McHenry High School's historic homecoming features outdoor dance

  • McHenry High School's first outdoor homecoming dance Oct. 2 drew a record number of 1,500 students. The dance ended a weeklong homecoming celebration that hadn't been held in the fall since 2019.

    McHenry High School's first outdoor homecoming dance Oct. 2 drew a record number of 1,500 students. The dance ended a weeklong homecoming celebration that hadn't been held in the fall since 2019. Courtesy of McHenry High School District 156

 
 
Updated 10/6/2021 12:23 PM

McHenry High School's first fall homecoming week in nearly two years did not disappoint.

Record numbers of students participated in the week of activities that included dress-up days, a parade and rally, Powder Puff football games, Friday night football and the first-ever outdoor dance at Petersen Park in McHenry.

 

"The spirit and energy I felt all week made for a truly special week in this school community," said Dr. Jeff Prickett, MCHS principal.

More than 1,500 students attended the school's first-ever outdoor homecoming dance Saturday. On Friday, McCracken Field was filled with students, families and community members to watch a Warrior 49-13 victory over Dundee-Crown.

Friday's game also included a special event for the newly formed MCHS Alumni Association and recognition for three Distinguished Graduates: Bill Hobson, Dr. Michael Thornton and Robert A. Jessup.

Leah Pelletier, biomedical science educator and advisor to the school's student council that hosted homecoming, credits high school staff, the city of McHenry and students for the success of homecoming week. The effort was even more challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With a construction theme, the student council led preparations for the week of events. McHenry High School just wrapped up two years of busy construction with the addition of the Center for Science, Technology and Industry at Upper Campus.

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"I am so proud of all the hard work that our student council members put in for this week of events," Pelletier said. "They were flexible throughout the entire planning process and always kept a positive and optimistic attitude."

Senior Sarah Doherty, president of the student council, said students are glad to be doing things together again.

"We had more participation than we had imagined which made the week even more enjoyable," Doherty said. "The dance was so much fun and I think everyone now prefers having it outside."

Pelletier also thanked Campus Beats for the work on homecoming, particularly the dance.

The last fall homecoming for McHenry High School was in 2019. The school hosted a spring homecoming in April to coincide with rescheduled football games.