Proms across the country were canceled this year due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn't mean the royalty can't be celebrated.
Throughout the afternoon of May 16, St. Francis DeSales High School principal Dan Garrick and Colleen Mascarin, social-studies teacher and prom moderator, drove around Columbus crowning the prom king, queen, prince and princess, surprising them with knocks on their front doors.
Mascarin, dressed as the DeSales stallion in a tuxedo, presented this year's king and prince with a candy bouquet, sash, cuff links and a tie clip, and the queen and princess with flowers, a sash and a tiara.
"I am not an alum of DeSales, but it's just as much my home as anyone who's ever graduated," said Mascarin, who has organized the prom for the last seven years. "I go by 'Prom Mom' because I love these kids like they're my own kids. To do this, to raid the drama department to find a tux that would fit and make a bow tie -- it's just a small thing for what they're missing out on, but I wanted them to at least have a memory."
"She's very humble, but she gets all the credit for this idea," Garrick said.
This year's royalty were chosen by their peers via a Google Form.
Seniors voted for seniors and juniors voted for juniors, and there was no ballot -- students could submit an entry for whomever they wanted.
Garrick and Mascarin first surprised senior Elizabeth Renkin at her home in Westerville to announce her as prom queen.
"I was not expecting this at all," Renkin said. "My mom and everyone else did a really good job keeping me on my toes with this one."
Renkin plans to attend Colorado Mesa in Grand Junction, Colorado, to study biochemistry and play lacrosse.
"(DeSales has) just done a really good job of making everything as normal as possible and doing a lot for us that we didn't expect," she said.
The home visit caught prom king Mason Rickens by surprise.
"I was a little shocked, for sure," said Rickens, who lives in Lewis Center. "I'm excited, though."
Rickens plans to attend Rutgers to study finance and play lacrosse.
"(What DeSales has done has) been amazing, I think -- not only with this -- but also with the graduation video and having us come do our walk across the (gym)," he said. "It was really special how they set that up, and they're doing everything they can to make it special for us, for sure."
Prom princess Gracie Sabo of Columbus said she was "pretty surprised" when Garrick and Mascarin showed up to crown her.
"I did not expect it," she said. "(DeSales is) doing great. It's hard enough missing your high school, big experience. But I think we're doing pretty good with everything we're doing."
Prom prince Jackson Hartman was surprised at his home in Westerville when Garrick and Mascarin arrived.
"I think they're doing a great job right now," he said. "I think it's quite impressive with all they're doing and the efforts they're doing, too."
DeSales' prom was scheduled for May 16 at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center.
Garrick said despite the pandemic and the disruption it has caused, he's impressed with how well DeSales students have responded.
"To see how they've been impacted, our kids have been great because we understand in the general scheme of things, there are real life challenges right now," he said. "And this is certainly heartbreaking for the kids, but the way they've handled it has been incredible. And I thought, what a great way to at least celebrate with them what would have been."