Special Needs Teen Surpasses School Record Of Most Votes For Prom Queen

March 19, 2016

High school prom represents one of the most memorable times in a child’s life. Men get dressed up in their tuxedos and suits, while the ladies find that perfect gown to make them feel like a princess for the night.

But few get the spotlight of being crowned prom queen. And for those who do, it becomes a milestone moment in life they will likely never forget.

Yet this story of an Oregon high school senior who was voted as the school’s prom queen has just one more extra twist – she received the most votes in school history!

Katie Shipley was born with a rare chromosome disorder and has a form of dementia. She wasn’t expected to live to her 18th birthday, but this spunky teen defied the odds and is now finishing high school in a special education program.

Several weeks before voting for prom court began, Shipley would regularly share her dream of becoming prom queen with her friends. So without her knowledge, Katie’s friends started a campaign around school to help make her dream come true.

The night of prom finally arrived. Nominated as one of the candidates for prom queen, Shipley stood on stage with several others, eagerly awaiting the big announcement of this year’s winner. With chants of her name from the crowd, and butterflies churning in her stomach, the prom queen was finally revealed.

And you guessed it: Katie Shipley was crowned!

In an interview, her friend Taylor Chapman said: “we told the whole school, and it just happened.” She goes on to say: “she’ll remember it forever. And it’s really special for her to experience something like this.”

Katie’s grandmother, Joan Fraley, emphasized how the title means something greater to her special needs granddaughter when she said “This shows them they are just like everybody else. You are beautiful, you are precious. God loves you just the way he made you.”

Take a look at Katie’s story below, as told by USA Today, and watch her reaction when she learned that she would be this year’s prom queen!