For most of the Long Island Lutheran High School prom Thursday night at Chateau La Mer in Lindenhurst, Head of School Dr. David Hahn stood off to the side, mingling with fellow faculty attendees and his wife, Janet. But toward the end of the night, Hahn and his wife were pulled front and center for a slow and meaningful last dance, celebrating the educator's final prom of his 28-year residency at Lutheran.
At the end of the school year, Hahn, 62, will be retiring to Saratoga Springs after a 40-year career. In a way, it's as if Hahn himself is graduating and moving on to a new phase in his life.
"When the students show up here on prom night, they're adults," Hahn said. "We love these kids so much and you really see how they've all grown and matured."
Even though Hahn will be leaving, he will still play an integral role at the Brookville high school, working part-time as executive director of the Association of Lutheran Secondary Schools, a national organization of educational leaders.
"They say its part-time, but I guess we'll have to see about that," he joked.
At Lutheran, the senior prom is organized completely by the students who form a committee to oversee the planning process. This year, the students chose a beachy Back to Atlantis theme, decorating the Chateau La Mer ballroom with sea foam blue floating candles and subtle seashell accents on every table. According to senior prom committee leader Sarah Bouzaidi, the students chose the theme to compliment the venue's seaside location and ocean views.
"We got to visit all the different venues and it was fun to be the one making the phone calls and setting everything up," Bouzaidi said of the experience. "After all this work, I feel like I can plan my own wedding now."