Best Promposal Ever: Touching moment for ESJH students goes viral

Published 12:15 am Saturday, April 29, 2017

RESERVE — In the weeks leading up to East St. John High School’s prom, Gabe Landry had seen one fellow student after another pull off some elaborate version of the “promposal,” where one student publicly invites another to the dance.

After one of those students dropped rose petals in the cafeteria leading to his date’s table (she said yes), Gabe made up his mind that he wanted to do a promposal for his girlfriend, Alexis Duhe.

“He came to me after and said, ‘I want to do that,’” said Karen Duncan, a paraprofessional educator at the school who helps special education students, including Gabe and Alexis.

“He insisted it had to be in the cafeteria where everyone could see it,” Duncan said.

Together, Gabe and Duncan sat at a computer, sifting through one creative proposal after another until they finally came up with a plan.

Gabe Landry, left, pops out of a big box to surprise Alexis Duhe and ask her to go to prom with him. She said, “yes.”

Monday they pulled it off.

When Alexis walked into the cafeteria, she found a big red box with her name posted on the side.

With encouragement from the teachers and students, she opened the box to find Gabe inside holding a bouquet of roses and a big poster with “Prom?” written on it.

Alexis took the flowers, posed for a moment, then said “yes.”

“It was so sweet,” Duncan said.

Gabe said it was all worth it.

“I wanted to surprise Alexis,” he said.

He certainly did that.

“I didn’t know what was going on at first,” Alexis said. “He hopped out the box.”

Of course the moment was captured on several cell phone cameras and the short video was posted on various social media platforms.

It has since gone viral, with more than 100,000 views in one day. Even St. John the Baptist Parish School Superintendent Kevin George tweeted it out.

“It tells me the type of culture we have at East St. John High School is awesome,” George said. “For teachers and students to work together to make that special moment happen is just amazing. These types of things go on all the time. I challenge anyone to watch that video and not get a little tear in their eye.”

East St. John principal Tabari Simon was off campus Monday and missed the moment, but said he has heard from friends all over the state who have seen the video. He also has seen a lot of creativity.

“I’ve seen people with boxes or setting up signs or somebody singing a song,” Simon said.

“One the football players asked the dance captain to prom by using the dance captain from Southern University, which is the school she wants to go to. He got them to sit in and help ask her to prom on Instagram.”

Not captured in the video was Alexis’ happy tears after the proposal and the time Gabe spent comforting her.

The two have been friends for a long time and will attend today’s Prom Social for special  needs students at the school, along with their families and many volunteers.

“We did it years and years ago and then it was discontinued,” Duncan said.

“This is our first one back.”

Alexis also went to the school’s traditional prom last weekend in New Orleans, but Gabe was out of town.

She said she is excited about her date this weekend and has a new dress for the occasion.

“It’s silver,” she said.

As for their newfound fame, Gabe and Alexis are enjoying that too.

“I’m a celebrity,” Gabe said.  “I’m a ladies man.”

To which Alexis replied, “He is.”