A prom they’ll never forget

Grafton High School celebration Saturday holds extra special meaning for three seniors

THREE SPECIAL EDUCATION students at Grafton High School will have special roles as they participate in the annual prom Saturday, April 28. They include (from left) Nathan Reske, Preston Arrowood and Greg Macholl. Reske and Arrowood will serve as doormen and butlers, and Macholl will provide assistance with audio and visual technology. Photo by Sam Arendt
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

“A Night at the Gatsby’s” is the theme of this year’s Grafton High School prom and for a trio of seniors, the event will provide an extra special evening for the memory books.

Special-education students Greg Macholl, Preston Arrowood and Nathan Reske, who are on the autism spectrum, said they didn’t consider attending prom until they were invited by their teacher and prom coordinator Dave Polacek.

“Since freshman year, I never thought I would go, but because it’s our last year you can have different views as a senior,” Macholl said.

The prom will take place at River Club of Mequon on Saturday, April 28, and the three students will be serving various roles.

Arrowood and Reske will welcome the guests as doormen and help out the rest of the night as butlers. 

“We’ll be greeting people at the door and will make sure everyone is having a good time,” Reske said.

Macholl will serve as an audio and visual aide. During the dinner, old film clips will be projected with swing music playing in the background.

“I’ll be in charge of the projector to make sure everything runs smoothly,” Macholl said. “There will be different YouTube clips of old black-and-white movies that we compiled.”

According to Polacek, Macholl is the school’s resident film buff. Last year, he completed a work-study program with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin Historical Society.

A couple of weeks ago, Polacek took the trio to get fitted for tuxedos. On the day before the dance, they will get new hairdos.

“You’re not going to recognize us afterwards because we’re going to have slicked-back hair like the guys from the 1920s,” Arrowood said.

“I probably won’t be able to recognize myself.”

The three said going to prom will be the culmination of their friendship and one step closer to graduation.

“It’s kind of like a pre-graduation party,” Reske said. 

The seniors said they never attended a school dance before, but the prom will be worth the wait.

Polacek said all of the costs for the boys to attend prom are on the house.

“I want them to go out with a bang and have the time of their life,” he said. “I told them, ‘This is your school, you’re a senior, you made it through and you need to go out and celebrate.’”

After graduation, Reske plans to attend Milwaukee Area Technical College.

“I’m considering taking general education classes to find my niche in life,” he said.

Arrowood is undecided but may continue working as a dishwasher at the Pasta Shoppe in Port Washington.

Macholl said he wants to become a welder because there aren’t too many opportunities these days to work with analog film, but he will continue pursuing the hobby.

In the meantime, the seniors said they want to enjoy their last couple of months at school together and take things one day at a time.

They also said they expect prom to be the highlight of their high school careers.  

“There will be a lot of fancy things going on, plus the 1920s stuff,” Macholl said.

“I got special cologne to make sure I smell good.”

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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