Following the success of the annual semi-formal dance at Southold High School, to which seniors from Mattituck and Greenport were invited, local students and school officials hope to organize more events next year that include teenagers from all North Fork districts.
Southold student council president Christopher Buono said his group’s goal was to provide lots of entertainment opportunities for students. A decision was made to open the school’s Jan. 30 semi-formal, which is traditionally for Southold students only, to all North Fork seniors and allow them to meet new people and have fun during their final year of high school.
“Students like different things — they like to be entertained in ways that they haven’t been entertained before,” he said. “Creativity is the key.”
Christopher said students had fun planning the event, which included a photo booth, lounge area and bar serving non-alcoholic beverages like virgin piña coladas.
Mattituck school board president Jerry Diffley described those activities as “all good things.”
“We live in small community and it’s important to give the kids somewhere to go and something to do,” he said, adding that Mattituck is interested in chaperoning future shared dances.
Greenport principal Gary Kalish agreed that organizing events jointly is beneficial for all students.
“Providing social events for students of the North Fork and providing them with safe and fun activities gives them a chance to get to know one another and to broaden their horizons, especially during quiet winters,” he said.
In addition to this year’s shared semi-formal dance, Christopher and student council vice president Thomas Messana said they had fun planning other new events for their classmates, including ones where they donned bubble suits for some Sumo wrestling and played volleyball dressed as gym teachers from decades past.
As for organizing future events, Southold High School principal William Galati said this year’s graduating class set the bar high and described this year’s semi-formal as a great experience.
“We have shared sporting events and this year’s class did a great job putting together a dance open to Greenport and Mattituck,” he said. “It was well organized, very positive and a lot of fun.”
In order for incoming seniors to build on this year’s success, Christopher and Thomas said they believe students should research their proposals thoroughly before setting up an appointment with the principal.
“You need to work as a team in order to accomplish your goals,” Christopher said. “It’s all about knowing how you speak to the administration and how to be constructive.”
“Talk to everyone for ideas — you can’t just limit it to your friends,” Thomas added. “You have to expand to all students to come up with events that everyone will enjoy.”