by Jonathan Weaver
The final Kittanning Senior High School Grand March preceded the prom Friday evening in Kittanning Riverfront Park along South Water Street.
Before couples were announced at 5PM, couples and their families filled the park during the above-average temperatures and summer sun for photographs. The prom is usually in Riverfront Park except for during inclement weather – when it is held in the high school gymnasium.
Seniors Sam Keibler and Gabby Cravener were crowned prom king and queen, respectively, causing the crowd of parents and guests to clap and cheer from the amphitheater seats.
Keibler – a future engineering student at Penn-State Behrend – said he was surprised when crowned king, thinking the honor should have gone to fellow Senior Logan Slagle.
Even though Keibler escorted Cravener as part of the Prom Court, each had their own dates to the final prom.
Cravener’s prom date, Drew Pore – a freshman at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (where Cravener also will attend) – joked that he was disappointed he was not crowned king.
One of Cravener’s last high school memories will be singing “Popular,” from the Broadway musical “Wicked” during the school talent show tomorrow night.
Kolton Crissman and Jessalyn Burns were named Prince and Princess, respectively.
Princess and Queen crowns were donated by Chambers Jewelers in Ford City.
Last year’s Prom King Alek Schaffer – now a Point Park University student studying computer forensics – and Prom Queen Hannah Fugini – a Penn State New Kensington student for radiology – returned to crown this year’s King and Queen, Prince and Princess.
Computer Science Teacher and one of the Junior Class Advisors, Carol Lorigan announced the participating couples along with Drivers Education Teacher Howard Stanley.
Lorigan – a 1968 Kittanning High School graduate – attended her prom in the high school gymnasium and thanked all the parents and students that aided in the preparation.
Lorigan also chaperoned the main event at Lenape Heights Golf Course – being able to watch her grandson, Noah Spang, before he graduates in June.
Stanley has chaperoned the Grand March and prom for many years since another teacher retired.
“They always put a lot of effort into (the prom), but every event this year at Kittanning High School was special because it’s the last one,” Stanley said.
Stanley – who is retiring after the school year following 35 years of teaching – recalled his own prom experience was at East Brady High School in 1974.
Stanley’s daughter, Lindsay Crawford (of Sarver) attended Kittanning High School proms in 1999, 2000 and 2001. She said she enjoyed her last prom the most.
Crawford – now a mother to four-year-old Sophia (who admired all the “princess dresses”) and three-month-old Holly – encouraged high school seniors to enjoy the last month before school ends.
A Las Vegas theme prom was held that evening at Lenape Heights Golf Course in Manor Township. About 30 couples were professionally photographed.
Kittanning DJ Kevin Kline provided music for the Grand March and for Downtown Kittanning, Inc’s first Movie in the Park of the season, “Frozen.” His daughter, Kendra – a junior – also attended the prom.