On Friday, November 3rd, 2023, students of all grades gathered in Leonia High School gymnasium for their annual Homecoming dance from 7-10 pm. The theme this year was Glow-in-the-Dark, and students were equipped with glow sticks and glow in the dark gear when they arrived.
Leonia High School has been hosting Homecoming for decades and many students have compared their experiences at previous dances to this year’s dance. Junior Sofie Gaevaya notes, “Leonia High School’s Homecoming dance compared to last year turned out to be a success! The DJ was quite spectacular and had some great song choices.”
For the past 3 years Homecoming did not have enough students to fill the gymnasium and therefore it was cut in half by a curtain, yet this year the entire room was used due to a marked increase in attendance. Junior Emma Widensky noted, “Compared to previous years this Homecoming was much better, the whole gym was used and people were more energetic and into it.” The significant upturn in Homecoming attendance compared to previous years can be attributed to many factors, whether it be the use of the entire gym, the glow in the dark theme, better music, the erasing of detention hours which allowed more students to attend, better decorations. One of the biggest changes was a sparkling new photo booth, run by junior parent Ms. Deborah Mena. Thank you, Ms. Mena for generously donating your time and talent to making this a memorable night for everyone!
Homecoming Court nominee Adam Abdel-Razek ‘24, who appears in many group shots from the photo booth, said “I liked being part of the Homecoming Court because I got to cut the line for the photobooth and slide into almost every single picture.” Adam went on to add, “I’ve been to Homecoming before, but this year the gym was expanded and I saw everybody on the dance floor. I stepped out of there twice and it just sounded like I was underwater.”
The success of Homecoming can be credited to Leonia High School’s Student Council who worked incredibly hard in order to make the dance a success. According to senior class president Regan Lynch, Leonia High School raised $3,000 dollars from the dance last year and this year they raised over $6,000.
When asked what choices the Student Council made that she enjoyed, Sophie said, “I really liked the fact that the student council added more food and drinks and that all the money is being used to fund future school events.” Senior Melakai Aligo said, “I think that the student senate did an amazing job with organizing this event for the students.”
Many students simply enjoyed spending time with their friends and making memories they will cherish forever. Junior Samantha Giangarra adds, “I had so much fun spending time with my friends and dancing the night away.”
Another major part of the excitement of Homecoming was the anticipation of who would win Homecoming king and queen. This has been a sacred tradition for many years and students enjoy participating in the voting and nomination process as it brings an aspect of friendly competition into Homecoming. The students nominated consisted of exclusively seniors and included Adam Abdel-Razek, Sasha Raskin, Lola Fernandez, Aaron Kim, Shakti Parma, Leia DeMarco LaBarbiera, Jaden Marchan, Regan Lynch, Niles Randall, Myles McDonald, and Stav Frominos. As their peers voted for who would be most suitable as Homecoming royalty in the weeks leading up to the dance, students anxiously awaited the results. The winners were announced towards the end of the dance, with Jaden Marchan and Lola Fernandez being crowned homecoming King and Queen. Homecoming court nominee Regan Lynch notes, “I am glad that Jaden and Lola won as they are both my childhood friends. It makes me happy to see that we are growing up into such wonderful people.”
Overall, Homecoming was a major success and the Leonia community enjoyed their night. It was a great way to kick off the school year and students are looking forward to many more dances in the future.