Teacher’s Boutique Puts the Pretty in Prom

By Cassie Monroe
Posted

Prom should be a night to remember.

That is why Rachel Haffer, English teacher at Jefferson High School, has worked so hard for the past four years to make the event special for her female students.

 Every year Haffer collects prom dresses from donations and through craigslist ads, and sets up a boutique in her classroom. Then she has the girls come in to shop for a dress shopping.

This year was a little different.

A couple of parents from other high schools in the area, Cindy Marceau and Tammy Duncan, heard about what Haffer was doing and decided to help. From there, the group helping the students prepare for prom just kept growing.

“It’s amazing to me how many teachers and community members got involved and said they wanted them to have the best time ever,” Haffer said.

At this year’s shopping event on April 5, the girls were served refreshments and listened to music while trying on dresses in a fitting room set up in the classroom. Forever 21, a national clothing retailer with locations in Denver and Westminster, provided a large selection of jewelry from which the girls could pick items to go with their dresses.

Girls who couldn’t find dresses that fit properly were given gift cards to buy new dresses.

Marceau, Duncan and Haffer arranged to have hair and make-up professionals come in and give demonstrations on how to do popular hair and make-up tricks.

And this year, the boys were included.

Marceau, Duncan and Haffer decided the girls’ dates should have a chance to get gussied up, and so Marceau asked Men’s Warehouse in Lakewood if it had any deals to accommodate the boys. The store provided a large discount on tuxedos.

While the girls were trying on dresses, tailors from Men’s Warehouse came to Jefferson, with tuxedo catalogs in hand. The 22 boys in attendance were measured and then picked out tuxedo colors and styles to go with their dates’ dresses.

Stephani Ruvalcava, junior, and Wilfredo Huerta, senior, went to the prom together and attended the April 5 event to get ready for the big night.

Ruvalcava and Huerta are expecting a baby in July. Because she is showing now, Ruvalcava couldn’t find a dress that fit, so she was given a gift card.

Huerta picked out his tux with other boys at the event.

To put the finishing touch on the outfits, King Sooper’s grocery store donated flowers. Marceau and Duncan set to work turning the flowers into wrist corsages for the girls and pin-on boutonnieres for the boys.

By the time prom rolled around on April 14, couples were looking sharp as they walked into Mount Vernon Country Club, where the event was held. The theme this year was One Enchanted Night.

“It was really nice,” said junior Francisco Aguilar. “You could see the mountains off from the windows.”

Every year the juniors put on the prom for the senior class. Aguilar was one of the juniors who helped organize the event. Haffer’s boutique helped get the students more excited about prom, so Aguilar said the juniors wanted to make the event the best ever.

“There is definitely a higher expectation now for next year’s prom,” Aguilar said.

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