The class of 2022’s prom ups the ante

Aanika Sawhney

“Oceans 11,” the 2001 blockbuster movie, follows eleven con artists executing a heist on a major Las Vegas casino. This year, members of the senior Leadership class planned their very own Oceans 22 themed Prom with juniors and seniors invited to celebrate. On April 16, 2022, doors to San Francisco’s City Hall opened at 7:30 p.m. where Oceans 22 was brought to life at Redwood’s first prom in two years.
Claire McKechnie, Senior Class President, led the brainstorm to find a viable prom theme. Following the Oceans 22 theme decision, the senior leadership class organized decorations and activities to correlate with the casino scene. Casino games including poker tables with Texas hold’em and blackjack along with roulette were set up throughout the City Hall. Additionally, activities like pool and table tennis tables were arranged.
“Another highlight was when the clock hit 10:30 we dropped these huge balloons that were suspended on the ceiling all on the dance floor and everyone rushed to the floor. We were all dancing, having so much fun, and playing with the balloons,” McKechnie said.

Celebrating Redwood’s first prom since 2019, upperclassmen gather on the steps of San Francisco City Hall. (Photo Courtesy of Claire Mckechine.)

McKechnie found the extravagance of City Hall to be a special part of the event that connected to their Oceans 22 motif and appreciates the generous gesture. Senior leadership incorporated a karaoke station and 360-degree video camera to fill the spacious venue. The event also included sweet and savory crepes and Dippin’ Dots. Although the class of 2021 was unable to host a prom due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they had already booked their venue in advance. Later, the class of 2021 decided to pass down the venue for this year’s Prom.
Junior Tawny Strotz remembers Prom as the perfect night as shown in the movies. She watched her older sister go to Prom as a junior, but COVID-19 canceled her older sister’s senior Prom.
“I honestly loved that it was combined as juniors and seniors. I didn’t notice that there was a big separation [where] juniors are doing this and seniors are doing that. It was more just everyone together.” Strotz said.
Senior Chase Enlowsmith and his friends made lots of plans in the month leading up to the highly anticipated event after missing their junior Prom. He noticed that the senior class got closer through the pandemic and became a more connected group when back in-person, adding to the excitement of their spring dance.
“I wanted to have a little bit of the classic tux look. I matched my shirt to my date’s, and then I also wanted to put my own twist on it, so I got a cool bow tie…I decked myself out in some of my favorite jewelry,” Enlowsmith said.
As featured in Enlowsmith’s Prom memories and pictures, he found a personalized style for his Prom outfit and wore it throughout the night. To create this meaningful experience, McKechnie reflected on the work she and her fellow leadership peers put into organizing it.
“Some of the challenges [when planning the Prom] were just how expensive everything was [as a result of the pandemic]. Luckily this year we actually got the most tickets sold and people [who attended] Prom in Redwood history,” McKechnie said.
The class of 2022’s Prom was a royal flush with 920 tickets sold, setting the stage for Redwood’s spirit in future events beyond COVID-19.