Berta Weathersbee Elementary holds second annual Progress Prom

Published 9:30 am Friday, May 12, 2023

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In an afternoon filled with laughter, dancing and celebration, Berta Weathersbee Elementary School held its second annual Progress Prom.

Dalecia Hamilton, BWES special education teacher, said the idea of the prom came from her students.

“I was chatting with them about how proud we were of their progress that year and how in the midst of COVID we were able to progress academically, socially and emotionally, despite everything we had been dealing with,” Hamilton said. “We realized we needed to celebrate their growth and decided we needed to celebrate and display their awesomeness with an event of some type. At Berta, we do everything big, and thus the concept of the Progress Prom was born.”

In celebration of their growth throughout the year, the prom welcomed students from adapted classrooms from nine elementary schools in the Troup County School System, including Berta, Ethel Kight, Callaway, Clearview, Franklin Forest, Hillcrest, Hollis Hand, Long Cane, and Rosemont Elementary schools.

“Last year’s event celebrated the growth of 51 elementary students from adapted classrooms. This year’s event hosted 94 scholars,” Hamilton said. “The event has grown since our first one in 2022 — we only had 5 school classrooms attend and now we’ve grown to have nine elementary school classrooms attending this year.”

Hamilton said the students took well to the prom and were excited to choose their outfits, get dressed up, hang out with their friends and make memories.

“It is truly an honor to be able to put on an event of this magnitude for our school district. Our students deserve these types of experiences. They are scholars, athletes, comedians, dancers and are full of personality. I take pride in providing opportunities for them to display that,” Hamilton said.   

During the celebration, students had the opportunity to be crowned “Goal King” and “Goal Queen.”

“Every scholar should be able to experience the feeling of academic success and be celebrated and recognized by their peers, school and community. The Progress Prom provides that opportunity and connects to our district’s core values and the mission of providing a place for every kid,” Hamilton said.

“Students were able to connect with their peers across the district and experience “acceptance, happiness and motivation.” The progress prom also provided equity for our scholars by providing an experience for them that was of meaningful equal opportunity to their general education peers. The scholars were able to experience achievement by celebrating their academic growth and goal progress with the community.”