75 mentally challenged students from the Hart District were able to enjoy their very own senior prom. “The smile on their faces was definitely one to remember. It made all the work worth while,” said Valencia High School’s Assistant Principal Vincent Ferry.
For the second year in a row, Valencia High’s ASB organized a senior prom for the disabled students of the Hart District. While all students are included and invited to their own school’s prom, some of the disabled students’ needs kept them from attending.
On May 24th, 75 students, dressed in their finest suits and gowns, came to Valencia High’s Multipurpose room ready for the prom. Each attendee had their picture taken by O’Connor Photography, who did all the photo shoots for free. All the girls were treated to hair and nail appointments donated by several local salons.
Although this year’s prom was organized by Valencia High’s ASB, the person who spearheaded the idea was the late LaWana Clary. Clary, then 51 years old, was the Valencia High special education teacher who was found murdered in her Castaic home in April 2006.
“She told me about this idea where we would hold a special prom for the kids that couldn’t go to their own senior proms. And even after she was murdered, we decided to carry on this project in her memory. And we did it again this year,” said Ferry.
Since the first prom was such a success last year, Valencia’s ASB, faculty and staff decided to organize one again this year. Ferry said that he and all the staff were willing to work on the prom again this year because the kids definitely deserved their own special night.
“Everyone should have a senior prom. And this night gave these kids an opportunity to create memories to last a lifetime.”