NEW ULM - A rare alignment of the stars?
The proms of three New Ulm high schools - Cathedral, New Ulm High School and Minnesota Valley Lutheran - are going to be held on the same day, Saturday, April 26.
Usually, proms are on separate weekends, which allows students who are dating peers from different schools to attend each others' proms.
Upon request, New Ulm High School Principal Mark Bergmann provided information to help explain the overlap.
"About three years ago, the prom director and I had a discussion on moving prom," Bergmann said. "The discussion centered around getting away from the month of May, because our spring activities are outdoors, and the weather is generally better in May than in April.
"We generally have not collaborated with the other schools about activities such as this, but I did talk with the (now former) principal at CHS and asked if they would consider alternating years, on the last week in April and the first week in May. He was not interested in this option.
"In addition, we spend a lot of time collaborating on other ideas, and the thought of having an all-school after-prom party was discussed. This would bring the schools together at one site and allow businesses to only have to donate once rather than three times. That idea was also not received well.
"The last consideration was to move the NUHS prom to a date in April prior to the last week. Of course, this year, the second to the last weekend in April was Easter, so that was not possible. It is, however, being considered for next year when Easter is earlier. That will avoid the conflict that seems to be happening from our change.
"In addition, I met with the interim principal at CHS to discuss the issue earlier this year, and we agreed to allow students to attend both the CHS and NUHS prom. Because the after-prom parties are run by parents, we do not have any say on if students can attend both of those," Bergmann said.
"The CHS prom has always been on this date," said Karen Domeier, Development Director for New Ulm Area Catholic Schools.
"When it was discovered that NUHS's prom was also going to be on this date, CHS Principal Fr. Matt Wiering and NUHS Principal Mark Bergmann spoke about how we could make this work," Domeier said.
"Our grand marches will be staggered, so that they overlap as little as possible. We will allow our students who are going to the prom with a NUHS student to attend both grand marches and parts of both dances," Domeier said.
With schedules rather tight, schools normally schedule independently, rather than coordinating with other schools, and the overlap was a coincidence, said MVL Principal Tim Plath.
"Like other schools, our spring time is filled with many activities: athletics, play, end-of-year gatherings, concerts, etc.," said Plath. "The weekend we chose worked for us with our other activities scheduled," Plath said.
The River Bend Area Learning Center is not having a prom, clarified River Bend ALC Principal Chris Bodick.