Recently, I had the honor of interviewing two very special people here at East Stroudsburg High School South….
To start, Mrs. Males, an employee in the district for just over twenty years, is a full-time secretary in the main office, answering phones, assisting staff and students, as well as assisting administration with the beloved Keystone Exams. On the other hand, Mrs. Derenzis has been working in the district for 15 years, teaching in our special education department. She is able to make life-long relationships with students as she has them for four years. Mrs. Derenzis and Mrs. Males both share a love for planning and attending the Special Spring Gala.
You may ask yourself “what is the Special Spring Gala”? It is a prom for the special needs students, something that they will cherish forever, as many of them are unable to attend the Prom due to physical and emotional disabilities. Six years ago the Spring Gala, or what is commonly referred to as the “Life Skills Prom” was started, and it has grown ever since! It is now one of our school’s favorite nights. Students from several of our service clubs, such as NHS and Key Club, donate their time and energy in order to give the students a once in a lifetime experience. Mrs. Males describes the work that goes into the Gala as the highlight of her year.
What type of work goes into planning this special night? Aside from the first year, planning typically begins at the turn of the new year for the event that takes place in mid-May. Mrs. Males and Mrs. Derenzis typically hold meetings weekly, arranging how the prom will happen logistically. A lot of time and effort goes on behind the scenes by Mrs. Males and Mrs. Derenzis in order to create the night of a lifetime. They ask students to vote on what food, theme, and music they would like, trying to satisfy each prom-goer’s dreams. Luckily, many local establishments such as Stroudsmoor, ShopRite, and PepsiCo make generous donations such as decorations, baked goods, and bottled water.