Ursuline senior student council member Nikki Kanzler, Thomas Jefferson High School history teacher Cathleen Cadigan and Ursuline Senior Student Council member Sarah Pumphrey. Photo by Kevin Gaddis.

After the Oct. 20 tornado, students in Ursuline Academy’s Class of 2020 brainstormed how to help their community. Instead of raising funds for amenities for their Snowball dance, the 210 students decided to donate that money to Thomas Jefferson High School’s senior prom. TJ closed after the tornado and was relocated temporarily to Thomas Edison Middle Learning Center.

“What amazes me is how my class was willing to forego some of the normal amenities at our senior dance solely for the benefit of other students we didn’t even know,” says senior student council member Sarah Pumphrey. “We chose to have less just so their night could be that much more special and be an experience they would never forget.”

Money raised by the Class of 2020 will go to making the TJ senior prom more memorable, including souvenir photo frames, gift bags and decorations.

Fellow student council member Nikki Kanzler says, “We know how special prom is to us, and we didn’t want other students to miss out on that experience. This effort was 210 girls who wanted to help out the community.”

TJ history teacher Cathleen Cadigan, who attended Ursuline from 1984 to 1986, understands the meaning of the school’s motto, “Serviam” (“I will serve”). “Thomas Jefferson High School — our students, faculty, staff, and especially our seniors — are so grateful for their support,” she says.


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