A lot of high school students can’t wait for prom night. They can get dressed up at the event, eat a nice meal, and dance all night with their friends. At the end of the night, when the prom king and queen are named, everyone is also excited.
This year’s graduating class at Jefferson Forest High School in Virginia is the same, but what makes them stand out is how hard they have worked to make everyone feel welcome.
Since a few weeks ago, the seniors have been preparing a surprise for their classmates Zane Wales and Anna Anderson, who were both born with Down syndrome.
Since February, Zane’s teachers have known that he could be nominated for prom royalty king. So it was only natural that Anna was also chosen, so she could be the queen with him.
“Some of my students told me in February or March, ‘You know what? This year, Zane Wales for prom king—do let’s it!’” said a teacher, Heather Hevener. “So, they started the campaign independently, and when we asked for ideas, Zane’s name came up.”
“A few students talked about how Zane Wales should be prom king. “Zane and Anna have been together since middle school, so wherever Zane is, Anna is too. It makes sense for both of them to be prom king and queen,” says special education teacher Taylor Perkins, who works with the couple daily.
She said they were “free spirits who liked to have fun.”
Teacher Taylor said, “Anyone who knows them is lucky, and the school is lucky to have them.”
On the big night, neither Zane nor Anna knew they had been chosen until their names were called.
When they were named prom king and queen, the crowd cheered. When they were given the honour, the couple got their crowns and sashes and took the required photos.
Local businesses also added to the magic of their night.
They borrowed a limo from Emerald Limousine to get to and from the big dance. Anna’s dress and Zane’s tuxedo were given to them by Celebration Bridal so that they would both look great on the big night.
Heather, a teacher, said, “They see these kids daily.” “They walk the same hallways with these same kids, and they just feel like they’re part of them, so they wanted to make sure, they also felt like they were part of them.”
The king and queen are thrilled to have been given this honour, saying they feel like movie stars.
“They do a great job with these kids.”
People ask us for our autographs because we were prom king and prom queen,” said teacher Taylor. “Oh, they are so nice. I hope that this makes other schools and programs friendlier, too.”
Anna said her favorite part of the night was the dance, while Zane said it was when he got his crown.
High school students deserve praise for putting together this beautiful, welcoming event for their peers. In fact, Zane and Anna will never forget that night for the rest of their lives.
Watch how their prom went by clicking on the video below