Notable Westchester County Residents Recall Their High School Prom Experiences

Was your prom a dream—or a nightmare? We asked notable county residents whether their high school formal dance was forgettable or fabulous.

Kara DioGuardi, Singer/Songwriter (The Master’s School—1988)
“I broke up with my boyfriend a few months before the St. Vincent’s Ball. So I asked a friend to take his place. Naturally, a few weeks before the dance, my boyfriend and I got back together. So my best friend ended up taking my boyfriend, and I went with this other guy.”

Jesse McCartney, Singer/Songwriter, Actor (Ardsley High School—2005)
“I couldn’t be at  Ardsley’s prom because I was touring with my band. I was bummed. I had a girlfriend who brought me to her prom in California, but it wasn’t the same as going to the one back home with my Westchester friends.”

Joe Berlinger, Academy Award-Nominated Independent Film Director (Horace Greeley High School—1979)
“I went to the senior prom in junior year—and managed to bring two dates! Two of my closest friends had just broken up with their boyfriends. These two senior girls and I came up with a novel arrangement: I took one to the actual dance; then I spent the second half of the evening with the other at the various after-parties. The next year, I had a steady girlfriend who accompanied me to my prom. I am relieved that my daughter only has one date for her prom!”

Bobby Moynihan, Actor and Comedian, Current Saturday Night Live Cast Member (Eastchester High School—1995)
“My prom was a blast. I went with a wonderful girl named Amanda Bertorelli.  Amanda looked stunning, and I wore a satin vest that had Sesame Street characters on it. Sorry, Amanda.”

Alan Schwarz, National Correspondent for the New York Times (Scarsdale High School—1986)
“To me, going to Scarsdale’s 1986 prom is far less memorable than the terrifying events that preceded it. Asking someone to the prom required coolness and calm, which fit me far worse than any tux. Somehow I managed to ask two girls, ridiculously out of my league, whose discretion in laughing only after we hung up did not go unnoticed. I wound up asking a shy bookworm, whom I actually liked, to what was our mutual first date—to a Jackson Browne concert at Radio City Music Hall. After taking the Metro-North back to the Scarsdale station, I looked at her across the hood of my hulking 1979 Volvo station wagon and asked her to the prom. She said yes. My Volvo sprouted wings, and I flew her home.”

Jacob Appel, Author, Bioethicist (Scarsdale High School—1991)
“I was a deeply irreverent student who struggled with authority: While being lectured on patriotism, I threw a flag out a third-story window; I showed up for an academic awards dinner in a toga; I went out for pizza during class and brought my teachers back the leftovers.  I did not attend my prom as my girlfriend at the time ‘didn’t believe in proms.’ She is now a prominent philosophy professor. We did have a delightful private dinner that evening, while our classmates were drinking on a cruise ship, and we likely saved a fortune on clothing, limousines, et cetera, so I guess we had the last laugh.”   


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