Burchfield Primary School celebrated its third annual kindergarten prom on May 29.

The early evening event was for kindergarten graduates and their guests. The students dressed in their finest outfits while enjoying snacks, listening to music and dancing.

Students entered on a red carpet, where they had the opportunity to have their pictures taken and show off artwork and projects they created throughout the year. Art teacher Monica McElwain worked with the students to create self-portraits to hang in the hallways as decorations when everyone arrived.

The kindergarteners also presented their end-of-the-year song, Burchfield’s version of “Don’t Stop Believing.” Music teacher and guest DJ Susan Randall helped the students prepare for their performance, which they did by singing and rocking out with inflatable instruments.

“We have found so much enjoyment the last couple of years with our prom,” said organizer and kindergarten teacher Stephanie Franz. “It is this celebration that culminates our whole school year — an awesome way to end the school year!”

Two “Prom STARs” from each homeroom were also chosen, based on Shaler’s schoolwide positive behavior interventions and support initiative. At Burchfield, STAR stands for Safe, Thoughtful, Accountable and Resilient.

The students who earned the most “STAR Bucks” for the year were crowned “Kindergarten Prom Stars” and were presented awards by school counselor Lezlie DelVecchio-Marks.

“A lot of planning and preparation goes into our prom,” Franz said. “We are a building of five kindergarten classrooms and each of us divide and conquer to make the best Burchfield Kindergarten Prom possible.”

In addition to Franz, kindergarten teachers include Kristine Bork, Jessica Ciavarra, Dana Kokos and Krista Wirth.

Burchfield principal Jeffrey Rojik assisted the staff, and high school students volunteered to help with ticket sales, organization and taking pictures.

A KONA ice truck was set up outside, and treats were free for students. Crazy Fox Balloons created archways and props, and made balloon animals for the kids. J. M. Weber Photography took pictures and Kristin Claus provided cookies.

Franz said that the staff and students enjoy the new tradition, which is unmistakably different from a customary kindergarten graduation ceremony.

“We wanted an end of the year activity that showed all of the growth our students have made during the year and represented our mission, vision and core values as a district,” Franz said. “Kindergarten isn’t just about ABCs and 123s. It’s about learning, empathy, critical thinking, working with others, taking turns, figuring out how to problem solve and doing things independently.”

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story had Burchfield spelled incorrectly in the headline.

Leslie Savisky is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.