Woodson’s Homecoming is back

Peter Mahler, Sport's Editor

Students scramble around Mr. Schaefer’s sixth period class, chatting and trading ideas for how to put together a school dance during an ongoing pandemic. Simone Barry, senior and a Chair member of Leadership’s Dance Committee, is one of the many creators in the process of crafting homecoming, one of Woodson’s most beloved traditions.

Photo by Jada Bromberg

When it comes to Barry’s first homecoming experience, the word “classy” comes to mind. “It felt like we were all in a movie!” she says, while reminiscing over the 2018 dance, where the theme was based on spy cinema and espionage. 

This year, however, the theme is not as simple. Virtually everything in the dance planning process is anything but, especially as COVID-19 continues to loom over all school-related activities.

Despite the obstacles, Barry appears eager to face them with her fellow committee members. “It’s unprecedented, but I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Last year, while Foco (fake homecoming celebrations, where instead of going to the dance, students held close contact dinners with dates and friends) was a quaint way to enjoy a yearly tradition during the absence of homecoming, something was still off without the ability to have the dance itself.

And since none of this year’s sophomores were able to experience a homecoming dance last year, this means that two years of classes will be attending their first high school dance ever.

In order to manage the pandemic, precautions and protocols will of course be put into place. For the first time in Woodson homecoming history, the majority of the dance will take place outside, “weather-permitting,” says Mr. Schaefer, as he crosses his fingers. 

Schaefer, the man in charge of the Dance Committee for the Leadership class, couldn’t be happier to be planning yet another dance. 

Photo by Jada Bromberg

He of all people has to have missed the process of putting together such a beloved event. “Having the opportunity to do it again makes it feel like things are back to normal,” Schaefer said. “I miss watching ‘kids be kids’ and watching everyone have a good time, enjoying themselves… I’m excited to get back to some sense of normal.”

The process of planning Homecoming is not only daunting, but extensive when it comes to how many people are involved. “[The students] work on it in and outside of class for the next month, coordinating everything from tickets, decorations, getting the police officers to do security, chaperones, etc,” Schaefer says. “They work on everything –A to Z– and then, the day of, we get the whole [Leadership] class together, which is about 100 kids, to come help set up.”

While it’s a big undertaking, Schaefer has faith in his students. “We have a great group doing the planning this year and some great seniors in charge, so I’m very excited. They’re going to do a great job.”