The Student News Site of McCallum High School

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The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

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A new tradition brought home

Student Council brings homecoming dance back to life
Dave Winter
On the first day of sales this past the seniors sold out of tickets, with each and every one of the 100 available for each grade getting snatched up. Juniors matched the excitement just two days later with less than 20 remaining after the lunch sales. For McCallum senior student body president Olivia Hexsel, seeing the senior tickets sell out so fast felt rewarding. “It was fulfilling and worth the hard work and late nights,” Hexsel said. “I’m so excited people are getting the chance to go to a homecoming that my council and I put so much effort into.”

After looking back at the hours of work and nights spent planning, senior Olivia Hexsel knew every second of was worth it. As she stepped into her role of student body president, Hexsel knew bringing a homecoming dance to McCallum was at the top of her roster. While McCallum hosts the annual homecoming football game, pep rally and spirit days year after year, the dance itself has been missing from the community since 2019. Hexsel decided it was time to bring it back home. 

Hexsel and the senior class Student Council worked together for countless days and nights to create a dance that would appeal to all grade levels, as well as differ from themes of previous dances the school has put on. 

It took a lot of hard work and time to plan this, but it’s fulfilling knowing that people wanted to come to the dance.”

— Student Body President Olivia Hexsel

“It feels really good to know that my council and I have come a long way,” Hexsel said. “All our hard work is paying off and I’m glad to see the accomplishments we’ve made.”

Long before Hexsel and the student council could think about themes, ticket sales and picking the perfect venue, however, they had to go through the effort of getting the dance approved. 

“I didn’t realize how much work it would take, but I’m glad we got there,” Hexsel said. 

First, the Senior Council had to prepare a presentation for Student Council sponsor Amy Brodbeck. After securing Brodbeck’s approval, McCallum administration, and finally Principal Andy Baxa, a challenge that didn’t stop Hexsel.

“Senior class officers that really wanted to push [the dance],” Brodbeck said. “They wanted to look at different venues, so this is kind of monumental, because it’s not only not at McCallum [like in the past], but at a new venue, too.”

Student Council members keep track of profits throughout the ticket-selling process. Each ticket was sold for 25 dollars, with the profits going towards each class’s activity funds. Each class started off with 100 tickets, with a total of 500 sold at the end of the sales. Photo by Dave Winter.

After the Winter Fairy Tale dance in 2022, was pulled off successfully by the council’s group efforts, Brodbeck accepted Hexsel’s idea for homecoming in hopes for similar fame for the new idea. 

“I think it’s really cool that they’re getting this,” Brodbeck said. “It’s a great thing for all these kids to be able to do.”

Hexsel worked closely with senior Student Council Vice President Madi Briggs, in addition to Brodbeck to both bring the night to action and solve the problems that arose along the way.

“After a couple of weeks of digging for a good venue, we could finally start planning on the small details like ticketing, and finalizing the space.” Briggs said. 

The council eventually landed on Zilker Lodge Outdoor Pavilion. Although the venue was secured, a new problem arose: its maximum capacity is only 400, or less than a quarter of the total student body population. The team had to put their heads together to create a solution allowing each grade level to attend the dance, while staying within the venue’s capacity. 

“The most difficult planning steps of making the dance happen was finding a venue with a big capacity on a low budget,” Briggs said. 

Since it’s our last year of high school, we thought provoking a dance would bring up the Homecoming spirit.”

— Student Body Vice President Madi Briggs

Given the venue size, each class was supplied only a little over 100 tickets. The council ended up selling 500 total tickets, enough for only a fraction of the school’s population. The council worked with the venue to accommodate 100 more tickets, as long as only 400 people were in the venue at all times. While this caused frustration among students who realized not everyone would get to attend the dance, the tickets sold out almost instantly. 

“I think the planning and ticket sales have been very successful,” Briggs said. “With only having a few students and one teacher planning, everything is going really well.”

After sorting through the numerous details, Hexsel, Briggs and the rest of their senior team were able to settle on a theme. While the dance was school-wide, the seniors chose to focus on the glitz and glamour of senior year, thus bringing  the idea to life through the “Casino Royale” theme. Not only were they involved with picking the theme, however, but Briggs and Hexsel also worked with the Parent Teacher Student Association to get decoration donations, and volunteers to bring the vision to life.

“When I’m older, I can look back on my senior year knowing that my help made this dance possible,” Briggs said. “Since it’s our last year of high school, we thought provoking a dance would bring up the homecoming spirit.” 

While the dance is geared towards the entire school, the Student Council seniors made sure the class of 2024 would have a night to remember, as well as bring back a tradition for years to follow.

“It feels really good knowing that since it’s our last year, we can finally have something that means a lot to us,” Hexsel said. “It took a lot of hard work and time to plan this, but it’s fulfilling knowing that people wanted to come to the dance.” 

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