The Class of 2023 Counts Down to A Night in New Orleans!

Rebekah Barrera, Arts and Entertainment Editor


   All heads are turned in one direction, despite the entire cafeteria attracting seniors on all sides. Between the lingering aroma of steaming hot pizza on one side, the sight of fluffy chocolate cake on the opposite side, and the sound of camera snaps by the balloon-embellished photo op in another corner, the seniors focus their attention elsewhere — the video countdown playing on the bright screen at the far end of the room. The screen in question holds the future of the seniors’ most long-awaited event since the beginning of their freshmen days: prom. And as the numbers near zero, the Class of 2023 unknowingly celebrates the approach of their final highschool days.

   This past January 31, the PPCHS seniors took to the school cafeteria for Charter’s first ever Prom Reveal Party. With food, refreshments, and a variety of previews for the seniors’ last semester all under one music-filled space, the social event became a frenzy of adrenaline.

   At the center of it all: the senior prom theme. Students first sat through a long-lasting ten-second countdown, voices counting in unison as the suspense only built up. “A Night in Nola” then adorned the bright screen, and with the reveal of those four words came an eruption of cheers blended with applause. Of those cheerers, many specifically loved how the theme wasn’t another basic cliche. Anjali Balla, for one, expressed how she “think[s] it’s a really cool theme, not overused.” Alesha Fisher mirrored this, exclaiming, “I love it! I think the prom theme is super unique, it’s not just like Mardi Gras alone.”

   “A Night in Nola” was a product of the student council’s months of searching for a perfect aesthetic. As uncommon as the theme is, prom attendees look forward to how well it can be executed. The council’s student body reporter, Rasika Sriram, despite being “skeptical of how [they] could pull it off,” reassures that “it’s coming together great and it’s still a unique theme at the same time!”

   In the spirit of the seniors’ final semester, their Student Council also took the opportunity to distribute senior jerseys as well! A Charter tradition, the jerseys are exclusive to the senior class and sport a “23” on the back; to make the shirts even more personal, students were given the option to customize the name printed on their individual jersey.

   Leanna Brereton took advantage of this opportunity, choosing to put “SPICE” on her new senior gear, rather than her first or last name. “I love my jersey! [“Spice”] is like a family nickname that I’ve always had when I was younger, and I thought it’d look nice on the shirt for me,” she explains. “And it makes me feel like I’m finally stepping up… like we somehow have more superiority now.”

   While the party was meant to act as a hub connecting all senior-related business, — as seniors were also able to reserve their bus placements for their upcoming Grad Bash field trip — the event itself was an important marker in the Class of 2023’s entire highschool experience. It became a full circle moment for many as they walked into a room they were once lost in on the first day of their freshman year. Mallory Brown was one of the numerous in awe of this: “We don’t see half the seniors I saw today, but seeing every single senior that we’re graduating with today, it’s…really cool,” she says appreciatively. 

   As the Class of 2023 continues on their final countdown, they’re bound to hit more highschool landmarks. With Grad Bash, Senior Dinner, Prom, and graduation well on their way, the second semester has a lot in store for PPCHS’s senior class.