What’s recently happened?
Michigan City High School’s (MCHS) steering committees are hardworking organizations of student involvement that make possible the majority of the school’s major events. While they all deserve recognition, the Class of 2024’s steering committee faces a particularly daunting task this year: planning prom.
Arguably the biggest event of the school year, prom is approaching quickly. On May 12, MCHS juniors and seniors will have a spectacular night at the enjoyable and upscale event. Prom doesn’t just start and end on that day, however.
A slew of things have to be done to make an event as big as prom possible. The class sponsors could go on and on about the list of things they’ve gone through to even get to this point.
First of all, the money has to come from somewhere. 2024’s steering committee has been working on fundraisers to be able to afford the event. Most recently, its done fundraisers with World’s Finest Chocolate and La Braid pastries.
Next, the money goes towards bringing together every detail. This means arranging things like the decorations, the photo booth, the DJ, and the red carpet. They also need to speak to caterers and arrange the dinner.
One of the biggest parts of planning is picking a theme. This year, MCHS’s prom theme is entitled “A Grand Affair.” The concept came from several inspirations, some of which include “The Great Gatsby” and the 1920s. The students in the steering committee were key in making this choice, having voiced wanting a prom surrounded by the concept of literature such as “The Great Gatsby.” That brought the group to its current theme.
It’s at the conclusion of the party planning that getting the word out begins. Members and sponsors of the steering committee have been working on preparing tickets and invitations. They’ve even designed posters and have begun hanging them up around the school.
Next was one of the most important things the group had to do: sell tickets. Ticket sales occurred on April 24 and continued through April 28. For $55, students gained access to the event, as well as an afterparty put on by the parent group at City Lanes bowling alley.
Now, the time crunch begins.
What’s coming up?
The school year is quickly swinging to a close, and prom is nearing rapidly. While planning is mostly completed, there are still some things that need to be done. That is mostly for the adult sponsors, however, as students are mostly done with their work.
“Their job is to go to prom,” Group Sponsor Elizabeth Meyer said.
There is the chance that some decorations will need to be hung or arranged by the group, but Blue Chip Casino Hotel Spa, the host for the event, does a lot of the set up.
The sponsors carry a lot more of the load on the big day. They need to do things such as ensuring the photo booth is working, keeping watch on the music and making sure students are enjoying it, helping with wardrobe malfunctions, and plenty more.
Still, the sponsors are confident the event will go off smoothly. With a clear and well-followed timeline, everything typically runs smoothly.
As the final day approaches, steering committee members and sponsors continue to put in their time to make this year’s prom possible.
Elizabeth Meyer is an English teacher at MCHS who has been on the staff for seventeen years. While she teaches her own array of classes and is active in the MCHS community, she is currently perhaps best known for her sponsorship of the Class of 2024. The experience is one she is quite familiar with at this point.
“I had wanted to become more a part of the class, and when a class sponsorship finally became available, another teacher and I decided to go for it. We had been two new teachers at the time, and we just decided we wanted to be more involved. This is now my third go-around,” Meyer said.
Meyer is working hard with her co-sponsor and her students to prepare for prom, which seems to be nearing rapidly. While she is happy with the results of her labors, she recognizes there were some true difficulties along the way.
“Student involvement can be difficult. The more voices we have and the more people we can hear from, the more we know what kids want. That makes it easier. You hope you have what they like, which is what makes more involvement great,” Meyer said.
There is a reason Meyer has been doing this for so long, however. There is one standout of every time she has gone through the process, especially each time she had planned prom.
“Seeing the enjoyment on their faces afterwards when everyone is leaving and had a great time is my favorite part. They show us all their pictures. That makes it worth it,” Meyer said.
Meyer is not in the sponsorship only for prom. She has plenty of other activities she feels make the job worth it.
“I love doing the pep rallies. You don’t have to be a sponsor for that, but it's special all the same. I love when the kids come together and cheer for the school. I love graduation as well, seeing them grow from ninth grade to 12th grade, it’s just lovely to see that. It’s probably my most happy time,” Meyer said.
As much as she has enjoyed the position and the happiness it has brought students, Meyer claims it may be time for her to pass on the torch.
“I did 2016, 2020, and now 2024, and I know that there are other teachers out there that would very much like to be involved. Maybe they can bring some fresh new ideas,” Meyer said.
Meyer’s experiences up to this point certainly make for an unexpected story. While English has long been a part of her life, she originally thought it would take her down a very different path.
“I was planning on moving overseas. I’m from Poland, so I thought I’d teach there, but two roads diverged. I stayed in teaching though, and it brought me here,” Meyer said.
While some English teachers walk into a year with a clear preference on a title they teach their students that year, Meyer loves reading all the stories she shares with her students, no matter how many times she’s read them.
“There’s too many works that I try to push into the year, especially with freshmen – anything from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ The kids are liking ‘Animal Farm’ this year. I always have to do ‘Princess in the Tin Box’ on the first day of school to teach a bit of irony. ‘The Most Dangerous Game’ always goes over well. There’s just too many titles to choose a favorite,” Meyer said.
Meyer is a passionate sponsor and teacher who’s effects on the school, especially the students whose classes she sponsored, will last a great many years.
Alexis Gresham is a freshman at MCHS. As a part of the Class of 2026, she and her fellow classmates are some of the first to experience their high school years with a fully in-person class since the COVID-19 pandemic. For Gresham, this year has been about figuring out her high school experience, and learning what her school has to offer.
“I have done marching band, theatre, and a few clubs,” Gresham said.
Gresham plays the flute for both her class and marching band and played major roles in both of the Drama Club’s productions this year. Perhaps this is why the recent pep rally stood out to her. At the event, the student council chose to recognize all of the school’s many clubs alongside the spring sports, something unseen by current MCHS students.
“I liked it. It was good for non-sports to get some recognition,” Gresham said.
Gresham’s passions for music and performing will take a highlight this summer in her calendar. She intends to work as the student social media manager for Centerstage Youth Theater’s production of “Beauty and the Beast Junior.” She has other performing arts plans as well.
“I look forward to eventually having the start of marching band rehearsals,” Gresham said.
Gresham is also in the Honor College program at MCHS, and so she has a strong passion for academics.
“I love taking Japanese. Our teacher is amazing and so funny every single class," Gresham said.
As every student finds once they meet their graduation requirements, the opening up of class choices thrills Gresham.
“I look forward to learning more about subjects I like,” Gresham said.
Gresham is an outgoing student who is long from done with her time in MCHS’s halls. Make sure to catch her in a future Drama Club production or marching band performance, as she will certainly be a light in your day.