By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Bradwell brings back homecoming tradition
Keinan Johnson takes a selfie with a large group of Bradwell students at the Midnigt in Paris-themed homecoming danceweb
Keinan Johnson takes a selfie with many of his Bradwell school mates at the Midnight in Paris-themed homecoming dance. - photo by Photo provided.

Who was involved
Homecoming committee members: Faith Dooghan, Amelia Brooks, Kaylynn Jewell, Dayle McCallar, Riley O’Neill, Keinan Johnson, Williams Ahrens, Tatiana Alvarez, Irish Wingfield, Karen VanBelkum, Lazako Santos, Aizsia Ewing, Swing Kynng Shin, Bailey Crech, Auston Prince, Kayla Gaskin, Lizzie Hedrick, Maddie Whitten

Dance chaperones: Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, Cody Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Parson, Alex Moyfield, Kari Govignon, Beckylynn McGarrah, Tori Lewis, David Cornelison, Elsa Holton, Thomas Thornton, Rebecca Woods, Mr. Reedman, Gabriel Shaw, Mr. and Mrs. White, Charlotte Punscak, Dennis McMann

Bradwell Institute students enjoyed “Midnight in Paris” at the school’s homecoming dance.

“Midnight in Paris” was the theme of the dance. Bradwell’s cafeteria and common area were transformed into a lighted Paris setting for the occasion on Saturday evening, Oct. 10.

There hadn’t been a homecoming dance at Bradwell in several years due to a lack of interest.

“Part of that is we used to have it on Friday nights after the (homecoming) game, and till the game ended and students were able to get over here for the dance, it was a short period of time,” Principal Scott Carrier said. “So I think some kids felt it wasn’t worth the time. Then we decided to change it to Saturday nights, and I think some didn’t want to do it because they looked at homecoming being on Friday.”

This year, Becky McGarrah, the president of Bradwell’s Parent Teacher Organization, and three students — Tatiana Alvarez, Lizzie Hedrick and Faith Dooghan, spearheaded the efforts to organize the homecoming dance.

McGarrah asked the principal if the school could hold a homecoming dance.

 “He said, ‘If you can get 100 tickets sold, then let’s do it.’ Then we had three girls that really wanted a homecoming dance also and were interested in helping,” she said.

Eighteen students joined the homecoming committee and started planning in mid-August. A survey was sent out to all the students, asking what kind of dance they wanted to have and the theme. Students gave feedback and chose “Midnight in Paris.”

Carrier said the committee thought the dance would benefit the school and build spirit. Committee members worked hard in the planning process, advertising to students and sparking interest.

“They did a great job in getting organized,” he said. “It was really a combination of our PTO, along with students working together to develop that interest.”

The committee was able to sell 310 tickets to the homecoming dance, a sharp contrast to last year’s efforts to have a winter dance, in which only six tickets were sold. The funds raised from homecoming ticket sales covered the costs, and the rest will be put into the PTO fund.

Out of the 310 tickets sold, 280 students attended the Parisian dance. Those who didn’t make it to the dance either didn’t have their tickets or didn’t have proper identification, which was a requirement to attend.

Inside, students were greeted with French art, a large Eiffel Tower made by students at Midway Middle School, miniature Eiffel Towers, the colors white and lavender, and lights. Bradwell’s common area was transformed into a bistro where the students could eat and talk. The cafeteria became the dance floor, with the disc jockey on the stage. There were benches around the dance floor for the students to sit, and lighted lampposts like one would find in Paris. The school store sold candy, ice cream, drinks and frozen slushies.

“I was very impressed how they transformed our cafeteria and commons area,” Carrier said. “They did a great job in creating that allusion (midnight in Paris) with the lights, decorations and artwork,” Carrier said.

The students attending the dance seemed to be impressed as well. Carrier said that the students appreciated that it was very well done and seemed to have a good time. He hopes that this dance has mustered enough interest that students will want to make it an annual event like it was before.  

Because the dance did very well, not only was McGarrah asked to organize a homecoming dance for next year, but the school is considering having its prom on campus. It would be the first year for Bradwell to host its prom on school grounds. Prom is usually held at Club Stewart on Fort Stewart.

“We talked about doing prom here (Bradwell) for years and never knew if we wanted to make the transition,” Carrier said. “Seeing what a great job they did and how they can make it look, it’s actually a more attractive venue. It’s bigger and from all appearances it’s a better venue for us.”

Sign up for our e-newsletters