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At Carroll, a special tiara for a special night

SOUTHLAKE — The lucky girl chosen to lead Carroll’s prom court will get more than the title. She’ll go home with a crown fit for a dream.

The Carroll Senior High School prom queen will be honored tonight with a handcrafted sterling silver tiara studded with freshwater rose pearls and Swarovski crystals. The tiara, worth $695, will be hers to keep, all part of an exclusive agreement with New York-based jewelry company Bailey Banks & Biddle.

At high schools in Tarrant County, prom committees typically purchase costume headgear from discount accessories stores, party supply outlets or prom suppliers.

In previous years, the Carroll senior class spent about $30 to order a rhinestone-studded tiara from a catalog, said Marsha Gray, a Carroll Senior High history teacher who serves as senior class sponsor. This year’s prom king’s crown, a puffy green velvet hat with faux fur, was ordered from a catalog for $45.

An exclusive

This is the second year that the prom queen will take home an heirloom headpiece from Bailey Banks & Biddle.

Last June, after awarding the 2007 prom crown, the company asked the Carroll school board to name it the exclusive provider of the prom tiara for 2008 and 2009. The jewelers will choose a different style each year. This year’s tiara was made by high-end bridal designer Tacori.The jewelry company, which has a Southlake store, agreed to pay $14,540 in April to renew an advertising and promotional agreement with the school district for one year.

The deal gives the company sponsorship rights that include advertising at Dragon Stadium and on the district’s Web site.

The company says it wants to be a good community partner.

"We thought this would be an exciting way to further enhance our partnership and create memories to be treasured, by donating what we do best — jewelry — to the prom queen," said Pamela Vander Waal, Bailey Banks & Biddle’s senior manager of public relations and events.

Seniors voted for four boys and four girls about a month ago for prom royalty. About 740 students are expected to gather for dinner, dancing and a retrospective slide show at the Hyatt Regency DFW decorated to represent small towns in Italy. The prom theme is "Bella Sera," or beautiful evening. At about 11 p.m., the music will stop for a drumroll and coronation of the king and queen. The pair will share a dance, Gray said.

Vote-getter

Carroll’s crown will stand out. Arlington high schools often get crowns and tiaras from Stumps. The Indiana prom supply company sells rhinestone tiaras on metal frames for as much as $56, plus a $10 white satin and lace pillow to present them on.

Grapevine High School bought a $47 tiara and a $38 king’s crown from Stumps this year. Colleyville Heritage High School’s crowns for prom king and queen were purchased for a total of $20 from a local party supply store, a district spokeswoman said.

Northwest High School buys prom items from Allens Crowns, a Hattiesburg, Miss., company, a district spokeswoman said.

The company sells rhinestone tiaras ranging from $4.30 to $27.50, and crowns can cost more than $100, according to its Web site.

Some high schools, such as Keller High, don’t name prom royalty. And some high school prom courts don’t get crowns at all.

Haltom High School senior Emily Rogers got a certificate when she was named prom queen at the school’s May 3 formal dance.

"It was a fun night," said Rogers, 17, of Fort Worth. "Just having the honor of people voting for me was enough. The crown, to me, it can be over the top. I didn’t need it. To have the whole senior class vote for one person is a big deal."

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