WEST ORANGE – A prom was held on Thursday night in West Orange, but it wasn’t the Senior Prom—rather, it was the Intergenerational Senior Prom where West Orange High School students, members of the Mountaineer Mentors, a group of students who come together to help freshman transition into their first year of high school and are also active members of the community—giving back via events like this one, and seniors of the West Orange community danced, ate and laughed the night away together. Approximately 80 guests filled the cafeteria at West Orange High School. Both Jazz Band One and Jazz Band Two filled the cafeteria with tunes for the guests to enjoy.

“It’s a way to get people in the community back into the schools,” said Krista Romanyshyn. “It gives the kids an opportunity to give back and showcase their talents while they are here. The student council worked hard to have the event and we’re lucky to have Mr. Moore help with the event.”

Many returning guests expressed that they look forward to this event yearly.

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“It’s nice for the school to do this for us,” said Mary Acquadro. “It’s nice that the school does this for us.”

“I’m expecting tonight to be fun and enjoyable,” said David Montague student council secretary. I’ve never been to a Senior Citizen Prom, so I’m happy I could set it up and be a part of it all.”

Students said they enjoyed the night as they moved around tables getting to know their guests. Students then accompanied their new prom dates to the dance floor with help from the Jazz Band. 

“It’s the senior citizen prom, we have it every year,” said Jodi Costanza, event coordinator. “It gives the community members the support they deserve. The school provides busing from some of the senior citizen homes and it really gives them an opportunity to come out and have some fun. 

“I love coming for all the kids,” said Roula Papamakariou. “They are so polite, good music—and the principal forget about it—I love him.”

“I’m having amazing conversations with the guest and I love being here,” said Melissa Damestoir president of Student Council. “The guests love to share their personal stories and tell us what they have done and what they have been through. It’s a great experience for me to have.”

“Senior Citizen Prom for me is about connecting paths,” said West Orange High School Principal Hayden Moore. “I’m trying to help students look back to their grandparents by helping them understand and interact with seniors and by teaching them every day skills such as today’s technology. I want our kids to understand that before they came to school these people were doing all. It’s great to come back and pay homage to everyone. It’s high school we love to host their prom, dance and just have fun.”