May 19, 2022. A day when students got to celebrate in dresses and suits, as well as take pictures with their friends. Prom is known for celebrating the students, but what about the teachers? Christopher Paulison, a 10th grade World History teacher who also teaches Sexual Politics and AT Macroeconomics, was a chaperone for the prom this year. Paulison noted that the senior class government advisors ask for volunteers they think would make the night more enjoyable. Paulison has been a chaperone since he started teaching at Scarsdale five years ago. Paulison described the experience as “intense,” because it is stressful to watch hundreds of students and afterward, wake up early to teach 8:00 AM classes the next morning.
The behind-the-scenes process is that the chaperones teach until 3:00 PM, and then they have an hour to get ready for the red carpet, which begins at 4:00 PM. His responsibility is to simply make sure that everything runs smoothly. Occasionally, former graduates and Scarsdale alumni come to see their friends on the red carpet and Paulison enjoys reconnecting with his past students. At 5:00 PM, the chaperones get stationed at the bus and record that everyone gets on. The ride is about 20-25 minutes long to Glen Island Harbor Club in New Rochelle.
When asked about why he continues to volunteer as a chaperone each year, Paulison stated that it is a gratifying experience to be able to socialize with his senior students from his AT Macroeconomics class outside of school, as well as talk to other teachers outside of the Social Studies department. Each teacher has a partner for chaperoning, and Paulison’s partner was Carlos Bedoya, another member of the Social Studies Department. Since Paulison and Bedoya do not teach the same grade, they rarely get to spend time with each other.
The Prom is the last time teachers get to see their seniors before graduation due to senior options. For this reason, Paulison thinks that having an enjoyable last night with the seniors is worth the stress of being responsible for all of the students at the event.
In Paulison’s eyes, one of the most important aspects of the Prom is making sure that the students have a memorable night that they will remember for the rest of their life. In 2020, there was no Prom due to the pandemic. In 2021, Paulison remembered that the school year had been unusual since there were only two in-person classes a week for COVID precautions. Toward the end of the year, as Prom came around, everyone had been vaccinated, the weather was warmer, and students had five full days of school. The experience had been special because the seniors were not certain if they would have a prom and it was best to end the year on a positive note. Although only seniors were allowed to join and masks were required, Paulison stated that it was the best prom he had been to because it was the end of a difficult year.
In 2022, Paulison felt that the Prom was back to the way it was before the pandemic. The students had an amazing night and he was grateful that he got to share that experience with his students. Congratulations to the Class of 2022!