North Forsyth Presents Their First-Ever Specialized Prom

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  • In just 11 days, North’s Special Education program pulled together the Specialized Prom. The event united students, disabilities or not, for a night full of fun. Here is Special Education teacher Jessica Ward with senior Dustin Thomas at the dance. Photo by Jessica Ward.

  • The red carpet leading to the school. Photo by Jessica Ward.

  • Students, parents and teachers on the dance floor in the Raider Café. Photo by Jessica Ward.

  • Sophomore’s Clay Williams and Elise Underwood before the prom. Photo by Vicki Alsup Photography.

  • Senior Cynda Allen and sophomore Dylan Garonzik before walking down the red carpet. Photo by Cynda Allen.

  • Sophomore Ethan Willhite inside the limousine. Photo by Kelsey Ballou.

  • Special Education teacher Kelsey Ballou and paraprofessional Tommy McMichen with senior Anesu Mukahanana next to the limousine. Photo by Kelsey Ballou.

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The red carpet was rolled out. Members of Esports and MCJROTC cheered and held up signs saying “You’re a Superstar!” and “We love you!” It was the night of North Forsyth High School’s first-ever Specialized Prom which celebrated the students of the Special Education program. 


Taking place on Friday, March 4, North’s Specialized Prom was held in the Raider Café after school from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event was designed for the Special Education students at North to have their own prom experience.  


Parents took pictures of their students and dates walking down the red carpet upon arrival. Afterward, students were loaded into a white limousine to take a ride around the school.


Any grade level could participate. Special Education teachers sent a sign-up sheet to anyone who wanted to volunteer during the last week of February. Peer buddies had the opportunity to assign themselves with any student as their date. 


The event provided pizza, desserts and refreshments. 


DJ Casper’s “Cha Cha Slide,” Ke$ha’s “TiK ToK,” “Frozen’s” “Let It Go” and “Encanto’s” “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” were some of the many songs played. 


There were two different backdrops to take pictures at. At the backdrop that displayed North’s logo, students had the opportunity for a professional photographer to take a photo of them and their dates. The other backdrop was a black tassel curtain with a poster reading, “Welcome [to] North Forsyth High School’s Specialized Prom [on] 03.04.2022,” where students were free to take as many photos with their friends. 


Special Education teachers Jessica Ward and Kelsey Ballou coordinated the event. They believed that everything “went according to plan.” When asked about the turnout, Ward expressed, “The turnout was great! So many students showed up. [The Specialized Prom] turned out exactly the way we wanted it to!”


Ward went on to explain the process of making the prom in such a short amount of time. “It actually started as a viewing party for ‘Night to Shine.’ When we decided to make it a full-on prom, we realized we had a lot to do in a short amount of time. We figured out where in the building we wanted to do it, and then, from there, found sponsors, which was easy.”


Concluding the interview, Ward expressed, “It really was a magical night. The dance was a dream come true for many of our students!”


Sophomore Clay Williams shared his prom experience and how he felt the night went. “[I had a lot of] fun! It was a good night. [The best part was] the limo ride. I had a [wonderful] time with my date!” said Williams.


In previous years, North’s Special Education students would attend Tim Tebow’s “Night to Shine.” But, due to COVID-19, the prom has been virtual since 2020. For some, this takes the fun out of it and confuses the students who do not understand the concept of a virtual prom. North wanted to eliminate those issues and give the experience back to students.


The Specialized Prom was a success for being put together in such a short amount of time. The dance brought students together for a night of fun, free of worries and judgment. Special thanks to “Optimum Wellness” and “Graves Overhead Doors” for attending and sponsoring the event.