Parents, students plan July prom for Science Hill High School seniors

David Floyd • May 21, 2020 at 8:00 AM

Science Hill High School senior Keaton Honeycutt bought her prom dress back in January — a few months before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak forced the Johnson City Schools system to cancel the original May 2 event.

Now, it looks like Honeycutt will get a chance to use it.

A group of parents and students are organizing a prom for Science Hill’s graduating seniors from 9 p.m. to midnight July 11 at MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center in Kingsport.

“I knew as a senior, and for other seniors, that we would all want a prom because we’re not getting much of an end to a senior year ... and prom is a good way to celebrate all of our accomplishments and just have a good night,” said Honeycutt, who will be moving on to Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, to study health sciences and dance. “I just felt like it was important for us to all come together as a class one last time.”

Clarissa Abbott, a parent and one of the organizers, said the event will be canceled if social distancing recommendations are still in place at that time. Tickets will be refundable.

“In the event that we still have to practice social distancing and those types of precautions, then we’ll go ahead and cancel,” Abbott said. “MeadowView’s been really kind. They said that they will give us back all of our money, so like I said, in the event we have to practice that still then we’ll cancel it.”

Abbott said it’s difficult to find a window during the summer between the end of school and when students have to move on to other commitments.

“There’s really no perfect date,” she said.

Tickets were available for $20 starting Wednesday at Metro-Kiwanis Park. They will also be available from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the park as well as 4 to 6 p.m. May 26-28 and 6 to 8 p.m. May 29. Abbott said tickets will be available for $20 until next Thursday and will then increase to $30.

To buy a ticket, anyone under the age of 18 will have to be accompanied by their parents and must present IDs. They’ll also have to sign a waiver. Any student older than 18 can purchase a ticket on their own and must also present an ID.

As of right now, the prom is just open to seniors, but Abbott said they may open it to juniors depending on how ticket sales proceed.

Because of the outbreak, Abbott said seniors were robbed of many of the typical milestones they would experience during their last year in high school.

“This is their last opportunity,” Abbott said, “and it’s just one way for them to celebrate with each other one more time.”

The Northeast Tennessee Regional Health Office did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

School officials approved tentative plans in early May to host a traditional graduation ceremony on June 19 and 20 in Freedom Hall Civic Center or Kermit Tipton Stadium. The system will aim for July 24 and 25 if those dates don’t work and could host up to six ceremonies.

Press Staff Writer Brandon Paykamian contributed to this report.

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