GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) – It’s officially prom season and one Upstate teacher has gone out of her way to make sure this year’s prom is the best one yet.
Gaffney High School’s prom will look a little different this year. The event will be held outside, in the teachers’ parking lot, but there will be big tents, lights, and decorations. There will also be games, food, and, of course, music.
“It makes everybody feel special, because it is a day where you get to dress up and be extra beautiful,” Jill Hanna said.
Prom is a tradition, and it’s something high schoolers look forward to their junior and senior years.
“It’s kind of like our last hoorah before graduation and college,” student Erica Moore said.
But one Gaffney High School teacher looks forward to the event just as much as her students do. So much so that she’s earned another title: the Ultimate Prom Queen.
“I love prom,” Jill Hanna said. “I love to see the kids come in and they are so happy.”
That’s because Hanna goes all out, every year, to make sure students have the best prom experience possible. In fact, she has a whole room dedicated to the event.
But, last year, because of COVID, prom was out of the question.
So, this year, Mrs. Hanna is doing her best to make this prom the best one yet.
“This is something that may make them feel a little bit more on the side of normal for once this school year,” Hanna said.
Mrs. Hanna is continuing her annual prom dress drive and has been collecting dresses since the last prom. So far, she has about 300.
“With all the dresses that we have, we could probably clothe everybody that wanted to go to prom,” Hanna said.
The best part? All of the dresses are free.
“It’s a struggle for a lot of girls,” Erica Moore said. “I have to buy three to four dresses a year, and I think it’s nice to know that, if I don’t want to buy a dress for prom and spend $300, I can come down to Mrs. Hanna’s room and have lots of options.”
“These dresses are beautiful,” another student, Mya Dawkins, said. “This is my first time actually seeing these dresses and I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m actually going to get one of these.'”
Hanna said she can’t wait to see her students walk in with these beautiful dresses and their beautiful smiles.
“Going along with our theme this year, ‘Happily Ever After,’ we want all of our girls to feel like they are a princess, no matter what,” she said.
Gaffney’s prom will be held on May 8th, from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Only seniors are allowed to invite outside guests this year; and Mrs. Hanna told us many seniors have chosen to invite last years’ seniors who missed out on prom because of COVID.
If you’d like to donate to Mrs. Hanna’s prom dress drive, she accepts donations year-round. You can take them by Gaffney High School any time.