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Juniors Enjoy Their Night to Shine

On Friday, April 4th, 2024, at 6:45 P.M, the doors of Nutley High School opened, and students in elegant dresses and sharp suits entered the Gymnasium, tickets in hand, with only one thing on their mind: the Junior Formal. 

A hallmark event in the high school experience, the junior formal brings together the entire junior class for a night of fun and lasting memories. This year’s “Masquerade” theme was highly requested by NHS’s female juniors. “The girls helped out a lot,” said student advisor Ana Guariglia. “They wanted a masquerade, so we gave them a masquerade, and whatever else they wanted, we made it happen.”


Upon arrival, every student was handed a black masquerade mask and greeted by student advisors Steven LaPeruta, and the aforementioned Guariglia, along with other faculty members, to check their tickets. Inside the venue stood a large “25” sign between several chairs and tables, decorated with black cloth and candles, and fairy lights hung from the ceiling. 


“After our officers told us the theme, we went out and found the decorations, and everything had to be within budget.” said LaPeruta. “So, we pulled it together and made it work as best we could.”

A variety of drinks and foods were served by science teacher Alina Gumbs at the event, and the food line almost took up the entire left side of the gymnasium. Drinks such as Diet Coke and sparkling water, and dishes such as vegetable lasagna and boiled potatoes were set on a long table, along with a classic red velvet cake with old-fashioned vanilla frosting for dessert. 


“It was a sweet little treat to eat between all the dancing,” commented junior Xael Leon. 

The Junior Formal was a highly anticipated event, and the opportunity to dress up and enjoy the evening with friends was both exciting and somewhat intimidating. 

“I was kinda nervous,” admitted Leon. “A lot of the photos from last year's formal were circulating everywhere on Instagram, and everybody I knew would be coming in looking their best and it's just like, woah; but in reality, it was actually a lot less scary than I imagined, and honestly a lot of fun.”


“My favorite part was dancing with my friends,” Junior Rei Santos said. “I tend to avoid large parties or events, but being there with my friends made it all the more enjoyable.”


“I would convince my friends to come join the dance floor with me, and we would just move to the songs together, and it was all good fun,” Leon recalls. “It felt super nice to let go of all the stress from school and be silly with my friends for one night.”


LaPeruta and Guariglia worked hard to make the junior formal a pleasant experience for all attendees. LaPeruta left them off with a final message, “I hope everyone had fun and can fondly remember the night. Let’s hope that we can make Senior Prom just as good; if not, even better.”