“The entire junior SGA really had to scramble to figure something out for that night,” said Jauch.

Unfortunately, the sudden change resulted in the class of 2023 forfeiting their nonrefundable deposit for the outdoor location, causing the class to incur unexpected debt.

“The scramble for a venue last year has changed the tone of the prom planning committee,” said Jauch.

He mentioned that this year’s committee is determined not to repeat the mistakes of last year’s group, and is more serious this year. A more serious tone has been seen in the committee’s decisive decision-making. The committee, despite facing delays early on in the planning process, decided on a theme for both prom and post prom and used surveys given to both PHS parents and students to decide on a venue in near-record time.

Jauch isn’t the only 2023 officer to notice the changes in this years planning committee, however.

“The decision to have it inside this year from the start is definitely a key change from last year and shows what we learned about trying to have it outside,” said class of 2023 treasurer, Landon Fiery.  

This year’s location was chosen by the junior SGA, keeping in mind the past problems of choosing an outdoor venue. The SGA had to ensure the venue was available for a desired date with few AP tests as well as finding a location that students were interested in. The SGA worked to send out Google Forms as well as host polls on their Instagram story in order to gauge student interest throughout the process. The location was chosen based on the campus ambiance as well as the inexpensive cost for the large space. When planning they kept in mind the distance that UMD was from the Poolesville High School campus and worked around this to plan a shuttle that leaves from Poolesville at 6 PM and comes back to Poolesville at 1 AM. 

“It was difficult to balance everyone’s wants and the requirements we needed to have when planning but we were able to make it work through discussions,” class of 2024 vice president Anusha Krishnan said. “Though not everyone can be happy, we wanted to try something different and unique,”

The prom committee and junior SGA have worked to plan a memorable and successful prom, taking into account the difficulties faced during the previous year’s event. The committee has put in the effort to ensure the students’ preferences and interests were considered during the planning process. While there are still some tasks to be completed, the SGA has ensured that the budget is being followed, especially after the challenges of last year. With the dedication of the committee members, it looks to be an unforgettable night for all attendees.