Behind the Scenes: Winter Formal 2019

The next Minarets dance is springing to life in the most unlikely of places; a humble garage. Whimsical decorations have been sprouting from the minds of the Winter Formal committee in preparation for the event on Dec. 14. The team has worked in and out of the classroom, on weekends, and over Thanksgiving break, to make sure the event captures the Enchanted Forest theme.

This year, the Leadership team has formed committees, so that each dance and event has a dedicated team of students leading the project. The Winter Formal Committee consists of seniors Colby Jobinger, Kate Hough, Autumn Pecarovich, Joseph Langley, Mackenzie Camacho and junior Justin Bowe. The committee proposed possible themes to the entire leadership class. Colby Jobinger was a main architect in the choice of theme. “It was a tough fight between a lot of different ideas. It’s difficult with Formal, to make it stand out, because they tend to blend together each year. We wanted to go away from the classic winter theme, so we went with this pink, gold, and green theme that I think is going to turn out great.” The goal this year, the Committee says, was to make something truly unique and special.

One of the biggest components of any dance is the music, and picking a DJ can sometimes be a struggle. In the end, the Committee decided to hire Adam- the DJ who from the Back to School Dance this year, as they felt he had done a good job. The team also assessed what Leadership already owned in order to see what they needed to order for the event. To do this, they organized the relevant decorations into one area of the Leadership sea train, compiled a list, and took over 45 photos of the different items. The gym has been reserved for the Friday before the event to set up, because a majority of the committee will be competing on the day of.

Careful consideration has been taken into every small detail for Winter Formal. This includes all the wonderful decorations the committee has in store for dance attendees. “I've spent many weekends creating decorations for formal!” She said, “My mom helped us bring our ideas on paper, into a nine-foot-tall tree! This tree’s structure was made of chicken wire, which we thought would be strong enough to hold it. Throughout the building process we learned it wasn’t and had to build an armature to fit in the tree after it was built. It ended up being scrapped because it wasn't structurally sound. Thanksgiving break taught me about a thousand ways how not to make a tree. Through trial and error we created a design- made of PCV- that fit our vision, with detachable limbs for easy transport.”

The specially made decorations will also include mushrooms and a waterfall. Autumn went on to explain that the scrapped tree was not wasted, and was turned into a hollow log instead. Kate Hough worked hard on decorations as well- specifically, the centerpieces. “I think they are going to turn out really great. I had my brother Ryan Hough cut tree cookies for the centerpieces, and for the snack food table. It should look really outdoorsy, with real greenery from my house.”

Time is also put into advertising for the event on social media and creating ticket and poster designs. Mackenzie Camacho, a member of the Formal Dance committee, explained that process; “We have been hard at work creating interactive posters to inform students about Formal. We have also advertised through the hallway TVs. Our biggest promotion has been the two rallies we have held, social media, and loudspeaker announcements.”

This year’s tickets feature a raffle stub at the bottom. Students are encouraged to tear away this stub and put it into a drawing as they enter into the dance. At the end, one number will be drawn, and the winner will be awarded a special gift basket.


Although a welcomed challenge, the committee has faced several difficulties within the planning process. Joseph Langley commented on the biggest hurdle for the group, “The biggest difficulty we had was by far the pipe and drape. In previous years, Leadership had a connection through one of the students' parents- but that student is now graduated. This left us with a big decision to make, but we settled on buying the pipe and drape, so we can enhance all of our events going in to the future!” Luna, a third year leadership student, says “I think that ultimately it’s going to be a good investment, even though it seems so expensive. Every year, we have to pay to rent it, and then even more to set it up,” she finished by saying “I think it will pay for itself in just a few years.”

Tickets will cost $80 from Dec. 9 to Dec. 13, purchasable in the Media Lounge. They will jump up to $100 at the door, so be sure to buy your tickets now! With all the hard work and dedication being put in, Winter formal is sure to be a truly enchanted time!


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The Chawanakee Unified School District prohibits discrimination, intimidation, harassment (including sexual harassment) or bullying based on a person’s actual or perceived age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, immigration status, marital status, medical information, national origin, parental status, pregnancy status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.  

For questions or complaints, contact Daniel Ching, Ph.D, Principal, 45077 Rd 225, O’Neals, CA 93645; 559-868-8689, or Equity Officer and Title II, Title V, and Title IX Compliance Officer: Margaret Ameel, Ph.D., Director, Human Resources/Special Projects, 26065 Outback Industrial Way, O’Neals, CA 93645 or P.O. Box 400 North Fork, CA  93643, (559) 877-6209,

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