Parkwood High celebrates 20th annual special needs prom

Tenth grade student Tyler Hargett, center, and senior Natalie Pate, right, dance at the Special Needs Prom Friday, May 13, at First Presbyterian Church. The two are members of Parkwood High School’s Key Club, which put on the dance. Kate Latta, a transition to adulthood teacher at Monroe High School, dances to the left.

Parkwood High School held the 20th annual prom for special needs students across the Union County Public Schools district Friday, May 13, at First Presbyterian Church in Monroe.

The prom was hosted by about 50 members of Parkwood High’s Key Club, and attended by almost 100 students from Wolfe School and Parkwood, Weddington, Piedmont, Monroe and Porter Ridge high schools. The prom offered all the glitz and glamour of any other prom, including a disc jockey, prom pictures, food and more. Students danced to music provided by Jimmy Huntley, with Bass FX in Monroe, under the theme of “Hollywood.”

“Our biggest challenge was putting everything together to make it perfect for (the students),” said Julia Kenney, a 18-year-old senior at Parkwood High, in a district press release. “I’m so happy with the way things came out, with the decorations, with the fun they’re having. Things went without a hitch.”

“Our students look forward to this day all year,” added Wolfe School Principal Mary Jo Breckenridge in the release. “Parkwood High does a great job. I can not give them enough credit.”

According to Breckenridge, along with giving them a fun night, the event helps improve special needs students’ social skills.

The first Special Needs Prom was hosted by the school in 1991.

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