Webster staff members reminisce about prom

Elise Keller
News Editor

Evelyn Trampe
Business Manager

Teachers, too, were once in high school. They had high school romances, drama, and yes–they went to prom. With the 2017 graduating class having recently made its prom memories, Echo decided to ask Webster’s staff members about theirs.

David  Schuster, 1998 Webster Groves High School Graduate

Dr. David Schuster and date Lori Vaughn take a school bus to and from prom on May 16, 1998. Photo provided by David Schuster

“I had a very good friend who was also super clever and really pretty. I thought I might start dating her, but I knew I’d have a great time either way,” physics teacher Dr. David Schuster said about his prom expectations.

“My date thought that I was joking about the invitation until one week before prom, when I insisted that she finally choose where we would have dessert afterward: Tony’s or White Castle. Guess which one she chose.”

Because Schuster’s date agreed to go with him at the last minute, the time which his date had to get a dress was less than ideal.

“[My date’s] mom was really p****d, because [she] had wanted to MAKE her a freaking dress, but she then didn’t have time to do more than modify a store-made one,” Schuster said.

Despite the complications, the two made it to prom. “My first kiss (during some stupid 90s slow song) with this beautiful girl was interrupted by one of our friends tapping us on the shoulder yelling, ‘The bus is here!  Let’s go!’  We had rented a schoolbus.”

Schuster actually married his prom date.

Looking back on that date, Schuster said, “Hot date. Put a ring on it.”

Kevin Cole, 1994 Pekin Community High School Graduate

Band teacher Kevin Cole’s expectations for his prom were “to act like a total nincompoop with my friends. I took a date both years, but I was too shy to be very involved with either of them.  I’m sure they considered it a blessing.”

His routine during prom day was pretty similar to those of students now.

“I went to our corny little formal wear store to rent a tuxedo. I believe we ate at a fancy steakhouse and exchanged the whole corsage-and-boutonniere deal. In my hometown we likely used dandelions for our flowers,” Cole said.

“I really don’t remember [what the theme was, but] where I grew up the theme was probably something like ‘Wal-Mart Nights’ or ‘Remember Your First Pair of Oakleys,” Cole said.

Cole’s senior prom didn’t last long for him.

“I think my date must have been regretful enough about her decision that she decided not to be very nice to me. Again, I can’t blame her,” Cole said.

About his dream celebrity prom date, Cole said, “Then? Probably Lisa Bonet. Very foxy in the 80s and 90s. Now? My wife, [Kristin] Cole. She also tolerates me out of pity.”

Rebecca Frese, 2005 Parkway North Graduate

Rebecca Frese smiles with sister, Kathleen Frese, before prom. Photo provided by Rebecca Frese

Math teacher Rebecca Frese saw prom as a somewhat sad farewell to the end of high school, though she said she had fun.

Frese expected to “just hav[e] a blast with friends before [everyone] graduated and scattered to [their] own various colleges.”

Frese described her prom as pretty average.

“[It was] just fun having one big night with people you grew up with, even if you didn’t know them well, before everyone heads off to their post-secondary plans. Some people you will never see again, so it’s a bittersweet evening.”

Frese’s dream celebrity prom date is Chris Pratt.

Jon Clark, 1984 St. Joseph Lafayette High School Graduate

Principal Jon Clark considers his prom experience to be unique because “I went fishing with my prom date.  My parents had a big farm, and a lot of the guys brought their prom dates to go fishing (in their tuxes).”

His unconventional after-prom activity apparently didn’t appeal to Clark’s date.

“She wanted to go home instead of go fishing (which I just don’t understand,)” Clark said.

Jaime Schwartz, 2006 Webster Groves High School Graduate

Jaime Schwartz embraces Holcombe miller at their high school graduation. Photo provided by Jaime Schwartz

Spanish teacher Jaime Schwartz expected her prom to be classy and fun.

“I bought a cute dress at a now closed dress shop in Brentwood, I did my own makeup,” Schwartz said.

 In addition, Schwartz was also was hired by others to do their prom makeup.

“[At prom] they only played one slow song…I believe it was Keyshia Cole’s ‘Love,’ and it was not easy to dance to. It was also a little disturbing to see really fancy dressed people get their freak on after the formal dinner was over… it went from classy and elegant to trashy really quick, Schwartz said.

Schwartz’s high school boyfriend was upset at the lack of slow songs at prom.

“I have an appreciation for males who show emotions because our culture tells them to do otherwise, but I was shocked to see him cry about not being able to have a few slow dances with me,” Schwartz said.

“He actually said, ‘I just wanted to twirl you a few times like a princess.’ To make up for it, we danced in our PJs at my parent’s house in the living room to Norah Jones’ ‘Come Away with Me.’”

