Bay College Instructor Coordinated Virtual Prom


Zoom meeting screenshot

Photo Caption: A ZOOM screen capture showing participants in the Virtual Prom.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic this spring the thought occurred to Bay College instructor, Jim Grider that his dual enrolled high school students wouldn't be able to attend a prom this year. While his Sociology classes were continuing online with Iron Mountain and Norway high schools, Jim continued to offer live instruction throughout the semester.

He brought up the idea of holding a virtual prom and both of his classes jumped in with two feet. Jim started giving ideas like having a DJ, theme, an invite, and the students took the ball and ran with it. Both classes nominated a student DJ and came up with themes. They had discussion on how this would look like over ZOOM and brainstormed some great ideas.

The students quickly acted in the planning process with invitations and surveys for prom king and queen sent out. “I assigned extra credit for any student that submitted songs, they emailed the DJ and copied me. The Norway DJ had his name up in lights behind him and was dancing along to every song he played,” shared Jim. 

“The reception to the music is what I would have expected at a regular prom. The students all recognized the song, bobbed their head and sang along. The variety of locations for the students were humorous. Some were in their car, one was in their PJs and some outside enjoying the sun. It was really fun to watch.”

At Bay College we are fortunate to have some excellent instructors. The type of instructors who tell stories to make real life connections and include student interests into their lessons. Instructors who volunteer their own time to help students in need and go out of their way to support them. Thank you, Jim Grider, for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Here’s what some of Jim’s students had to say: Alexandra Hagan recalls “I attended the prom, and I thought it was very thoughtful of Jim. He knew that we were upset about our prom being canceled so he wanted to do something special for us. This meant a lot to all of us! Because the theme of the prom was coronavirus, we dressed up and all wore face masks. Once everyone joined the call, our designated DJ started playing music through his phone so we could jam out. Shortly after that, we voted for the king and queen. Throughout the prom, some people switched outfits and wore silly hats to make each other laugh. At one point, we had someone balancing about five hats on his head and someone with a gorilla head wearing sunglasses and a fedora. I loved it because we were able to make light of a difficult situation and have fun while doing it. Of course, it was great to see everyone's smiling faces!”

Brandon Dishaw said “I thought it was pretty cool, I got to be DJ and got into it pretty well. I was also the prom king, which surprised me. But honestly the best thing is to have something. My school at least is not having a prom until next year, so it was nice to have something to remind us of what fun it would be if we had one.” 

“I really enjoyed the zoom prom. It was nice to have something with everything else getting canceled. As a senior this year, I had to miss out on a lot of events like the All-Night Senior Party and of course, prom. It really meant a lot that Jim took time out of his day to bring some excitement in these hard times. Jim is by far one of the best instructors that I’ve had and Bay College is lucky to have him!” stated Giovanni Basanese.