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A high school student was caught studying during prom. Here’s the story behind the photo.

When high school student Nathan Teaney appeared in a photo taken by the local newspaper last week, his father suspected the scene was staged as a prank.

“I think he planned it as some kind of prank with his friends,” Ron Teaney told the Peoria Journal Star, part of the USA TODAY Network. “Now what he didn’t realize was that the media was going to be there.”

Nathan Teaney, 17, said the idea of ​​bringing textbooks to a prom started out as a joke. But it didn’t take long for the high school senior at East Peoria Community High School in Illinois to decide it would be prudent to study for an upcoming Advanced Placement Computer Science test.

Nathan Teaney dutifully studies for an AP exam while his East Peoria classmates and their dates dance during the dance Saturday, May 4, 2024, at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria.Nathan Teaney dutifully studies for an AP exam while his East Peoria classmates and their dates dance during the dance Saturday, May 4, 2024, at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria.

Nathan Teaney dutifully studies for an AP exam while his East Peoria classmates and their dates dance during the dance Saturday, May 4, 2024, at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria.

A member of the East Peoria tennis team, Teaney juggles her athletic schedule with college placement tests and preparing for final exams. With the schedule he kept, study time was limited.

“I think it helped relieve some stress by eliminating test prep and prom in the same night,” he said. “That morning and afternoon I was busy with a tennis tournament in Springfield, so I was in quite a rush.”

Nathan Teaney has apparently succeeded in reconciling sport and academic success. According to his father, Nathan was recently named a National Merit Scholarship winner. He plans to attend the University of Texas at Dallas and major in actuarial science.

“Nathan is very lucky to be in a class with a group of friends who are positively competitive and really supportive of each other,” Ron Teaney said. “It’s a very good group.”

Teaney attended prom with a group of friends who helped him achieve academic excellence — meaning no date was upset about being overlooked for a textbook computer science. He said he was not used to studying at social gatherings.

“I would say that most people who saw me study,” Nathan Teaney said, “were amused, confused, or a mixture of both.”

This article originally appeared in the Journal Star: Illinois senior photographed studying during prom