About her dream celebrity prom date, Schwartz said, “I would love to go to prom with someone who would just be ridiculous and have fun. I think Will Ferrell would be great for that. I’m not attracted to him at all but I could see us having a good time.”

Terry Verstraete, 1989 McCluer North Graduate

Social studies teacher Terry Verstraete did not attend his high school prom; however, he did originally have plans to.

In preparation for prom Verstraete said, “I asked [my date] at least three times, ‘Are you sure?’”

“I was dumped right before prom. She said she ‘had to go to Minnesota,” Verstraete said.

Expectation wise Verstraete said, “[I expected to] have an actual, live prom date.”

As an alternative to prom Verstraete said, “I went to watch ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,’ front row with my buddy who didn’t have a prom date. We lamented about how prom was overrated.”

Katie Guymon, 1998 Christopher Community High School Graduate

Katie Guymon stands with flowers and smiles before prom. Photo provided by Katie Guymon

When reflecting, English teacher Katie Guymon considers herself a “total prom nerd.”

“I did the whole deal: hair, nails, make-up, tanning. (DO NOT GET INTO A TANNING BED. I HAVE PAID THE PRICE SO THE NEXT GENERATION CAN DO BETTER,)” Guymon.

To clarify, Guymon does not recommend tanning beds.

Guymon’s school’s prom themes were always song titles. “I went back and looked at my yearbooks–I don’t recall either song. They were probably the theme song in a horrible romantic comedy or something equally nauseating.”

Guymon described her date situation as “a good time! Although–shocker–I did not marry my high school sweetheart. Coincidentally, he and my husband are now great friends. Our families both live in Webster Groves, and we both have two daughters. (Thinking of starting a tricycle gang or a soccer team.)”

About who her dream celebrity prom date is, Guymon said, “Hmmm, Justin Timberlake? Usher? I want someone who can dance! I can’t moonwalk by myself all night.”

Molly Dean, 2011 Parkway West High School Graduate

Maggie Wenstrup, Molly Dean, and Maddie Reale stand and smile for a picture at prom.

“My expectations [for prom] were high. I missed my junior prom because of volleyball so I was putting all my marbles into senior prom’s bucket. It was something my friends, and I planned out weeks ahead,” teacher Molly Dean said about her prom expectations.

“[My prom’s] theme was Forever Young (Jay-Z)”

“I wore a white dress which I kind of regret because I looked a little bride-esque, but it made me look really tan so it was all good.”

Dean didn’t seem to think her prom experience was unique.

“We were pretty basic: We met the boys at Forest Park for pictures then took the limo to the venue. I think that’s probably how it always goes,” Dean said.

About her dream celebrity date, Dean said,“[My] dream celebrity date would definitely be Paul Rudd. I feel like he would keep me laughing all night!”

Eric Dunn, 1993 Eleanor Roosevelt High School Graduate

About what he did to prepare for prom, math teacher Eric Dunn said, “rented a tux and borrowed my date’s dad’s (now father in law’s) OLD Mercedes to drive us to prom.”

“[My date and I] got to walk around the Baltimore inner harbor, which is beautiful at night. Super cool.”

On if his prom date went well, Dunn said,“Yes, and I married her five years later.”

Dunn said his dream celebrity prom date is Steve Leftridge.

Zach Smith, 2002 Webster Groves High School Graduate

“[My prom expectations were] pretty high; I went with a big group of friends, and it was supposed to be our last big night together,” teacher Zach Smith said.

To prepare for prom, Smith’s routine was short and sweet.

“[I] showered half an hour before we were supposed to meet for pics, threw on my tux, and I was out the door,” Smith said.

“We met at a friend’s house for pictures, and we got Tim Tobin (aka Tim the Bus Driver) to take us in a school bus!!! That was the highlight for sure,” Smith said.

At the time, Smith’s dream celebrity prom date was, “Christina Aguilera.”

Scott Stallcup, 1980 Van-Far High School Graduate

When approached about his prom experience, social studies teacher Scott Stallcup said, “[I’m] answering against my better judgement.”

Stallcup did not remember much about his prom; however, he did say that beforehand, “I’m pretty sure I did nothing to prepare. [I] rented a tux and got flower[s] for my date. [Actually,] my mom probably did that.”

Stallcup didn’t particularly find his senior prom too memorable, though he considered it unique to him.

“I guess because it was the first and only dance I attended in high school. I was more interested in sports,” Stallcup said.

“Seriously???” was Stallcup’s response about his celebrity prom date.

See also: Slideshow: Seniors experience Hollywood themed prom

See also: Prom goers go Hollywood


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Categories: Features

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