The student news site of Olentangy Liberty High School.

Patriot Press

The student news site of Olentangy Liberty High School.

Patriot Press

The student news site of Olentangy Liberty High School.

Patriot Press

Prom, Now and Then



Mrs. McCarty is an English teacher at Liberty, who attended her senior prom in 2012.

Prom in the early 2010’s wasn’t too far off from the modern day. That being said, there were definitely some major differences.

“2012 was a big moment for animal print, even during prom,” McCarty says. “‘Swag’ was huge, too. The fashion was very maximalist.”

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Prom was serenaded by songs like “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO, “Tonight, Tonight” by Hot Chelle Rae, and “Black & Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa. This influenced McCarty’s school’s choice of live music.

“We had a band come to our prom called Lt. Dan’s New Legs. Everyone swore that they sounded exactly like the Black Eyed Peas. They were good, but safe to say, they did not live up to expectations.” 

One thing that stands out as unique among McCarty’s prom experience was the presentation given regarding drunk driving.

Altogether, McCarty enjoyed prom thoroughly, and holds the three times that she attended among the most memorable events of her high school years. 


Mrs. Mitchell is Liberty’s resident Jewelry and Sculpture teacher, who attended prom in both 2007 and 2008.

When it comes to fashion, prom in the late 2000’s was all about creamy pastels and bright colors. Mitchell, pictured here in 2008, is wearing a light champagne number.

The emo scene was also huge, with “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s dominating both the radio stations and the dance floor.  

“That song was inescapable in 2007,” Mitchell says. “You couldn’t go a day without hearing it.”

However, club hits such as “Umbrella” by Rihanna and “Low” by Flo Rida were also immensely popular during prom.

The late 2000’s were the era of Myspace and Facebook; the rise in popularity of social media platforms had the side effect of immortalizing Mitchell’s prom.

“I can look back at how I’ve grown, but I’ve also learned to appreciate those moments from the past,” Mitchell says. 



Frau Moore is a German teacher at Liberty, who celebrated prom in 1995. 

In the ‘90s, many high schoolers began to embrace a more minimalistic approach to prom. Whereas the ‘80s had been the decade of voluminous ruffles and sky-high hair, prom dresses in the ‘90s were often characterized by square necklines and spaghetti straps. They also began to become shorter.

Prom music in the ‘90s was filled with R&B, hip-hop, and rap. One of the most popular songs of 1995, as well as one of Moore’s favorites, was the iconic TLC song “Waterfalls.” Other popular songs included “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal and “Fantasy” by Mariah Carey.

“The ‘90s were definitely a great time for music,” Moore says. 

Relating to music, Moore also greatly enjoyed the dancing aspect of prom.

“I love dancing and partying,” she says. “I just remember that it was just such a great time.”


Mr. Starner, Liberty’s principal, needs no introduction. He attended prom in 1988.

Even as late as the 1980s, prom maintained some of its more traditional undertones.

“Not that much was different back then,” Starner says. “The girls would get dolled up and the guys would get into their tuxedos.” 

Although tuxes haven’t seen much variation, prom dresses certainly have. Some of the biggest trends in prom dresses in the 1980s were iridescent fabrics, ruffles, and huge sleeves.

Music was different, too. One of the most memorable hits from 1988 was Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” 

“I’m a huge rock fan, so I loved that track,” Starner said. “For me, it was definitely that year’s song of the summer.” 

Other popular songs include “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman and “I Don’t Wanna Live Without Your Love” by Chicago.

However, there is one aspect of Starner’s prom that stands out as the most unique.

“Archie Griffin lived right behind my date’s house, so we got to take a picture with him during our prom,” Starner said. “Meeting the only two-time winner of the Heisman was definitely awesome. I still think about that moment fondly.”


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About the Contributor
Nikhil Ravilla
Nikhil Ravilla, Staff Writer
Nikhil is a Junior at Liberty. This is his second year as a member of The Cannon and The Patriot Press staff. He holds the title of Business Manager for The Cannon and is a Staff Writer for The Patriot Press. He likes to listen to music, read, and watch movies in his free time. His favorite book is Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky, and his favorite film is 2001: A Space Odyssey.  

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