ATKINS, Ark. (KTHV) - Two very special students at Atkins High School were crowned king and queen at this year's prom.
The title of prom queen or king is typically reserved for the head cheerleader or student body president, but this year two special needs students at Atkins High School were crowned prom king & queen by their fellow classmates. Atkins High Senior Ashlee Harris says prom queen is highly competitive.
"It's every girls dream. They either want to be homecoming queen, colors day queen, or prom queen, so it's a big deal."
On April 14th Tamara Hartwick and Chase Wade had their moment in the spotlight after their classmates felt they deserved the honor over anyone else. Football player and classmate Hunter Anderson says they deserved the honor.
"They are just who they are. I feel like them getting it meant a lot more to them than somebody who gets awards all the time."
Ashlee Harris says Tamara exemplifies who prom queen should be.
"We see her in the halls everyday. She's smiling. Everybody knows her. She has the personality that an outstanding person would have and that's who you want to be your queen."
For Tamara's mom it was a moment she never thought her daughter would experience.
"Very exciting for her. Just knowing they care so much about her."
The royal announcement brought Chase's date to tears. Junior Terilyn Wade is Chase's sister who took her brother to prom instead of her boyfriend and says her big brother means the world to her.
"They announced his name and I said, oh my gosh Chase you just got prom king. He got all excited and started smiling. I only cried a little bit."
Their mom says she didn't learn about the crowning until Terilynn and Chase got home from prom.
"They came home after prom and Chase had his tie all undone looking like he'd been out partying all night and had his sash on. It was so sweet. I was so proud."
A lasting memory of senior prom that sets the 2012 Atkins graduating class apart from the rest. Recognition Braden Langford says was long overdue
"I believe the reason why they were chosen, is they have persevered more than anybody at this school by far. I believe it was just a gesture to show what an inspiration they were to us. Sort of give back something to them before we graduate."