Matthew Schoedel dances the night away during the second annual special education prom at Mercantile Hall on Saturday in Burlington. (Photo by Jason Arndt)

Students shine at special education prom

By Jason Arndt


Under the twinkling lights Saturday at Mercantile Hall in Burlington, special education students shined brightly, thanks to a Burlington High School student group.

The group of students from DRIVEN, an organization dedicated to community service, coordinated the second annual Special Education Prom.

Once Upon a Time was this year’s theme.

Senior Alexandria Naber, one of the student volunteers, said she found joy in seeing special education students crack a smile with some even showcasing their dance moves on the floor.

Naber, who had fun herself, said she and her classmates remained committed to making Saturday’s event a special evening.

“My inspiration is seeing them smile,” she said. “I am all about making this a moment for them to shine.”

“I don’t want it to be about me, or anyone else here. I want it to be about the special education students because that is what this is for.”

The special prom, according to senior May Jagodzinski, is a golden opportunity for them because some of them are unable to attend Prom at Veteran’s Terrace.

“I love that is gives the students an opportunity to have fun and relax. A lot of times, they don’t have a chance to go to prom,” she said.

Special Education teacher Emily Boyd said some of her students would find a crowd of more than 300 people overwhelming.

Saturday’s event allowed them to have a more intimate and laid back experience.

“For a lot of the students, it would just be too overwhelming of a night and having a more intimate and laid back setting is more comfortable,” she said.

Boyd reports about 15 of 25 special education students who were invited attended the annual event on Saturday.

Boyd, however, said she was satisfied because the event was held on a Saturday when other activities are happening.

“To have 15 here is a big deal,” she said.

Naber agreed, adding Saturday’s event exceeded her expectations.

“I had high hopes and it has been better than I expected,” she said.

To read the entire story see the March 14 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.