by Jonathan Weaver
Nearly 70 West Shamokin High School couples dressed in bright dresses or formal tuxedos participated in the “Walk to Remember” Grand March in the school auditorium before the big event Friday evening.
Junior Sydney Prugh volunteered to set up the stage and at Indiana Country Club in a Central Park theme as part of the prom committee. She worked at the football concession stand to earn enough credits and said the event was a change from the “Starry Night” – which was the theme for seven years.
Dressed in hot pink, Prugh attended the prom with her boyfriend of two years Jace Rearick – who wore a matching pink vest and socks found at the 700 Shop in Downtown Kittanning.
“He is a very neutral-based guy and only wears reds and blues, so pink is out of his comfort zone,” Prugh laughed.
Prugh hoped (unsuccessfully) that Rearick’s Chevy Impala was pink as well for the caravan trip, but was confident the pair would attend together next year as well.
DJ Hough – now a freshman at St. Vincent College in Latrobe (Westmoreland County) for elementary education – was flabbergasted when he was crowned Prom King last year. He returned to crown his brother, Jacob, as Prom King and Junior Jarret Kintz as Duke.
Reigning Queen Kelsey Altman crowned Terra Cravener as queen and Tori Smith Duchess, respectively, before the Grand March ended as well.
DJ said he found out about 20 minutes before the ceremony that his brother, Jacob, was the next Prom King.
Prugh was one of the students that voted for Hough and Cravener to be crowned.
Dawnelle Ion, of Ford City, was one of six girls part of the Senior Court after a student vote.
After graduation in about a month, she hopes to become a United Nations advocate for women after studying Global Cultural Studies at Point Park University in Pittsburgh.
The National Honor Society President said she was honored to be on the court. While waiting for that announcement, Ion held her two-year niece, McKenzie, with date Austin Reesman – also will attend Point Park this fall.
The pair met in their first period television production class and has been dating about a month.
Senior Laura McIntire – a future music education major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania – has two Advanced Placement tests this week and finals next week to study for, but said the evening (spent with boyfriend Zac Cousins, who studies to be a HVAC service technician at Lenape Tech) was a good stress reducer.
“We thought about it for a long time, waiting for it, but you have studies to keep up on as well,” McIntire said. “It’s anticipated, and a good stress relief from the tests that are coming up.”
West Shamokin Senior Sarah Smietana reversed the normal trend and asked Apollo-Ridge High graduate Alex Kostiuk to her senior prom.
Smietana and Kostiuk – now a University of Pittsburgh freshman – both worked together at Dobro Country Kitchen in Spring Church as a waitress and dishwasher, respectively.
U.S. Army Private Zac Berbryck graduated from West Shamokin seven months ago, but still came home to go to the annual event with Senior Megan Vandi – who hopes to become a marine biologist after studying at Waynesburg University