Severna Park High School math teacher Elaine Robertson started chaperoning the school’s prom long before the current graduating class was born.
This year’s festivities at BWI Airport Marriott on May 13 marked her 41st prom. She has also chaperoned 40 homecoming dances.
A 2008 Anne Arundel County Public Schools Educator of the Month, Robertson said she is often the first person students see when they enter the prom venue.
“I love seeing the tuxedos and dresses,” she said. “The students look so elegant.”
While student behavior has not changed much over 40 years, some things have changed.
“Line dancing is more common,” she said. “In the ‘80s and ‘90s, we didn’t have that.”
More importantly, the prom has become a more inclusive event.
“Over the years when you did prom, kids would worry about having a date or they didn’t come to prom,” she said. “Now, students are willing to get bus limos and come with their friends. The stigma is gone.”