Classmates crown student with Down syndrome prom queen

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -- Senior prom is often a highlight of the high school years, and that was certainly the case at Douglas High School in Box Elder, South Dakota over the weekend.

"I'm happy," said senior Katie Haugh.

Haugh, a senior who has Down syndrome, got the surprise of her life when her classmates voted her prom queen.

"It was a surprise just to be put on the court, but when she got crowned, I was just happy and then the tears just started flowing," said Donna Haugh, Katie’s mom.

Haugh says ever since prom, Katie has been on top of the world. Katie has gone to Douglas schools since kindergarten and her mom says she rules the school.

"She loves everybody," Haugh said. "She makes sure she gets up here to the front every morning and at lunchtime. She greets all the students and she's just amazing. "

Classmate and prom escort Branson Taylor says all the students were rooting for Katie to win.

"We made signs and people were standing at the front door handing out ballots saying vote for Katie," said Taylor.

Katie is also a long-time basketball player in the Douglas School District. Her mother hopes she can be an inspiration to other students with Down syndrome who want to be athletes or be on prom court.

"She was actually sick; very sick," she said. "She was out for six months so she needed this."

Katie graduates from Douglas High School the end of May. She plans to stay at home and work for Black Hills Works.

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