Two recent events spearheaded by Desert Sands Unified School District student governments are reminders of the outstanding qualities of those who will soon be leading our world.
On Saturday, March 30, the gym at La Quinta High School was transformed into a movie set for the Starstruck Prom. This wasn’t just any prom but one put on by the combined efforts of the students from Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert, and Shadow Hills high schools along with their counterparts at high schools in Coachella Valley Unified School District. Their student governments worked together to plan this very special afternoon for the district’s severely handicapped and adult transition students. Many of the prom guests are not able to attend the other high school proms due to hypersensitivities to sensory input. This day was just for them.
Each prom guest walked in on the red carpet and the ladies were handed a wrist corsage. Beautifully dressed, and often accompanied by equally fabulously garbed parents, guests made their way to the photo booth for mementos produced right there and then. They danced, they mingled, they enjoyed the Italian buffet and celebrated with the student leaders from their own campuses. Starstruck was open to students from all three desert school districts.
Originally the brainstorm of Farah Meadows, Ed.D., activities director at Indio High School, and Cristian Luna, Jostens representative here in the valley, the first prom was held last year. The two brought the idea to the ASB leaders (Associated Student Body) at Indio High School who then reached out to their counterparts at La Quinta, Palm Desert, and Shadow Hills. Each school, student, and staff member helped to make the prom the dream-come-true for many of our students. Desert Empire DJs provided the music, Mario’s Italian Restaurants provided the feast, Josten’s provided the photography, and on and on and on.
Two weeks before the Starstruck Prom, ASB leaders from across the district came together for a banquet to celebrate the accomplishments of the seven DSUSD high schools. The DSUSD School Board members, Superintendent Scott Bailey, representatives from the district senior staff, and 11 representatives from each high school including the principal and activities director all attended.
The event took place at La Quinta High School and dinner was prepared and served by the students of the culinary arts program. Entertainment was provided by students of the school. Each of the seven schools – Amistad, Horizon, Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Shadow Hills, Summit – spoke about the uniqueness of their school, some included video. The evening was one of celebration but also included collaboration among the schools, as did the Starstruck Prom. Students listened as their football rival and academic competitors spoke. They clapped, they cheered, they congratulated.
Following the event, students were asked for comments. It was unanimous, let’s do this every year!
- The Spirit Table Award went to Shadow Hills High School: DSUSD
- ASB leaders who planned the Starstruck Prom: DSUSD
- Culinary Arts Academy student chefs: DSUSD
- Dancing at the Starstruck Prom: DSUSD